Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Making Jigs

Last week I found some time to try out my new lead molding equipment I got for Christmas from Sean. In the weeks prior I spent some time watching the majority of the How-to Videos found on Do-It Molds website and also gathering all the extra tools and equipment that I needed. For someone who had no experience casting metals, the videos really helped me learn many tips and tricks of the trade. Also, before I attempted pouring molten lead I first tested the melting pot out with water.

Here's a list of the equipment I started with.

A Lee Pro 20 Series Melter.
A Do-It Mold for 1/32 through 5/8 roundhead jigs.
4 packs of Eagle Claw 570 jig hooks in sizes 4, 2, 1, and 2/0.
4 containers of Pro-Tec jig paint in black, white, chartreuse, and blue.
A pair of gloves.
A pair of safety glasses.
A flathead screwdriver.
A pair of pliers.
A pop can cut in half (catch can).
A spoon.
A paperclip.
A heat gun.
A hanging rack.
A shop rag.
A pack of gulf wax (flux).
Last but not least, a 26lb lead brick.

My first task was cutting the lead brick. I decided I would try using a hacksaw to cut the brick. I first laid out some newspapers to catch the lead shavings. After a good solid 5 minutes of sawing, I knew that cutting the brick with the hacksaw wasn't going to be as easy as I'd hoped.
Cutting the lead brick.
I texted Sean and told him what I was up to. He had mentioned that he would come over when I made my first attempt at casting. He arrived soon thereafter and I'd like to say we made quick work of sawing the brick but that wasn't the case. After about an hour of vigorous sawing and pounding we finally had the brick cut.
Lead piece
I did learn one thing, it was pretty easy to drive a screwdriver into the brick using a hammer since the lead was so soft. This gave me the idea of just pounding a larger blade of some sort through the brick on my second attempt, but more on that later.

As the directions stated, I placed a catch can, a cut in half pop can in my case, under the melting pots spout to catch any drips before I started melting the lead. I also had the flow control screw set for minimum flow to prevent any drips.
Catch can
I then placed the piece of lead in the pot, plugged the pot in, and turned it up to max heat. It wasn't long before the pot started smoking.
Initial smoking when pot was first turned on
After about 15 minutes the piece of lead finally started to melt.
Lead starting to melt
After the lead was fully melted I turned the the power knob on the Lee down to 6. From what I read/watched it was best to pour the lead at the lowest temperature possible. The melting point of lead is 621.5 degrees and the instructions said 650 degrees was a good starting point. Since the Lee's low temperature is 450 degrees and high temperature is 900 degrees, I predicted that the 5-6 power range would be 600-700 degrees.
Lead fully melted with impurities on top
Next I put on my gloves and safety glasses and started scooping out the impurities that had floated to the surface.  I removed the pop can and used it to dump the impurities in. After getting the bulk of the impurities I noticed that no matter how much I scooped, I layer of flaky golden material kept former on the surface so I just let it be. 

