It's a scary thing and my first reaction is to paddle like hell and make sure rods are not pointing up But as we all know, you can't out paddle a storm.
Maybe I am wrong but my usual plan is to find the closest mangrove island and tie off or anchor on the leeward side then put on my PFD and rain gear. If I am lucky to be close to a creek, that is my preferred hide out. When those storms hit and the temps drop/winds pick up so fast and strong you can be easily flipped over. If where I am anchored is shallow, I usually just get out of the canoe to wait it out. Those storms still freak me out.
So, what do you all do when caught out on the water in one of these storms???
I've only been close to being caught once on Pine Is. a few years back. As a former sailor, I naturally keep my eyes on the sky, and check the forecast before going out. I was fortunate enough to see something forming, and got in before it hit. In Naples, a few weeks ago, the tour catamaran got hit by lightning, and the customers had to be rescued. Capt. was hit, but recovered. Having a business, there is a lot of pressure to keep the cash flow coming, and too many people ignore the weather. (remember all the paraglide tour problems on various beaches in Fl.) It's one thing to put yourself in harms way, but when you are responsible for others, you need to be shut down.
Lightning travels faster than the speed of light, roughly 224,000 mph (3,700 miles per second), plus or minus a few depending on condition in the air.. the light you see that we call a lightning bolt travels at 670,000,000 MPH (186,000 miles per second)
Ain't no outrunning that...
There are different type of lightning strikes some more dangerous than others.
The sound you hear, "thunder", travels much slower, and has a few different noises from a rumble to a loud crack.. when you hear it its to late to escape the immediate danger, all you can hope for is to perhaps change your location to minimize the duration of the danger. Thunder in dry air travels approx. 768 mph, or (0.213 miles per second), somewhere near 5 seconds per mile.
When you hear the thunder, its to late that immediate strike has already fried something and not you. Many lightning deaths occur under clear blue skiies by a strike form 10+ miles away.
Be careful out there..
Old fugger with a bad heart, who just wants to fish