Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Carp Story

Fishing lately has been average at best. We've still been catching average numbers of bass but no big ones worth noting. Catfishing has been slow, we've caught a few but definitely not the numbers or size we are expecting.  So with lack of anything worth reporting I thought I'd tell the story of the day I caught my biggest fish, a 32lb carp, which is pictured in the left of our banner.

It was August 2010. That year we had discovered how effective corn could be when fishing for carp. We would throw out half a can for chum and bait a bluegill hook with corn and toss it out weightless in the chum. We would then attach a piece of styrofoam to our line and leave the reel in free spool. When a carp picks up the bait the styrofoam takes off towards the water.

Earlier in the year I was bass fishing solo at a small lake and noticed some carp jumping. I decided to go back soon thereafter with some corn to do some carp fishing. I believe I ended up catching 2 carp that day, an 8lb and a 20lb, and broke off a nice one in some logs. The 20lb carp was the biggest carp any of us had ever caught and I was thrilled. The battles were epic on my Zepco Omega spincast reel with 8lb line and I didn't have a net so I had to pull them out of the water by hand.
20lb Carp
Later in August I was carp fishing solo once more at the same lake. It was a hot sunny day, peaceful with nobody else to be seen on the lake. I waited patiently for a couple hours with no bites in hopes for another monster carp. Eventually something took off fast with my corn. I picked up my rod and set the hook and it just kept going, not even phased. I knew I had a decent fish but I didn't know how decent for some time. I struggled with the fish for minutes, drag ripping run after drag ripping run. It was all the 8lb line on my Browning Medallion GT spinning reel could handle.

Finally the fish broke surface about 20 yards off the bank. By this time I was wading in the water and had moved about 30ft down the bank trying to keep the fish out of the snags. Several more minutes passed before I finally got the fish close enough to get a good look. My adrenaline skyrocketed  as I saw the goliath on the end of my line. At this point I was wading in thigh deep water and was pulling the fish within 10ft of me. I didn't know how I was ever going to get this thing out of the water as I feared the hook might soon pop free or my line break from the extreme stress. For what seemed like forever I struggled with the fish in 2 to 4ft of water as It still continued to surge out into the depths on occasion. Eventually I started nearing the bank and I didn't have a net with me this time either. I manage to get the fish between me and the bank. I got the fish close enough to feel comfortable enough to make an attempt to lift it out of the water. I struggled to grab the extremely slippery fish and carry it onto land. Finally I succeeded. I can only guess at the time it took to land the fish as I was so focused the entire time I had no grasp of time but my best guess would be 10-15 minutes, by far the longest battle of my life.

With the fish landed I let out a scream of excitement. It was one of the best moments of fishing in my life. I quickly removed the hook and got out my tape measure. The carp measured about 40 inches. I then weighed the beast with my Rapala digital scale. The scale fluctuated between 32 and 33lbs so I've always just called it a modest 32lbs. 
32lb Carp
Thankfully I had a timer on my digital camera which I setup on a fallen tree. This picture really shows the pure excitement I had.
32lb Carp
Since carp don't have much to hold on to, the only way I could hold it up was by propping it on my knee. I actually got a picture of the fish mid flop which really shows off the girth of the fish. Notice how tiny my leg is in comparison.
32lb Carp
After taking my pictures I was worried that through the stress of the fight, the carp might not make it. I took plenty of time to revive the fish before watching it swim off to fight another day.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Spike It Markers

The other day I went to Walmart to pick up a few things to replace what I had lost over the past month. While I was looking around something caught my eye. Walmart had Spike It markers in stock, which happens to be the first time I have seen Spike It products at Walmart. Since I liked the Spike it dip I figured that I would give the markers a shot. I liked that addition of color and scent that the dip gave my plastics, but it would get messy at times. I often spilled the bottle in the boat, got it on my shirt, trolling motor handle, boat seats, etc. I really liked the idea of having a spill proof method of Spike It. Another thing that caught my eye was that the markers came in 4 different colors, blue, yellow, red, and orange.
I also bought a few 3" white grubs from Walmart, so I figured I would give the Spike It markers a shot on them. I tried marking one side of the grub, belly or back, but I found that my favorite presentation was dying the tail sections of the grub.
I also found that by coloring the grubs the opposite way had a similar appeal.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Spider Wire Stealth Braid