The next step was preparing the mold. First I placed hooks in the mold. You can place a variety of different hook sizes in each size jig mold. For this run I went with the smallest hook size that would fit in each mold without modification of the mold.
Hooks placed in mold
In the picture above, the hook in the 1/8 size mold is out of place. After ensuring all hooks were fitted properly I closed the mold, making sure the mold closed flush. Next I placed the closed mold on top of the melting pot to heat it up. From the Do-It Mold videos I learned that I should heat the mold first for best results. I assume this is so the lead doesn't harden before all of the lead is poured.
Warming up the mold
Next I adjusted the mold guide, which is a metal piece underneath the pot that the mold sits on, allowing you to guide it under the spout easily. With the mold warmed up and in place, I lifted the valve rod to see no flow, which was as expected. So I adjusted the flow control screw little by little waiting for flow to occur. Turning the flow control screw counter clockwise raises the screw, causing the valve rod to lift further allowing more flow.
Adjusting the flow control screw
This is where we ran into our first problem. While adjusting the screw we actually caused it to slip completely from its groove in the valve rod causing instant continuous flow. We quickly held the valve rod down with pliers to stop the flow and popped the screw back into place. This is where I learned that if lead spills out onto the metal base, it hardens quick and doesn't stick so It can easily be picked up with pliers and placed back into the pot. In my opinion this also makes the catch can unnecessary. After finally getting the flow right I was ready to make some jigs. Here's a picture Sean took while I was pouring my first set.
Pouring my first set
My first attempt turned out surprisingly well.
Sprues (excess) on top of the mold
Jigs
The jigs were cool to touch in seconds. After removing them from the mold I removed the sprue or excess from the top by holding the sprue with pliers and tearing the jig off. The tearing forms a cleaner break than cutting. After removing the sprue you can sand the break off point but I chose not to in my first session as they were already somewhat smooth. After removing all of the sprues I hung the jigs underneath a metal basket attached to a peg board. Having a place to hang your jigs is critical when you get to the painting phase. After each break I dropped the sprue back into the pot, this can get dangerous as drops sometimes shoot out if your not careful.
Jigs hanging from metal basket attached to peg board
I decided for my first batch I would make 20 jigs, 4 of each of the 5 jigs that I had fitting hooks for. A short while later I had the 20 jigs molded and it was time to try out the powder paint. This is where the heat gun comes in. The process of powder painting is simply heating the jig and giving it a quick dip in the powder and I thought the heat gun would be perfect for this. Some people use blow torches but the heat gun was the best option I had available.
Heat gun setup
I set the heat gun to 970 degrees, the second to the highest setting on the gun, to ensure the jigs were heated enough in a timely manner. Holding the jig with pliers, I held the jig over the gun for 5-10 seconds.
Heating a jig
After heating it was just a simple quick in and out dip in the powder and it was done. I found that it is very important to keep the powder stirred, you want the powder to be as fluffy as possible to make the dip easy. Also I found that if you are not heating the jig enough the paint will not dry glossy. If this happens you can reheat it and dip again if necessary. If you don't get a good covering you can also reheat and dip again, just be careful not to reheat too much or the paint will drip. I also got paint on some of the hook shanks but this was okay with me, I'd just avoid getting paint on the hook point so you don't lose the sharpness of the hook.
Dipping the jig
After painting it is important not to touch the jig against anything as the paint stays wet for a couple minutes.
Painted jigs
Next it was time to poke the paint out of the hook eyes. This was pretty easy just using another hook, the paint flaked off with ease. After poking the eyes out there was one final step, baking. I'd read that baking your jigs at 350 degrees for 20 minutes would make the paint more durable. So I hung the jigs on the bottom rack in our oven and baked them.
Jigs hanging in the oven
I was pleasantly surprised with the result. After baking the paint was even more glossy and smooth. I found that one of the hook eyes wasn't cleared good enough and paint recovered the eye. Upon trying to clear the eye I found that the paint was hard as rock and no longer flaky. Eventually I was able to clear the eye but was impressed with how strong the paint was, way better than the store bought jigs I've had that often have paint that flakes off easily. Here's a picture of the 20 completed jigs.
20 completed jigs
A few days later I decided I would make a much larger batch so I would have a good stock to try out. Once again I was tasked with cutting another piece of lead from my brick. I still had some lead left in the pot but I wanted to make sure I had enough for the large batch I intended to do. This time I got the idea of pounding an old putty knife through the brick. This way there would be no shavings to worry about and I'd hoped it would be easier and faster. After pounding for 15-20 minutes, I could already tell it was going to be faster, and it was definitely easier. Still not as fast as power tools would be but I was content.
Pounding a putty knife through the lead brick
Soon thereafter, I had the piece of lead separated and it was a nice clean cut.
Second cut of the lead brick
Before melting the new piece of lead with the previously melted lead I added a couple small pieces of the gulf wax to the mix for flux as the directions stated. I've read that the wax is supposed to help remove impurities but I didn't really notice any differences. This time around I also used a large coffee can to dump the impurities in as the pop can wasn't going to be big enough.

