John & Gerry were in for a few days of fishing and I was looking forward to having them beat on giant smallies. We met up shortly after 7:30 and headed to the lake in anticipation of what was ahead. Contrary to yesterday’s late sunshine arrival, today we had overcast skies and rain was eminent. The winds were blowing pretty good from the NE and we had 2 to 3 footers from the wrong direction. Air temps were in the 60’s and the water temps were almost 70 degrees where we began. I knew today’s conditions were going to be tough but figured they were up to the challenge. We headed straight to an area that held fish and hoped for the best. Both guys were throwing spinnerbaits, searching for their first encounter with the smallie. I warned them that they better be ready as we neared the sweet spot. Almost on cue, John got crushed and was barely able to react with the hook set. First smallie gone! The next cast he was ready and hammered the hooks to an arm jolting strike, only to lose the fish as she took to the air. Plenty more disappointment to follow on this miserable day! Eventually he did manage to hang onto one and got the skunk officially off of his back. All the while, Gerry was getting into them as well and put a few of his own in the boat for some quick pics. I let them play with the aggressive ones for a little while and then switched them up to a slower presentation with tubes. It wasn’t easy to feel the pickups in this strong wind but they managed to get plenty of bites nonetheless. Unfortunately, they had more disappointing results with fish throwing the jigs again. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, it began to rain and we could barely see a thing. Now more than ever they were forced to react by feel and remarkably fended better than before. I think they were onto something as most fish were now being boated. Retention time was the ticket and by holding out on the hookset, they were able to bump up the numbers. Several of the larger fish were caught and made for some great shots despite the dull, low light day. At one point there was talk of flashlights as it got even darker! Eventually the rain let up and the light grew, allowing us to regain our bearings and get back on the fish once again. When the fish finally slowed down to a crawl, I pulled the plug & headed to another area of the lake. The waves were really a pain to run in and the further we went, the more they grew. When I finally arrived, I realized quickly that it was a mistake. We were faced with 3 to 4 footers and being blown up current. I had to literally hold the bow into the wind just to allow them to cast the area holding the fish. After 3 or 4 smaller bass by John, I decided to run again. This time I was going to try and eliminate the wind completely by trying some shallower shoreline. Although I really didn’t have much confidence, we needed a break. It was here that we spent the remainder of the day and fished comfortably, for a change! Plenty of bass in the 2 to 3 pound range were hooked in the last few hours of the day before we called it and headed back to the ramp. To say the run was rough would be putting it mildly. Thank god we were in the Ranger! Despite the hell we had today, these guys came through with flying colors. Let’s hope for better days ahead!!