We knew it would be tough sledding today with the wind but as the saying goes, don’t not go out based on the weather, just dress for it. That probably isn’t how the saying actually goes but my fingers are still numb and can’t function well enough to look up pesky things like sayings. Plus my nerves are still shot from that fun boat-anxiety feeling of “everything is broken and I don’t know why, let me try a bunch of things to not fix it…”

At the first spot, we started scanning for some fat winter stripers, I had to stick my arm underwater (actually didn’t but we’ll get to that…) to mess with the transducer. As we had begun trolling up creek, the dash sonar screen started to flicker. So first I did the usual universal fix, turning it off and on, tapping it with the appropriate amount of force to fix but not break it. But still the screen kept blinking with low light, almost like a strobe or flicker. Then I noticed the Helix had stopped reading the depth correctly, so of course it must be the transducer. I should point out both units have separate transducers and the dash unit was still reading depth correctly.

Spoiler alert… it wasn’t the transducer, but that didn’t stop me from lying flat on the deck and sticking my entire arm underwater to see what I could feel and fix upside down with the transducer. Clearly the wind was blowing my thoughts around as well.

The electronics claimed the water was 51 or so degrees, but real world temp according to my arm was closer to -12 degrees. At this point the Helix had stopped reading the depth altogether and was shutting down randomly. This is where the boat anxiety started to creep in. Did I hit something with the transducer? Do we have a wiring problem? I was starting to imagine how to fish without electronics, or if my old fish finder was still in the closet, while wondering how long Humminbird would need to service a unit.

Our 2 main batteries power the fishy finders and it was then I remembered I’d flipped the motor battery to 1 instead of 1 & 2 a few trips back so we didn’t end up killing both batteries with the electronics. With a quick flip of the battery switch back to both batteries everything returned to normal, besides the feeling in my right arm. We continued to scan around the two glitter boats not catching any spots, and then headed to the next marker we call “Striped Canyon”.

Striped Canyon on Lake Lanier, as many know, is a tight deep canyon above the dam and not really near Brown’s Bridge. While it’s usually good for at least a bite, if not a fish or two, today the marks were sparse and the fish we did mark weren’t interested in biting. We didn’t waste too much time and picked up to the next spot, having a blast flying over the main lake with all the waves and spray. It was cold, but it was pure outdoor boating fun.

The next spot was more memorable for the wind than marking any fish. A few thin bait clouds here and there, but from 17 feet to 90 feet we just didn’t mark many fish today. Still not a bad trip, after all we knew what the weather was when we left. You also continue to get better at being a boat captain and how to fish in the wind by getting out there. I pushed the throttle down towards home with a tough earned trip point but no fish on the boat. My cheeks still feel the cold and it’s been hours since we went fishing. 

Trip Breakdown

Trip Points: 1
Fish Caught: 0
Fish Lost: 0
Bait: Live trout
Water Depth: 57
Line Depth: 35
Trip Start: 01/03/2021 11:20 am
Trip End: 01/03/2021 2:30 pm
Air Temp: 47
Water Temp:  51