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Near death experiences while fishing/boating

me and my neighbor was out kingfishing on a party ground ledge. He had a double pogy rig out when the rod bent over briefly. The rod went slack as a 4 ft barracuda jumped out of the water, it’s mouth wide open, heading straight for the jugular of my neighbor. Luckily his fishing rod was in the way and the cuda hit the rod and bounced back into the water. My neighbor was shaking as he went to pick up his rod. When he touched it, it fell over. The rod was broken at the furrel from the barracuda hitting it.


  • shallowvshallowv Posts: 471 Deckhand
    One afternoon this spring I went out and threw for pogies when a storm was kicking up the waves near the beach.  I was on the boat by myself and the waves combined with my throwing the cast net took me overboard and I literally fell in my own net.  Fortunately I was only in 8 to 10 feet of water and I was able to get myself on Tangled and on the boat.  I have so many stories like that but I still keep coming back for more
  • osprey11osprey11 Posts: 1,440 Officer
    Sure this  is not uncommon.   Sitting in bottom of boat during electric storm with rod tips humming and hair starting to rise up.   
  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,536 Admiral
    Speaking of Cudas...........My friend ARUN , wanted to get his son on his first kingfish, so as we did with ARUN, when he got his first one on my Panga....we made a plan and they met me at my dock and off we went. We wound up at Nassau live bottom where the bite was pretty good, on smaller fish. Perfect for Kavin.

    As we were slow trolling, I told them to be extra vigilant....and explained that sometimes when the fish are feeding with wild abandon....Cudas have been know to sky on a bait and land in the boat...and can hurt you.!!

    Mind you,...I never EXPECTED it to happen !!.........BUT IT DID !!

    Not long after my talk about being careful, Kavin decided he would just wait up front, in front of the console, just to make sure no cuda came after him   I thought that was kinda cute. 15 minutes later, I had a pogie off my starboard stern, 15 yards away on the surface...."gettin' with it" I watched locked in and watching him anticipating a kingfish strike.  

    But instead of a king......and seemingly in slow motion.....this 25 pound "cuda-missile" came straight out of the water, 3 foot high on a line drive headed straight for us !!

    Only thing I had time to say was whoa, which in translation was Oh sh!tt that cuda cleared the starboard gunnel, and nose planted on the INSIDE of the port gunnel, just to the side of the leaning post.....he brushed ARUN's leg or backside as he flew past....luckily the fish didn't plow into ARUN, with his mouth open, cause he never saw it coming....and even more lucky that his small son had decided to hang up front in front of the console..."just in case a cuda jumped in"

    And yes I gaffed that fish to GET HIM OUT OF THE BOAT !!........Not vise-versa.

