Running with GPS in the Fog?

Discussion in 'SOUTH CAROLINA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by Capt. Darryl Smith, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Capt. Darryl Smith

    Capt. Darryl Smith New Member

    Messages:
    29
    State:
    SC
    I have been running by GPS since 2000. Matter of fact I believe my Lowrance Graphs are the second most important piece of equipment on my boat, only second to a boat motor. I use primarily my Lowrance 113 CHD color graph with a X-16 CI backup. A GPS is a remarkable tool. It allows you to see where on earth you are no matter day, night, raining hard or so foggy you cannot see the front of your boat.
    From where I use one a GPS almost everyday I have learned it will show you the way out there and back. But never rely only on a GPS. Also have a map, and a compose on your boat and ALWAYS know where you are at on the lake incase of lose of power or electronic failure! KNOW how to navigate by compose just incase. THINGS HAPPEN!
    Now remember a GPS show you where on earth you are, but it does not show you what is in front of you that you are about too HIT!
    When learning how to run by GPS I recommend that always when you are on the water running on clear days to use your GPS along with your eyesight and it will help to orientate yourself on how it works.
    Now here is the important part. It shows you where you are at, But when running by GPS never run faster than you can see far enough out in front of you safely. If you cannot see past the front of the boat you do not need to be there! But if you can see 50 feet never run faster than if you see something that you cannot stop the boat in 1/3rd the distance. Just remember, you may have a boat coming at you. So RUN SLOW. So if the two of you are playing chicken, You need that triple distance to avoid a wreck. Also if faced with this dilemma, Always turn to your right just like on a state paved highway.
    Be careful and make it back home to love ones.
    But don’t be scared to go out in the fog, rain, or darkness. Just know your own limitations, use caution, and have fun safely. No fish is worth a human life.
     
  2. Sunbird

    Sunbird New Member

    Messages:
    781
    State:
    Sandy Run,
    Thanks for the info. I was in the soup last Saturday on Moultrie, I have never been in anything like that before it was kinda wierd. I have experience navigating by instrumentation from my years of flying but it's always important, as you pointed out, to be cautious. Thanks for the reminder Darryl.

    Now back to fishin!!:wink:
     

  3. flatheadsalyer1

    flatheadsalyer1 New Member

    Messages:
    439
    State:
    Pickens, SC
    Great post!!! I really enjoy all the usefull posts here. The BOC "IS" the Catfisherman's Encyclopedia!
     
  4. jdstraka

    jdstraka Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,739
    State:
    Council Bluffs, Iowa
    Name:
    John
    Thanks Captain,I have all this fancy electronics on my boat and am to stupid to get it all figured out yet,But I retired 2 months ago and by hook or crook this old Bohunk will get the job done !!! Anyone have a 12 year old they want to loan me to show this old Fool how there new fangled Gadgets work ???? LOL J.D.
     
  5. Cgoyette

    Cgoyette New Member

    Messages:
    394
    State:
    South Caro



    I too have a 113 HD but my back up is a 332 and a hand held lowrance expadition.

    I would add that when Run out in the late afternoon for a night fishing excusion I mark the floters in the channel, so when I return on my "pink line" I know when to slow down to a trickle. The chanel hasnt been CLEAN for a decade. always a floater in the middle dragin the bottom.

    by marking the floters its a good reminder. I fish marion near potato creek all the way up to pine island with some forays over to the OTHER side. by marking obtructions POLES/ FLOATERS / CHANNEL markers I avoid the WREAK!

    I would also say Since no map is perfect on the GPS take time out one trip and MARK the chanel poles. HOW you say? Go right up next to it and I mean right on it (me I put it within a 1 foot of my GPS anntenna) and mark it with a ICON you use for PERMEMENT hazard mine is a red + mark. by doing this you can SEE the chaenl at night...but Like the good Capt Darrel said dont out run you eyes!

    Be safe and have fun

    Curt
     
  6. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,177
    State:
    NC
    Pretty bad fog this morning on Lake Wateree, so I did some training just like a pilot does in a flight simulator.

    I could not see the bank, so I turned the boat in a slow tight circle for 45 seconds, and when I stopped and looked around I was CLUELESS as to which direction I needed to go. I used my GPS to figure out where I was and the course heading I need to be on.

    It is a good thing to practice in a non-emergency controlled situation like this, because when the waves are high, the winds blowing, and it is dark, panic starts to cloud your judgement.

    One note on the GPS and direction arrow; you have to be moving 4-5 mph to get an accurate reading as to what direction you are heading. If you are sitting still the arrow on the GPS may or may not be pointing in the direction the bow is facing.
     
  7. Jeffrey Green

    Jeffrey Green New Member

    Messages:
    513
    State:
    S.C.
    Some great info,Thanks guy's
     
  8. craddock1

    craddock1 Active Member

    Messages:
    962
    State:
    TENNESSEE
    I WENT OUT WITH MY SON IN GUNTERSVILLE using gps. It convinced me I had to have one then on saturday morning the fog was really thick a 200 boat bass tournament blasted off from the next marina. don't know how they all missed us and the slow ones were probably doing 60. Now when it is foggy I just stay on the bank.
     
  9. Bill in SC

    Bill in SC New Member

    Messages:
    4,451
    State:
    South Caro
    GREAT post, Darryl!!!!

    <Now remember a GPS show you where on earth you are, but it does not show you what is in front of you that you are about too HIT!>

    THAT is a MOST CRITICAL element of using the gps. Exercise caution when visibility is low, even if you are on course.

    Bill in SC
     
  10. Sunbird

    Sunbird New Member

    Messages:
    781
    State:
    Sandy Run,
    It is rather ironic this here post! Sat. when we were ready to come off the water it was foggy, again! I used my GPS to get back to the landing. When we started to ride I realized that I couldn't tell how dense the fog was. Without being able to see an object at a distance you have no idea how far you may or may not be able to see. We proceeded with great caution! When I did get back to the channel and found a marker pole I could see about 100'. We continued through the channel, and as Curt said there are other things to look for and be aware of, we looked and rode slow. The next channel marker we passed we could barely see at 30'. Point is this, fog usually changes in density through out the lay on the lake or river based on temperature and wind. Don't ever think, "back there" you could see 100' that you will be able to see that same distance everywhere on the lake. Always err on the side of caution, it may be the difference in another trip or not.