A month or two ago I tried braid for bass fishing for the first time. I was hesitant to try it, since I had such a bad experience with it while catfishing. I once bought a spool of $50 Suffix braid and spooled a reel with it for catfishing, flathead fishing specifically. I spent several trips using the reel and I waited patiently for a bite. Something like 100 hours of fishing later I had my first run on braided line. I engaged the reel, and then set the hook. I didn't even get to feel the fish before the line snapped. I got home and peeled the braid off and re-spooled with monofillament. I have since matured a little and I have became slightly wiser. I once tried using circle hooks for catfishing and used them incorrectly and swore never to use them again. I quit using them, and it wasn't until recently a very dedicated friend convinced me to give them another try. Now everyone I fish with uses circle hooks when catfishing. Therefore, I decided to give braid a shot for bass fishing. This time around I decided to leave the spools a little over half full of mono and fill it the rest of the way with braid. This allowed me to spool two reels with the single spool of braid. I began using 20lb braid with my Abu Garcia cardinal 101 spinning reel (ultra light) and my Abu Garcia Silver Max baitcasting reel. After a few casts with the ultra light I realized that the braid made the reel too hard to reel and I didn't want to sacrifice reel smoothness for sensitivity. So I quickly removed the braid from that reel. On the other hand I really liked using braid on the bait casting reel. It had enough cranking power to handle the braid.
Abu Garcia Cardinal 104 and Silver Maxx
A week ago I tried braid on a larger spinning reel, Abu Garcia Cardinal 104. After a few casts I realized that it handled much better than its smaller cousin the cardinal 101. It was slightly harder to reel but not nearly as difficult as the smaller spinning reel. Rylan had mentioned that maybe the reason the ultralight reel had such a hard time reeling was that the line was too strong/thick. Maybe in a few months he, or I, will spool an ultralight with smaller/weaker braid and give the cold water crappie a shot with improved sensitivity.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Stealth Tactics for Pond Fishing

Took a trip to my pond yesterday evening. I hadn't been since before the storms in late June. I'd been told that some trees had fallen in the pond so I was excited to see the newly added structure. When I arrived I found many large trees fallen in the woods and one tree covering a significant portion of the shallow end. I've been wanting to add additional structure to the pond to increase growth and catch rates for a while and mother nature took care of it for me. Structure gives the largemouth bass a place to hide and ambush their prey more easily.
New fallen tree structure
On the last trip to the pond I did well using a floating Rapala crankbait and top water baits. This time I wanted to change it up and go for a more stealthy approach. My favorite bait to use for maximum stealth is a weightless Texas rigged worm. I chose to use a 6 inch Luck 'E' Strike worm in electric blue (purple with blue flakes) or as I call them, Kool Aid worms because they smell like Kool Aid.

When fishing in ponds for largemouth, stealth is key. Spooking that big bass can mean the difference between a good day and a bad day. Minimizing movements, avoiding casting shadows, and keeping your distance. These are a few of the basic guidelines of being stealthy but the one I want to focus on is keeping your distance. It may not be something that many think to do while fishing but keeping your distance from the water can increase your catch rates.

When fishing a weightless Texas rigged worm as mentioned before I like to stand preferably 10 to 15 feet from the edge of the water where permitting. Not all locations will allow this but maximize distance the best you can. To increase my stealth even more sometimes I even squat. I then flip my worm right on the waters edge where the water is approximately 2 to 4 feet deep. Let it sink, keeping your pole tip high enough to keep your line out of weeds. The majority of the time the bite will come on the initial drop. Once it hits bottom I slowly lift the bait a foot and let it drop again. I do this process til my bait hits the shore. Seeing your line is important, I don't use high visibility line because I have good eyes but It may be preference to use a high visibility line with a fluorocarbon leader. Watch your line closely the entire time, this is how I detect bites every time. When the line twitches or picks up, I typically give the fish 3 seconds to fully engulf the bait, By this time I can also tell if it is a bass or a bluegill picking at my worm.

