By Sheila Anderson

The purpose of this information is to provide you with a minimum amount of information you would need in case you get caught in severe weather while fishing.  It is important to know the local weather forecast before beginning a kayak trip on a river, or before bank fishing on one of our Texas rivers. Always wear a personal floatation device when kayak fishing.

In Texas, the most severe weather threat we face on the rivers is that of thunder storms with lightning and flash floods. Flash floods can occur within minutes or hours of excessive rain. If you are on the river in a kayak or kick boat and you get caught in a storm, immediately go to ground on the high side of the river where possible. Do not get directly beneath a tree. Wait for the storm to pass and make sure the water is not rising quickly before continuing to the take-out point.

Some other information for outdoors safety from NOAA follows:

Flash floods are the NUMBER ONE weather-related killer in the United States. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or commercial radio/television to stay informed about flash flood watches, warnings and advisories. You may have only SECONDS to act!

  • You cannot outrun a flash flood.
  • Get to higher ground and climb to safety!
  • Watch for rapidly rising water.
  • Stay away fromand keep children fromdrainage ditches and storm drains.
  • Do not walk into or near high water.
  • Do not camp along streams and washes.
  • Get out of areas subject to flooding, including dips, low spots, canyons, and washes.
  • Avoid already flooded and high velocity flow areas.
  • Do not attempt to cross flowing streams where water is above your ankles.

The following links can provide up-to-the-minute weather forecasts. Book mark some of these and review the information prior to fishing.



When thunder is heard, it’s time to get off the water as soon as possible. Take shelter in a substantial building or fully enclosed vehicle. Thunderstorms don’t have to be directly overhead for lightning to strike so be sure to wait 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before venturing back outside. Also, be advised that you are in no danger helping a lightning strike victim. The charge is no longer present after the strike. Lightning strikes are plotted in Fishing My-Cast to show where lightning has occurred. They do not predict where it will occur.


Personal Safety

Personal Safety is another matter to consider when one goes fishing. The following link is an article on personal safety for women by TWFF’s first President, Constance Whiston:

It is always better to err on the side of caution. When fishing, it is prudent to fish with at least one other person. Let someone know when and where you will be fishing. And remember, check the weather forecast before setting out.