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NebSchmidty

Docks & Storms?

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As a non-local, a number of recent fishing reports got my gears turning...

Is there certain etiquette/rules for finding a dock to park under when adverse weather pops up, or is the nearest shelter fair game?

Being a regular lurker for the past couple years (giving back a few reports during the 2 weeks/yr that I get to enjoy on your local waters :D ) I have seen a few stories of tension between dock owners and fisherman.  Does that go by the wayside when a storm pops up, or does one need to dock selectively?  I'm usually OCD about weather forecasts and plan my outings in advance, but was curious what to do if the nasty stuff should ever catch me by surprise.  With smaller flatland lakes here you can generally see storms coming from miles out, which allows you plenty of time to retreat to the truck or just get out of dodge.  On TR I suppose it could be over the next ridgeline... and my 21' F&S barge isn't going to outrun too much at 55mph.  Just curious.

 

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I would take someones mean words over a lightning strike anyday. And not feel guilty one bit.

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If the nasty stuff is in the forecast I plan to stay close, and will scout for an open slip when I pull into a place to fish. My pecking order is basically resort slips, marina, anything else at need. It can be surprisingly hard to find an open slip in some places.

On a related note, I was going to start a thread about lightning tracker/alert apps. I'm sure a lot of folks have a favorite, or just use local TV apps or weather channel. Just loaded one called "WeatherBug" that is working nicely. Wanted it for fishing as well as sports practices and events. Have had a few chances to test it against Weather Channel and such, and it is more accurate, and quicker to update. 

It is recommended by Little League Baseball. Features a lightning tracker, radar, and basic forecasts. So far nothing annoying, or requiring purchase. Expect it to maximize fishing time, and help keep everyone safe on the FB field. Wife already used it at a track meet last week to know when to bail on the metal bleachers.

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If the nasty stuff is in the forecast I plan to stay close, and will scout for an open slip when I pull into a place to fish. My pecking order is basically resort slips, marina, anything else at need. It can be surprisingly hard to find an open slip in some places.

On a related note, I was going to start a thread about lightning tracker/alert apps. I'm sure a lot of folks have a favorite, or just use local TV apps or weather channel. Just loaded one called "WeatherBug" that is working nicely. Wanted it for fishing as well as sports practices and events. Have had a few chances to test it against Weather Channel and such, and it is more accurate, and quicker to update. 

It is recommended by Little League Baseball. Features a lightning tracker, radar, and basic forecasts. So far nothing annoying, or requiring purchase. Expect it to maximize fishing time, and help keep everyone safe on the FB field. Wife already used it at a track meet last week to know when to bail on the metal bleachers.

Any slip is fair game when weather rolls in. I've never had an issue with dock owners when I've had to take shelter. But, like Dave mentioned above, if there's a call for some weather in the forecast; I also prefer not to run too far from home base.

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The 'Spark Indicator' on weatherbug is a great feature. And now, the weather channel and MyRadar apps will send you push notifications of lightning or other weather hazards approaching. Weather channel can send notifications of when rain will begin. Heck, I just got an alert indicating rain will begin in 5 minutes; just checked the radar and sure enough; small storm cell pushing in, minutes away. VERY slick! 

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I was working outside yesterday and the weather channel app sent me realtime notifications when lightning was detected about 5 miles out. Even without the app open. And I was working down in a slight valley in the yard; and had no clue weather was even approaching. Typical springtime storm. Small storm cell popped up a few miles out.

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Even if the dock owner would prefer you not pull in, they probably won't venture out of cover to come down and crab about it.  It's a shame that being neighborly and helpful to people is becoming a thing of the past.  I understand to a degree why some owners get upset, but generally I think it's pretty easy to tell when folks are just taking cover and when someone is up to no good. 

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If I'm out on the lake and a storm is rolling in, I'll be checking out the docks for an empty stall.  Most normal human beings that are slip owners aren't going to have a problem with people taking shelter during a storm.

I do avoid the ones that have signs that read something like this:

 

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Thanks to all for the feedback.  The warning sign has been duly noted.  I will also keep a watchful eye for red laser dots painting my boat when approaching unknown docks. :lol:

Good discussion on the weather apps.  I have a pretty detailed radar app... but it never occurred to me that a lightning tracker could be just as, if not even more useful in a boating scenario.

 

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Thanks to all for the feedback.  The warning sign has been duly noted.  I will also keep a watchful eye for red laser dots painting my boat when approaching unknown docks. :lol:

Good discussion on the weather apps.  I have a pretty detailed radar app... but it never occurred to me that a lightning tracker could be just as, if not even more useful in a boating scenario.

 

I expect to save a few hours of fishing time this year because of the lightning app. Lot of times it looks horrible, but never storms a bit. I've covered up more than a few times in that situation. Knowing if it is just wind and rain versus a storm is huge. Or yuuuge. Or however you say it given your leanings ;).

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