As is the case on a lot of hot afternoons in Florida Bay, a big anvil head thunderstorm built to the west and began moving east - directly at us. We continued to fish, convinced we could outrun the storm, or worst case, anchor way up on the flat and ride it out.
But then the dark clouds began rumbling. Flashes of lightening were going straight down. This was none of that cloud to cloud stuff, this was the real deal. A waterspout (a fancy name for a tornado over water) spiraled down off the left leading edge of the cloud bank, but fizzled and went back up.
You need to realize that a thunder storm is a micro-low pressure area of its own, and the pressure drops noticeably as it approaches. That's why the wind picks up as it approaches.
So, the storm approached, the wind picked up, and the cool chilled air began blowing our way. Oh, one more thing - the fish turned on like there was no tomorrow! The explanation I received was that the fish sense the drop in pressure, which tells them that the water is about to be stirred and muddied, they will have a hard time finding prey, and they need to feed now!.
Seems logical to me. It also explains the apparent lack of appetite the fish have behind the low pressure. I think Russ Chastain, our About.com Hunting Guide will tell you the same thing about game and a waxing high pressure.
The end to this story is a little comical, and very dangerous, but still true. As we caught one fish after another, our partner boat came idling over to us and asked if our rods were crackling. They said, "Watch this'" and stuck their rods high in the air. I could hear the crackling static electricity from 50 yards away!
After a lot of scrambling and yelling we got them to drop their rods, and then we both headed for the ramp. I guess we're lucky the other end of that crackle didn't show up. But, what the heck - we fish in any weather!