This is my post so bear with me… You all share so much that I feel wrong to not contribute what experiences I have. Also, I may get some pointers as I am only in my 2nd year of serious fishing. We launched from Catabwa at sunrise despite the below freezing temps and worse than expected wind. Put the soft enclosure up and had a heater though never needed to turn it on. We headed out north and east just below and probably a mile or 2 east south bass. Started marking fish as soon as we hit 32 FOW. Tried trolling the break around the edge of a deeper bowl. Wind was kickin my butt. The trolling motor auto-pilot i believe runs off GPS signal VS direction I point the motor because it wanted to turn 20 degrees into the wind. Obviously I was tracking sideways, but it was frustrating with the current pulling pretty hard to the ENE I believe. (forgot the fish hawk just guessing by way boards ran) So I screwed around most of the morning trying to troll with the wind( couldnt maintain my heading and keep it under 1.7 due to wind speed) so I tried going into the wind which was equally frustrating and unproductive. Decided we would just be at the mercy of nature and do our best. Got on a school of feeders right about 40 FOW and trolling NNE with the wind it lasted around 1 mile. Out even or a bit past the small “island” there. We had 1 triple trying to get turned around. Picked up ran back up and we were done about 12:30pm. 3 man limit. We stuck with bandits from 100-130 back at 1.5 give or take. Best colors were taco salad and orange crush for us. Though we didnt switch many out only to put more of those 2 colors on as they were bringing in fish. Nothing very large My wife got to come and she had a blast enjoying the amazing fishery God has given us. The whole experience, from being fortunate enough to own a boat that is safe and well equipped, the ride out on the water this time of year- building ice on the boat, getting on some active fish… Its all just an amazing gift. Thank you all for the time and effort you put into this forum. Good luck to all and be safe. Cold water is no joke. I am looking at weather reports now for tuesday. Our PA has been on maternity leave and we have been going through it. Tomorrow will be down due to parts and I really want to head out but it looks pretty close to dangerous. 3 hour drive.