Lines in at 7am, air temperature 70° with no wind, downlining Lake Marker 55 to start the day. Water temperature was 73.7°. Didn’t see a fish. Moved to the power lines in Gainesville Creek. Saw a few small fish at 20′. Pulled lead core, no takers. Moved to Lake Marker 51. Saw several fish. Dropped downlines. Missed one scrambling for the rod. Fish moved out and so did we. Headed to Simpson Creek submerged island, no fish. Left there and went to C1. Just looked. Again no fish. Drove across Hooch channel to east side of lake to River Forks. Looked at humps and lake points still no fish. Wind starting to pickup. Left there heading for War Hill stopping just south of Little Hall Park looking at points. Water temperature was 72.9°. Wind really started gusting. Unable to control boat’s direction in open water with trolling motor so we headed further north in Chestatee River to convergence of Johnson & Lathem Creeks. Saw a lot of big fish. Pulled lead core to Taylor Creek and then back south to Hwy 53 bridge. Thought we finally got one when the reel sounded off, stripping out line. Just before getting catch in saw that it was a huge limb. Passed the rod off to Chris to finish the retrieve. My arm was exhausted. We decided to go with our experience and head way south to Browns Bridge. Decided to ride the right side of the channel going under the bridge. Water temperature was 74°. We started to see lots of fish but the wind was gusting to 20-25 miles an hour and our boat speed was too fast for downlining. I had to get out the wind sock to keep us at 1 mph. We drifted towards Port Royale houseboat docks with downlines out. Hooked a 21 3/4″ striper right off. Unable to anchor in high winds we kept going over and over our track from 40′ to 60′ to 40′ of water and hooked up another fish. It felt like a much bigger fish but got off close to the boat. It was time to pack it in and head for the weigh in at 2pm.
Lessons learned today: start with a plan; when fishing gets tough keep changing presentation; keep moving; give yourselves a time limit then stick to it; go with what you know; and always rely on each other’s experiences. Thank you Bob and Chris for another great time on the water.