I'd came up with a game plan to make a variety of hook and jig size combination since I could fit different size hooks in each jig mold. Since my plan was fairy elaborate and included 96 jigs total I decided to lay all of the required hooks out in advance so I wouldn't mess up. 
Hooks laid out in advance
While pouring the jigs this time around I ran into some new issues. Even with the flow control screw adjusted to the point of nearly allowing a continuous drip the flow of the pour became to slow on multiple occasions. When the flow was to slow the lead started hardening in the mold before all of the lead was poured causing the jigs to have imperfections. The solution to this was using pliers to shove a paperclip up into the spout to remove impurities blocking the flow. Also I used the spoon to scoop any impurities away from the valve rod. The other issue was when opening the mold. Several times when opening the mold some of the jigs would have sharp edges and this wasn't because the mold wasn't closed tightly enough. My only explanation is that the still hot jigs were stuck in the mold so tightly that when I opened the mold it was warping them out of shape. The solution I found for this was opening the mold slower making sure all jigs released freely from one side of the mold.

A good while later I was finally finished with the molding phase.
96 jigs
This time around I decided to sand the break off points. It was a time consuming process to do by hand, possibly not worth it as you can barely tell after painting. Here's a picture of a jig after it was sanded.
Jig after sanding
Painting went pretty smoothly. I did need some extra hanging room to avoid jigs with wet paint touching each other.
68 painted jigs
28 painted jigs
Once again I cleared all the hook eyes of paint and baked the jigs. Everything turned out nicely except for one minor defect. For some reason the paint on the bigger chartreuse jigs wanted to drip so some of the chartreuse jigs ended up with some extruding paint on the top of the head.

Here's all 116 jigs from both days of production laid out into hook and jig size categories.
116 jigs
 Lastly I stored my new homemade jigs neatly in a new Plano box.
Jigs stored in Plano box
I can't wait to try them out. I'm very confident that the paint and hooks are far superior to your average store bought jigs.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wheeler Lake, AL 1/19, 1/20/2013

Friday morning I received a call while I was on lunch break from Kip Armstrong asking me if I wanted to go out and fish this weekend. I rarely turn down fishing opportunities so I told him I was in. A half hour later he called me and asked me if I wanted to fish with one of his friends in Alabama. He told me his friend was Aaron Wheatley, founder and administrator of Monsters on the Ohio annual catfish tournament. He told me that Aaron was planning on heading down to Wheeler Lake, Alabama for the weekend and that he had a few open seats. I had a few extra bucks in the bank account that I had been saving for a high end bass reel, so I had to weigh my options.......a high end bass reel or a trip to Alabama for trophy blue cats with 2 experienced and well known catfisherman. Needless to say, I'm sitting here at my computer writing a fishing report for the weekend of fishing, the bass reel will just have to wait a few more weeks.

Kip showed up at the house around 10pm Friday evening after driving four hours from his house. We then loaded my car up and began our four hour journey to Aaron's house. At this point we had never met Aaron in person, so we didn't know what to expect. Each of us were running on no sleep and had been up over 20 hours. We arrived an hour early and waited for 3 am to roll around. Soon enough Aaron came out and asked us if we had the truck loaded yet, and to be honest at first I didn't know how to take him. I was concerned that he may be uptight, but he soon laughed it off and introduced himself. He cracked a few more jokes and we began to load the truck.  At this point we were still 4 hours from Alabama, so Aaron drove the rest of the way down. We got on Wheeler Lake around 7am and took a water temperature of 49 degrees. We immediately headed to a spot that Aaron thought would be holding fish.
We quickly anchored up and tossed baits out. About an hour passed before one of the rods began to bounce, a few bounces later he had finally loaded the rod. Since I had the smallest personal best blue in the boat, they let me take the first fish. A minute or so later I had the 16 pound blue boat side. Aaron and Kip were unsatisfied with the size of the fish but I was just glad to start the day off with a quick fish. We sat around for another half hour without a bite, before we decided to pull anchor and move a few hundred feet away. A few short anchors later and we still hadn't found the fish so we decided to try moving to another side of the lake.