I have caught many bass from my pond in very shallow water using this technique. At one point In time I would have stood on the waters edge and cast parallel up the bank scaring away the bass that I now catch right in front of where I would have stood. Yesterday I ended up catching 7 largemouth on one trip around the pond which is pretty good numbers for a hot summer day. Size was close to average with the biggest at 1lb 1oz and 13.5 inches, the average length at the pond this year is 10.2 inches for reference.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

7.5hp 2-Stroke Ted Williams Outboard, Sheared Pin

A month and a half ago Rylan, Amanda, and I took the boat out to Brush Creek and ran into a few issues on along the way. We put the boat in at the boat ramp near the Ohio River and drove upstream for an hour and a half looking for good looking catfish spots. We have since found a public ramp further upstream. While trying to navigate an extremely shallow riffle, the outboard motor hit a couple rocks and the prop quit spinning, the motor still ran but the prop wouldn't spin. So we trolled 2 hours back to the ramp in the rain later that night.

When I got home I took the motor apart and started to analyze every part. I took the prop off and noticed that the propeller was driven by a single pin.
Propeller, nut, and cotter pin.
Prop and Pin
Pin
That's when it hit me, when I bailed hay for my first time I "sheared pins" on the power take off. For a lack of better words, I guess what we did when trying to travel up the shallow riffle was comparable to shearing a pin. The pin is made to break when the prop encounters a hard surface such as a boulder, tree, etc. So I made a trip to Bass Pro to find a pin that would replace the one in the outboard. All I could find was a pin made for a trolling motor, Bass Pro's "Prowler" series. I picked up a kit for $12 which contained two pins. The trolling motor pins were softer than the original pins for the motor, so they broke/sheared much easier. Several trips later I needed more, so I ordered another kit. Eventually I got tired of buying kits and I began to look around the garage for rods similar in diameter. An hour later I found a few nails that looked like they would do the job, or at least get us home if needed. I grabbed a hacksaw and cut them to length.
Prowler kits with factory pin.
Factory Pin at top, Nails at Bottom.
The nails are slightly softer than the pins, so they tend to bend rather than break. Therefore, the prop will take the brunt of any accidents. I figure I can get a new prop for the price of a few dozen pins. Needless to say, I don't want to travel 2 hours in the rain because of a sheared pin. Now I carry a few extra in the boat box.
Spare pins, in the boat box

Sunday, July 8, 2012

14' Modified V Jon Boat, lessons learned

Since the last jon boat post I have made a few adjustments to the jon boat. We have also learned what has worked and what hasn't worked.

The most recent adjustment has been the addition of a second fish finder, (a spare fish finder from Rylan's previous boat) and a trolling motor to the bow of the boat. This will allow the person in the front of the boat to have as much control over the boat as the person in the back of the boat. The second trolling motor is really nice on days we fish without anchors, especially when the winds exceed 10 mph. The second fish finder will allow the person in the front of the boat to see fish/structure before we go over them. It will also allow us to more accurately read ledges, points, etc.

I also recently added a temporary flat floor to the front of the boat so the person in the front has a stable platform to stand on while bass fishing or casting. Rylan had mentioned that he got Charley horses while bass fishing, the flat floor has solved those issues.  The wood floor is temporary and has not been treated. It was left over from a few rental house projects, and I figure it will get us through the year. Maybe by the end of the year, I will know if I want to make a more permanent floor.
Middle floor for casting.
Front Floor for trolling motor and fish finder battery.
While it may look awkward on the water, it is very practical.
A practical set up.
What Hasn't Worked:

1.)
On a side note we found out that the do it yourself truck bed liner on the bottom of the boat does not work to keep out water, or stay on the boat for that matter. After a dozen trips the rubber had wore off of the nose of the boat and where the trailer rollers came in contact with the boat. The silicone on the rivets is also leaking again, so I recently placed some JB Water Weld putty on the rivets and for now it seems to have stopped the leaks.
Rubber peeling off.
2.)
Wooden mount for trolling motor.
The wooden box that I created for the bow mount trolling motor made it through a dozen or so trips, but one trip to Grant Lake in Mt. Orab, Ohio was more than the box could take. Grant Lake is very shallow, we observed a maximum depth of around 8 feet and an averaged depth of less than four feet. We took the boat into a shallow cove to get a snagged bait and ran ashore and shattered the wooden mount.