  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 16,569 AG
    we had a cuda skyrocket across our bow in key largo, was sitting in our slick while we were yellotwail fishing.   I've never seen anything like it.   one second he's back by the transom and i pitch a pinfish at him, the next milisecond he's rocketing across the bow, putting a nice 8" stripe on the anchor hatch.  my son and i about crapped ourselves.   my boy likes to sit up there but glad he didn't that day.  
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • model14model14 JacksonvillePosts: 1,035 Officer
    On one of my fist trips to AJ Hole, a neighbor friend was rapidly retrieving a dead cigar back toward the boat when a large Cuda missed the bait and continued right into the boat smacking my friend hard on the shoulder. Into the face could have been a tragedy.
  • LunaseaLunasea Posts: 141 Deckhand
    bottom fishing off St Augustine one day, noticed a well-known local headboat headed my way.   He was still a good ways away (over a mile), didn't think much of it.  Looked back again and he's still coming, closer and closer, showing no signs of a turn.  Fired up the diesels and moved, he plowed right over where I had been.  There was NO ONE in the wheelhouse!  I guess the Captain must have been taking a dump with no one on watch...Scared the shiznit out of me, as well as the passengers on the headboat...  Had I not moved, he would have rammed me...
  • livebaitlivebait Posts: 793 Officer
    Came out of Black Creek going to Cedar River back in the day with a 16’ HydroStream. Hit the other side of Buckman in a storm. Got religion with a quickness.
  • BottomBumpinBottomBumpin Jax BeachPosts: 1,903 Captain
    offshore St A about 50 - 60 miles out a few years back... me the capt and a couple of stud young men in thier 20's and the plan was to Mahi fish... wind was West all morning and I hate a W wind for the ride in but we had to go for the boys... waves were maybe 3 ft and short so couldn't run too fast so we quietly made a our way out in the mess and are holding on tight the whole way....  get to about 55 out and capt notices the boat is running wierd and slowing down... well the waves and wind decided to pick up about the same time and we found the bilige was FULL and pump was not working at all...  capt stays calm and tells me to take the wheel and head west just fast enough to keep us going forward dead west...... waves are now 4-5 short and snoty w wind blowing in our face now so taking a few waves over the bow so water is steady coming in... this is the first time I actually made sure I could get to the life jackets quickly and told the boys to be ready... spooky 15 minutes that felt like an hour but the capt got the bilidge working and we didn't have to call a mayday...    got an EPIRB the next season...
  • bicyclistbicyclist FlardaPosts: 1,654 Captain
    edited August 2019 #10
    Was fishing on a charter out of Ponce inlet a while back...36 Bertram gasser. Had a nice marlin take a large dolphin off the line....that was cool. On the way back we hit a squall line parallel to shore about 30 miles off the inlet. I was on the flying bridge with the captain. The rest of the folks were below getting seriously bashed around. Could hardly see. Lots of "mosquito boats" running north and south trying to get around the frontal squall....that was not happening. We went from about 14 knots to 6 when the wind hit. As we were approaching the inlet the boat ran out of gas. Starting drifting to shore, the squall had passed but the weather was still nasty and the inlet was a mess. The captain got on the radio hollered at a buddy who was also out. The coast guard heard the call and was on the way, fortunately the captains buddy got to us first. The coast guard arrived as we were diving to untangle the tow line from the props. Finally got everything sorted out and headed in through a very rough inlet. No sea anchor, not enough fuel, etc. The captain would have had some explaining to do if the coast guard had needed to assist. Crazy day.
  • acme54321acme54321 Posts: 353 Deckhand
    A while back I was fishing with my uncle out of Sebastian Inlet. Had fuel issues one the way back with a clogged up filter and lost one motor and were dogging it back in 15 miles on the other, WOT barely on plane.  28 Bert converted to outboards.  Ran out of gas 100 yards inside the inlet.  If you've ever been through Sebastian that is not the place you want to run out of fuel, lucky for us it was the incoming tide or we would have been in deep doo doo.  That was the last time he ever took that boat offshore without a full tank.
  • plumber1969plumber1969 Posts: 387 Deckhand
    I was fishing in the marshes of Southeast Louisiana about 22 years ago with my wife and a one year old daughter. Typical summer day, went from scalding hot then I felt a bitter cold breeze with no clouds in sight. I told my wife to get everything stowed quickly. Before I could start the boat, we were in a squall that made me shutter. We were fine in the protected marshes but had a small stretch of an open lake to cross in a 16 foot flat boat. We made it out but the wife was not happy (reoccurring theme boys). 

    Another time out that way, we were fishing in the MRGO when a crab trap, not the rope, was tangled in the prop. About a mile downstream is this very large ocean bound freighter with wakes pushing that looked like a tsunami, While frantically cutting the trap out of the prop, my wife reminding me how close this thing is getting to us and looking behind the ship that sucks everything back towards the 12 foot prop, I figured we go out like chum in a bag. Well needless to say, we made it but boy the wife was not happy (again, see above)

    There have been others, like being caught in the gulf in solid 2 - 3's in that same 16 foot boat. She didn't come on that trip.  :#
    2019 Frontier 2014 
  • Morocco_madnessMorocco_madness Posts: 2,974 Captain
    edited August 2019 #13
    Me and a buddy got lit up by lightning while wading the marsh side of little Jetties park in my early twenties. We were cast netting Mullet getting ready to put the john boat in. I woke up half submerged in mud with my buddy laid out right next to me unconscious. Had someone not seen what happened, we wouldn't have known what happened. I figured we got batted in the head by someone that wanted our boat or something. A couple of Filipino people let us in on **** happened to us. We wound up spending the week at Baptist hospital in Jax Bch. The strike gave us both arrhythmia(erratic heart beat) and we had to undergo steroid injections every hour through the course of 5 days to correct it. We also had swollen scalps that came with the biggest **** headache I've ever experienced in my life. They put us on liquid Morphine as nothing else could put a dent in the pain.

    The doctor that cared for us explained that when you see a lightning flash, its actually moving from the ground up. It appears to be traveling towards the ground but in fact, its doing the exact opposite. Part of it is coming down however, the flash you see is actually heading up. Essentially, it went through our feet using our bodies as a conductor and traveled back up through our heads. on its way out, it knocked the **** out of us leaving the tops of our heads swollen. He also mentioned that other lightning strike victims end up with their heads completely removed or blown apart. We were incredibly lucky.

    In the link below you can see the strike process slowed down 10,000 frames per second and see the process broken down. The initial blast hits the ground(its also invisible most of the time), and then loops back to the atmosphere. The moral of the story, don't be the tallest object in the area. This is why boaters are rarely hit. The t-top and fishing rods usually take the hit. either way though, I don't hang around when electrical storms roll in. You'll find me at the front of the pack heading in.

