Strange sound at night

Has anyone ever been on a lake at night and heard something that sounds like a bowling ball being dropped from 50 feet? It was the weirdest thing - my buddy and I were doing some nice night fishing about 10:30 the other night All of a sudden there’s a series of maybe three of these sounds about 100 yards off. First thought was that it was punks throwing big rocks at us, but we were too far off shore for that. The lake does have huge stripers and catfish but we’re thinking, “how could they make such a sound?” It was not a beaver sound either - I’ve heard that many times. I told me neighbor about it later and he said he’s heard the same sound at night on that lake. He called DNR and the guy said it could be diving ducks. But diving ducks dive from the surface, right? This thing sounds like a frozen turkey being dropped from an airplane:-) Any ideas, people? After the initial series, there were several more but one here one there pattern.


What state? I’ve heard that sound in
the daytime when a large cooter dropped from a slanting limb into the water as I passed on the river. I don’t know why such climbing turtles would wait until night to take the plunge, but they can make the sound.

Most likely…
large fish. I used to live on Kentucky Lake and we could hear the fish breaking the surface as they attacked prey fish. It was really quite loud. Youngest brother was knocked over by a large catfish while scuba diving in that lake. Fish made apowerful swipe of its tail as it bolted from its spot under a fallen tree and hit my brother square in the chest. He said the sound made by the tail was loud.

You say it wasn’t beavers, and I am
guessing it was.

I have paddled lakes after dark and what you are describing sure sounds like beavers to me.

Jack L


Almost certainly it was beavers

– Last Updated: Jun-01-12 12:15 PM EST –

Yes, all the books say that beavers make a "slap" sound with their tail, but 90 percent of the time it really sounds like a really big rock dropped into the water. "Ker-ploosh."

The first few times I heard it, I was perplexed too. But after hearing it now for 30+ years, more times than I could ever count, often with the animal in sight, it's no longer a mystery. I've also been fishing at night all my life and have heard all manner of fish striking at prey at/on the surface, and I also know the sounds of jumping fish (mostly carp and paddlfish), but none of those sounds are even remotely similar to the distinct, "dropping boulder" sound made by the beaver. Beaver are getting so common in recent years that in many of the places I go night paddling it would be a very weird thing NOT to hear this a few times each hour.

1 Like

Lillipution UFO’s NM

bigfoot tossin’ rocks at ya’…trying
to tell you that it’s too damn late to be out fishing…

maybe it’s the darknes…
and quiet that intensify the sound of a pissed beaver because the ones I’ve heard and seen in the day are a little slappish in quality versus this massive galumph sound! But all in all, it must be those pesky beaver:-) We were kinda hoping it was massive fish we could get onto! That or a bigfoot or such:-) Thanks all and happy hunting:-)

Fish versus beaver
I know what you mean. The first time I heard the non-slappy version of the beaver splash, I was fishing at night and was sure it was the hugest northern pike in the slough grabbing something at the surface, so I made cast after cast to where the sound came from. A year or two later - I’m pretty sure I was fishing at the same place - was when I figured out my mistake.

No need to fear!
It’s another re-make. “WKRP in Cincinnati” is being re-shot in your neighborhood. So, it really was a frozen turkey being dropped from an airplane.

beaver. first time i heard that 30 years ago i thought it was kids throwing big rocks into the water until i saw them .

they do that as they dive.

i hear it a few times a week here for decades…and see it

here is a video

obviously the sound quality is not like what you experience but I can hear them well over 100 yards downstream…possibly more

I heard that inside the pitch black
tunnel on Lake Calderwood. A little startling.

I paddled upon an otter the other day and it seemed to be leading me away from its den by making an extremely loud splashing noise and then swimming erratically back and forth in front of me. occasionally he would make the noise again. I would describe it as a bowling ball being dropped in the water.

Ryan L.

funny Man! Maybe some DNR guys are secretly disposing of beaver by trapping, freezing, and air dropping at night:-)They don’t know that beaver can’t fly:-)

Thanks Bro
If we take away all sight, and add in totally windless conditions i can see how that beaver was giving us a big “schooling!” The times I’ve seen them doing their thing was in daylight with wind. Funny buggers!

I once was fly fishing a small trout stream kneeling to the point that water was at chest level. I saw this amazing shadow come out from under a bank and then go back in. I fished to this “huge brown” for awhile until the shadow reappeared, turned towards me, and became a big-butt beaver that swam right under my casting arm. HA!

One cold, dark night…
…my wife and I were walking down “Snake Road” in southern Illinois.

Winter’s Pond was on one side of us, and near 100 ft tall limestone bluffs on the other. Water is on both sides of the narrow road. Seeps on the bluff side form pools next to the cliff. We were just enjoying a midnight stroll, listening to the swamp critters. Suddenly we heard a really loud splash, it sounded like somebody threw a body off the bluff. We froze for a moment, then we heard it again. We had our headlamps off until then, but after the 2nd splash we turned them on. We heard the noise again and followed it to a large cliffside pool. I’ve seen lots of snakes, big snakes, in this area, but never one this big. This thing was swimming around in this pool with it’s neck way up out of the water, it would slam it’s head down into the pool, apparantly fishing for frogs or something. It’s body looped up out of the water behind it like a sea monster. This snake must have realistically been 10 feet long, and as big around as my thigh. We watched it fish for about 10 minutes, it seemed oblivious to us. We decided to end our stroll there, and walked carefully back out to the gate and our car. The road is gated off twice a year for reptile migration. That was our last midnight stroll on snake road. I would like to get back down there one of these days though. DAYS I said.

This is why…
…I live in the northern part of the country. We lived in India for a couple years when I was a kid and I got my lifetime fill of snakes, scorpions, and other reptiles, insects and arachnids, thank you very much :slight_smile:

What kind of
snake was it? Sounds creepy!

I live next a big swamp, have wilderness camped for years,am a sportsman/outdoorsman, and often hear strange and unexplained noises at night. I have no answer!