3.)
The aluminum handle that I mounted the bow trolling motor and fish finder finally gave out the other day. We were putting the boat into Adams Lake and we couldn't get the boat deep enough to get it off of the trailer so we pushed it off as much as we could, and then I pulled the trailer up. At this point the boat was still hanging on the last roller of the trailer, I gave the boat another push and the bow mounted trolling motor hit the trailer and shattered the mount.

The only solution was to add some angle iron to the rail of the boat and then mount the fish finder and trolling motor back. Its been banged around a few trips and it seems to be fine.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cranberry & Williams River WV Part 2

Continued from Part 1

Friday morning we woke up at sunrise and headed out for a day of fishing. This time we drove a bit downstream before starting to walk the river. The fishing started off much slower this time, we walked for about 30 minutes before finding the first decent stretch of deeper water. I started catching creek chubs left and right and also a couple smallmouth. I was using pieces of nightcrawler on a small Aberdeen hook, the same method as the previous evening. The smallmouth weren't particularly big, averaging 6 to 10 inches. Pictured below is about the size of the average smallmouth throughout the entire trip.
Smallmouth Bass
At the end of the first hole I spotted a trout, which I managed to sneak up on and successfully catch. It was a rainbow trout, similar to the size from the previous evening. We then continued downstream in search of the next hole. Soon we found some deeper water around 2 huge boulders. I could see some bigger smallmouth hanging out underneath one of the large boulders but the angle of the rock and the current made getting a bait close enough impossible. I did catch a few rock bass at this spot. They were pretty average in size ranging from 4 to 8 inches.
Rock Bass
We headed further downstream with similar results and no more trout. After a few hours we decided to head back to camp for some lunch. After eating we drove upstream. The water was even shallower upstream but I still managed to find a few more rock bass and smallmouth. Eventually we found ourselves at a big log jam. We climbed up onto the logs to see if any fish were hiding within. I spotted another rainbow trout in a hard to reach spot. I got myself within casting distance and put my nightcrawler in front of its face and it couldn't resist. With no bank to easily land the fish, I pulled it out of the water to grab it by hand. A split second after grabbing the trout it slipped from my grasp and went back in the water. At this point we decided to head back to camp once again.

Since it was so hot we wanted to go swimming. It was decided that we would go to the Williams River to swim because there was some cool rocks to slide on in the fast moving current. It ended up being quite the drive, about 18 miles on gravel roads takes a while. Williams River was somewhat similar to Cranberry except it had more of a solid rock bottom which the water had worn grooves in. These grooves made great natural slides. After swimming for a while I started fishing. I started tossing a Rebel teeny craw this time around and immediately had success with the rock bass and smallmouth. The rock bass were hitting like crazy in the areas with rapids. Later we were fishing a spot for about 10 minutes when I told Stephanie, "I'm going to cast to what I think might be a fish". What I thought was a fish shaped rock laid motionless for the entire time we were fishing this spot. As my teeny craw hit the water near it, to my amazement what I thought was a rock slowly turned. A couple cranks later and the fish drilled my teeny craw. It was a trout and it put up quite the fight in the current, pulling drag more than once. I pulled the fish out of the water and it wasn't a rainbow trout. I didn't know at the time but it was my first ever Brook Trout at almost 14 inches.
Brook Trout

Brook Trout
Soon thereafter we decided to head back to camp before it got too dark. This is where the trip turned south really quick. We drove off in my truck, Stephanie's parents were sitting on a cooler in the back. After a few miles we noticed that it was getting cloudy and a light breeze started blowing. Out of no where the wind starts blowing like crazy. I pulled over to let Stephanie's parents get inside the cab. During the transition the trees started falling all around us. I thought we were going to be crushed, or at least my new truck was. Her parents managed to get in the truck and we were still in one piece so I drove off, the wind still blowing. Branches and trees littered the small road, at some points there was so many green leafs that you couldn't see the road at all. A couple miles down the road we came to a stopped truck with a huge tree down in front of it. At this point it was pouring down rain and two more trucks were stopped behind us. After determining that nobody had a chainsaw and there was no way we could move the tree, a few of us decided to turn around and find another way around, which would probably be a very long way around.