    This video explains what happens better than I can.

  • acme54321acme54321 Posts: 353 Deckhand
    No joke.  

    A few weeks ago we were scalloping and got stuck offshore by thunderstorms.  They were 5-10 miles away and full of lightning.  My buddy was next to us in his boat and decided to do some fishing while we sat there.  After a while he asked if rods were conductive because it was humming :#. I immediately told him to lay it on the deck, I think he thought I was joking at first.  That's not something to mess around with.
  • Sea-SquatchSea-Squatch Posts: 2,083 Captain
    I don't know if it was a near death experience, but since y'all are bringing up lightning storms, I'll tell one.

    20+ years ago I was fishing Rodman w/ a friend. We were speck fishing w/ graphite cane poles and small bobbers. There were storms very close by, but being young we ignored them. I kept noticing how my bobbers kept drifting back to our aluminum boat every time you lobbed them back out. I soon started hearing a humming noise, and thats when I notice our mono lines, attached from pole to bobber, were arching up. I looked at my friend to tell him, and his hair was standing up. We instantly knew we were in a dangerous spot, and boogied under a barge canal bridge to wait out the storm.
  • PangamanPangaman Posts: 911 Officer

    Was on a keys trip, and we stopped at looe key after dolphin fishing to do some snorkeling. There was a bunch of small cudas under the boat. We had some left over dead pinfish. I had my wife at the time throw them away from us and watch as the cudas would feed on them. Was really cool seeing how fast they would strike the pinfish as they floated down. That was until a misplaced throw landed a half dozen pinfish just upcurrent of me. I  started backpedaling like crazy to get away from them as the cudas started slashing them inches from my mask. Luckily they could feed with precision that day.

    Another time we were fishing a barge at MR. It was slick calm and super hot. Decided I would jump in to cool off. Swam around the boat for 5 minutes, then got up on the ladder behind the boat. Something told me I should get out of the water. Just as I got in the boat, my buddy reeled in his bait to have it followed by a 10 foot tiger. The tiger was lit up and would attack anything we threw in the water. We ended up hooking it on a half of a sharpnose shark. Pretty sure he would have taken a taste of me if I was still in the water.

  • RedactionRedaction Posts: 1,999 Captain

    15 years ago or so me and a buddy fished a Redfish Tour event out of St Augustine…plan was to make the run to Jax to fish the waters we knew. We were in his 17 ft Stott Craft with an Evinrude 150, this boat would top out near 60MPH, super light and squirrely. Safe light came and we took off, we were screaming through Palm Valley…I was screaming SLOW DOWN! Docks to our right whizzing by…freaking me out, him hitting wakes with reckless abandon. I was getting pissed! Made it past the docks and we approach the JTB Bridge I start yelling SLOW DOWN! He backs off a bit as we go under the bridge…we pass a big yacht, hit its wake and the steering cable snaps!!! We veer hard and fast to the right, he slams it into reverse (the loud violent sound from the gears in the lower unit still echo in my head)…we veered right in the direction of a channel marker narrowing missing it…I mean by inches! Not only did we almost die…we just blew $450 on an entry fee!

    What was scary was the fact that it was a new steering cable (also you should never have a single cable on and outboard over 115HP), found out it was defective. For months following that event I couldn’t help to think what would have happened had the cable snapped while we were whizzing past those docks…still scares me.

  • tagtag Posts: 9,589 Admiral
    I was on a ship in the Mediterranean Sea. It was 1:30 AM when I stepped out onto the catwalk. At the same time I stepped out we collided with another ship. The ship smashed the catwalk 6 feet from where I stood. 
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 16,569 AG
    we got caught last August under the sunshine skyway in a lightning storm. they were everywhere.  It was a mess.   
    You can't pet a dead dog back to life 
  • shallowvshallowv Posts: 471 Deckhand
    One day i went fishing and when i got home my wife gave me a dirty look
  • shallowvshallowv Posts: 471 Deckhand
  • biglarbiglar Posts: 183 Deckhand
    Many years ago a buddy and I were prepping to go diving off his 18 ft runabout.  Just about breaking dawn, we stopped to gas up the boat.  Sat there for a long time, yakking back and forth, joking and all, when he said something like, "why is this taking so long ??"  Then he looked at the pump and it was over 40 gal. and climbing fast.

    "WTH ??" he said.  This only takes 25 gal.  Looked around and there was a steady stream of gas pouring out the bilge plug hole onto the street and a small river of it going downhill.  Later he found that the vent had come loose.  We both smoked - it could have been ugly.
  • PangamanPangaman Posts: 911 Officer
    I thought you were going to say you put it in rod holder. A few years ago someone did that and pumped a couple of hundred gallons into his bilge. They had to call the hazmat.
  • shallowvshallowv Posts: 471 Deckhand
    One time i stole my wifes cutting board and she about killed me
  • big baitbig bait Posts: 426 Deckhand

    Gaffing a wahoo front of the boat, pulled it over rail and flopped it on the deck it came off the gaff and slid

    down the gunnel head first towards the mate as he was already setting lines in the water,

    it bit his Achilles almost all the way through, he was out for 6 months rehabbing.


  • Family TraditionFamily Tradition Posts: 101 Deckhand
    Several years ago while scalloping in Crystal River I was running back in across the flats and got grass in the water intake and had to slow and clear it. As always I looked around behind me before I came off plane, looked down in the console for a few seconds to grab something and when I looked back up there was another vessel heading directly at me at speed. They didn't break off until they were so close they waked everyone on my boat. It could've been catastrophic for both vessels. Needless to say I followed the boat back in and when we got to the channel and slow zone I had words with the other captain. I haven't scalloped CR  since, too many idiots make it very dangerous. 
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 4,368 Captain
    Not near death, but another Cuda story

    My Dad got bit by a dead Cuda

    Had a frozen Cuda head, plan was to boil it and mount the head bones

    While the head was defrosting my Dad was working the jaw open, slipped, teeth sawed in to his thump pretty good. Had a scar the rest of his life.
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 4,368 Captain
    edited August 2019 #28
    Many stories related to weather, lightning.

    I recall Snook season, Everglades National Park outer islands.
    By 8 am headed to the boat- took all the 70 hp outboard could give to outrun, then blocked by another waterspout. We headed inland up a creek to finally escape.

    I am in the boat business and have witnessed or heard of many lightning stories.

    Just happened to be watching a boat at Doctors Inlet when lightning hit it. 
    34 Sea Ray fly bridge boat, operator was running from lower helm luckily.

    Also Doctors Lake, one afternoon a young lady came to the office in tears,she and three others, 20 foot bow rider, lightning strike, some on board unconscious for a time, she ran the boat back to the Marina, right up to and on the trailer launch ramp.
    All were OK, a few days later a University of Florida researcher went over the boat.

    In another lightning episode, a customer knocked off helm seat when lightning struck their 44 foot Motor Yacht. Just south of Buckman bridge. Engines quit, deck fittings blew off, extensive repairs required.

    Another customer was on the aft deck of his Motor Yacht, tied up at a dock. Heavy rain and wind, so customer went down below just moments before a lightning bolt hit the vessel’s antennas, traveled down to the aft deck.Again, extensive damage to the vessel’s engine electrical system, appliances.

    I once stepped on a water snake in my bare feet.......I know....... Hello!?.

    And one time I was unaware of possible peril.Two bear cubs ran up pine trees. I approach, close to the cubs taking photos.Oblivious.Then Mom appears, up on her hind legs.
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • Sea SnakeSea Snake Posts: 5,536 Admiral
    First time I got myself a bunch of bullfrogs.....big suckers....I had 6 or 8, I don't remember exactly...caught em from a pond while tending a trotline all night.

    Anyway, I took em all home and chopped off their legs....( some old goober told me they'd grow new legs, so I didn't have to kill em. ) I was 14 or 15 at the time, so didn't know any after "harvesting the legs", I "released" the frogs in our ditch. 

    Well the next morning my Dad was mowing, and all I heard was STEEEVAN !!...AS he hollered my name, and when I got the drawn out proper name of Steven....I kinda knew I was in trouble !! So I ran outside to see what was the matter and my Dad just pointed at them frogs, who were trying to crawl around with only their front legs....and boy was he mad.  

    I told him what the old guy told me, and he was still p.o'd.....and made me go get my gun and put them dang frogs out of their misery

    ......I was sure I wasn't gonna make it to 16 that day, though.......
  • MRichardsonMRichardson Posts: 10,466 AG
    I once sank a jonboat and drifted from Debary to Astor on the alligator-infested SJR clutching nothing but a mostly-emptied Busch Light can for flotation.
    I have never seen live bones, but I know that they are often used by rich people to decorate the interior.
  • CaptJCaptJ Posts: 1,711 Captain
    If you're on the water long enough stuff happens. Fishing for Yellowtail in Islamorada a storm closed in on me. Everything turned dark and next thing I know I'm being pulled from the boat. Grabbed the gunnell and held on for dear life. It was over in a few seconds, but I learned a life lesson from that one. A few others along the way, but that was memorable.
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