We headed several miles back the road, avoiding downed trees and sometimes having to get dangerously close to the cliff that lined the road. We made it to a house that sold campfire wood and stopped and told them what had happened. They acted like they would handle the huge tree and we headed out in the direction we were going to find another way around. In hindsight this was a bad idea. Several more miles down we found ourselves stuck at another downed tree. This one was only about a foot in diameter. One of the trucks following us had some tow traps so we hooked them up to my truck and I attempted to drag the tree. After dragging it about 5ft it was really stuck. I started giving it slack and jerking on it. After a few quick jerks the tree shattered. We continued on, driving over a couple thigh sized trees until we finally made it to a two lane road. I had no idea where we were at or where we were going, I just wanted to get to some kind of civilization and cell phone service.

We continued on this road for what seemed like forever with occasional debris dodging but nothing as bad as the smaller road. Eventually we arrived at another huge tree across the road. Upon inspection, it was way worse than it looked. Behind the first visible tree laid what looked like an entire forest fallen on the road. The other guys started breaking limbs off the first tree one by one using the tow straps. Still raining just as hard, I started thinking we would be stranded in my truck until morning at least. I've never felt so helpless, it was a horrible feeling. We watched the other guys struggle with the first tree for about 30 minutes before it finally quit raining. Finally they threw in the towel. I didn't know what to do, it was 11pm at this point and the storm hit at 8:30pm. The other guys decided they would head for another town in the other direction. With nothing else to do, I followed.

When we got back to the road we originally came from I decided to head back this direction in hopes that it had been cleared. At the least we would be closest to our camp and if I had to walk 15 miles to get a chainsaw I would. After navigating the fallen trees once again we made it to where the big tree was and it had been cut. We passed several more cut trees and thankfully made it back to camp, which was still intact, around 12:30am. Exhausted and stressed I went to bed.

I slept in Saturday morning. After waking I went fishing once again. I went back downstream to where we saw some big fish Friday morning. Results were similar to the first two days. I caught one rainbow trout in some rapids, a few rock bass, and a couple smallmouth, one of which was the biggest of the trip at 12.5 inches. Saturday night we cooked trout on the fire and relaxed. By this point we had herd on the radio that a good majority of West Virginia's electricity was knocked out and many gas stations were out of gas. This didn't make getting home sound easy.

Sunday morning we packed up and headed out. We had herd they had gas in a town about an hour away so that's where we headed. We ended up waiting about 45 minutes in a line directed by police at a gas station. Once we had a full tank of gas I was finally confident we could make it home.

The trip definitely had its ups and downs. The extremely clear water made for some interesting observations because you could see most fishes' every reaction to your bait. Almost every fish would at least notice your bait, many would investigate, but only a few would actually eat it. Some fish would even tail the bait but never attempt to eat it. I imagine these same things happen in water where you can't see what is happening. My advice to any would be West Virginia trout fisherman would be the following. Search for deeper water and look for visible fish without spooking them. Also try drifting your bait through rapids ending in deeper water. Nightcrawler is my favorite bait option, weightless in water less than 5ft deep and a 1/32 jig in the deeper holes. Finally, always bring a chainsaw with you, you never know when a freak storm will pop out of no where.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cranberry & Williams River WV Part 1

Last Thursday I left for a vacation, camping on the Cranberry River in West Virginia. I was invited to go by my girlfriend, Stephanie, and her family. They go every year to camp and fish for trout and since there was fishing involved I thought it sounded like fun. We left Thursday morning around 11am. Once in West Virginia we stopped at a Walmart to pick up our fishing licenses and a stockpile of nightcrawlers. The license cost me $40 for 3 days of fishing, $3 a day (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), $16 for a trout fishing stamp, $13 for a Conservation/Law Enforcement Stamp required by everyone, and $2 for a National Forest Hunting/Trapping/Fishing fee. After driving deep into the mountains on gravel roads we found an unoccupied campsite; along this road there are campsites about every quarter mile. We unloaded and setup camp and by this time it was around 7pm. Eager to fish I grabbed my rods and headed down to the river. My initial reaction was that it didn't seem like much of a river, it was really shallow and a little smaller than Brush Creek. The water was crystal clear, unlike any water I've ever seen, judging depth was difficult because of this. The water might look like it was 1-2ft deep when it was actually 3-4ft. Throughout the river are constant rocks and boulders lining the shore and bottom.
Cranberry River
Cranberry River
In the picture above the water may look very shallow but its actually around 3ft deep and to the right of the boulder there was a 6ft hole. Furthermore the tree laying down to the right was around 1ft in diameter.

So Stephanie and I ventured upstream from camp to what looked like a decent hole on a bend in the river. Seeing how shallow the water was I quickly tied on a weightless aberdeen hook, and put a 2 inch piece of nightcrawler on the hook. I cast out in the middle and let it sink and seen many fish take interest. A fish grabbed my bait and I set the hook. It turned out to be my first trout of the trip on my first cast. It was a a 12-14 inch Rainbow Trout, a fish I have caught back home during early spring lake stockings. Excited to catch one on my first cast I baited my hook and threw it out again in the same spot. Fish swarmed in once again and I landed another rainbow trout of similar size. Two trout on my first two casts, this trip was starting really well. I broke my streak on the third cast but it wasn't much longer before I caught another rainbow trout of the same size. Meanwhile, Stephanie started catching creek chubs. Although I'm not exactly sure they were creek chubs, they looked similar to what we call creek chubs back home. Pictured below is one of the bigger ones she caught.
Creek Chub
A little later I spotted a bigger fish swimming around but I failed to get its attention with my bait and lost sight of it. I continued exploring the length of the hole not catching anymore. When I returned to my original location I saw the big fish once again, I cast out a couple times before finally getting the fish's interest. It grabbed my nightcrawler and I quickly set the hook, but it was too quick. The hook ripped out of the fishes mouth, but to my surprise the fish darted after and hit the nightcrawler again but failed to fully grab it this time. The fish then retreated back into hiding. I then told Stephanie that I just missed a big one and she could cast there if she wanted. About 10 minutes later, I hear her yell that she's got one. I run over and sure enough it's a big one, most likely the one I lost. This rainbow trout measured nearly 16 inches. Soon thereafter we headed back to camp because it was getting dark. We took a couple pictures and then cleaned the fish.
Rainbow Trout
After a successful first evening of fishing I had high hopes for the weekend. Little did I know what was in store for me. To be continued.... Part 2



Monday, July 2, 2012

July 1, Quick trip

Amanda and I got all of our chores taken care of by 5pm and decided to take the boat out for an evening of bass fishing. I checked the weather and there was 30% chance of a thunderstorm, so with the odds in my favor I hitched the boat and started on my way. We got the boat in and started fishing by 6pm. We hit the best spot on the lake first, the dam. The banks are steep and the vegetation stops at the edge of the water, most times the bass will actually sit in the vegetation on the bank and come out and hit the bait in the first few twitches or cranks. This time around the bass were not on the banks. We got around to the other side of the dam, and I switched from a crankbait to a plastic worm and started vertically jigging structure in 6-10 feet of water. As soon as the worm hit the bottom there was a fish on. Another cast and another fish later, Amanda started jigging structure as well. As Doug Stange of In-Fisherman would say, "One fish a pattern does not make", however two fish is a good start.

The second piece of structure we fished I pulled in a 1lb 8oz largemouth on the first cast, lost a slightly larger one on the second cast. Amanda on the other hand got snagged on her first cast, so we trolled into the structure so Amanda could try to unsnag herself. The trick we use to unsnag our bait is reeling the rod up to the jighead, under water, and pulling the opposite way you were reeling. After a minute of erratic jerking Amanda finally broke off. So with all the fish scared off I decided to troll to the next piece of structure. As she was retying I took the first cast, when I asked for the net she hadn't even got the jig tied on. Needless to say she wasn't happy.
17.25", 3lb 5oz Largemouth
3lb 5oz Largemouth
Released to fight another day.
A few casts later I heard a distant rumble, I looked to the northwest and noticed an ominous cloud on the horizon. I asked Amanda if she wanted to keep fishing, which on any other day she would have said no, but this time around she was persistent on fishing until the storm arrived. Twenty minutes and several small bass later, we could barely keep the boat in position with the trolling motors on high. So we had to call it a day.
The round of storms that ended our fishing.
All together we only got to fish 1.5 hours and I managed 6 largemouth (2 over a pound, 1 over three), 2 crappie, and 2 bluegill. Not too bad for an hour and a half, I had over 16 points per hour which is the best average for a single fishing trip ever recorded. If I had fished till dark, I probably would have ran into a few fishless areas which would have dropped my points per hour average. Then again, maybe I would have found a few more decent fish.