At this point in the day the wind had started blowing pretty hard, around 15mph. We didn't know it yet, but the wind was only going to get worse. We drove against the waves and found a secluded ledge that partially blocked the wind. We anchored for a short while and watched as the wind started to churn up 3 foot waves.  At this point we knew that we couldn't fish much in the wind so we began to talk about our other options. Aaron told us about another lake that was nearby (Wilson lake) that he had caught many decent blues out of before, and after a few minutes we decided to load the boat up and give it a shot. The boat ride back to the boat ramp was quite the experience.



We got to Wilson Lake and put the boat into the water around 2pm. We started the motor and noticed that the impeller was failing to pump water. After a few phone calls to the boats owner, Jodie Beavin, and a few conversations with the locals, we ended up getting the motor back in working order. We drove across the lake and found a few fish suspended off of bottom. The current on Wheeler wasn't near as strong as it was on Wilson so we couldn't anchor up. The rest of the day was spent drifting deep ledges, but we failed to bring another fish to the boat. We decided to call it quits at 4pm and head back to the cabin to regroup and plan our trip for tomorrow. When we got back to the cabin we unloaded the truck and crashed.

 Day Two.....Sunday Jan. 20, 2013

We woke up around 5am and decided to head back out to Wheeler. Aaron had been busy after Kip and I crashed the previous night. He made several phone calls to some close friends, experts in the field of catfishing, and had developed a sound game plan for the day. We got on the water around 7am and took off for the lower end of the lake. Our first few spot we tried drifting some submerged structure and deep ledges, but failed to find any fish. We eventually found one spot on the bank that yielded a few nibbles, but no fish were big enough to commit. At around 12pm we had failed to catch a fish, at this point we had 15 hours on the water with only 1 fish to show for it. Aaron's phone went off and he began talking catfish. After he got off the phone he told us that we were close to the fish, but we needed to move a few hundred yards. This time around he had gotten good info, and we quickly boated our second fish at 23lbs.

Kip's 23lb Blue Cat
At this point Aaron was determined to turn our trip around. He told us that we had to start putting time limits on each of our spots. Every 20 minutes or so without a bite, we'd move. It didn't take long before we started to develop a pattern. Aaron finally got his turn to catch a fish at 1:50pm. Here's a short video that highlights Aaron's battle and his comedic sense of humor.


This was the fish we needed to make our trip. We could have stayed home and potentially caught a few blues around 20 pounds, but a 50 pound fish on my stretch of river is rare. After the 53lber I got on a 23lber.

My 23lb Blue Cat
Kip also ended up catching another small blue before the cold and dark set in.

All in all we had a good trip. Got out, caught fish, met a heck of a guy and made a friend for life.  I learned a lot from Aaron and Kip, not only fishing knowledge but life lessons, and that's worth the trip for me. The fact that we did catch fish, and got to hang out with two great guys was just a bonus. I want to thank Kip and Aaron for the invite, Jodie for letting us borrow his boat, and everyone who called Aaron and tried to help us this weekend. We'll definitely be back down to fish with Aaron soon. 
Aaron and Kip talking catfish
 

Enjoying the Scenery

Every now and then we take a break from fishing and take a look at our surroundings. Sometimes fishing is so slow that watching a squirrel hunt nuts, a deer swim across a lake, a fox steal your bait, or a muskrat drag saplings to the waters edge to eat a midnight snack is much more entertaining than fishing. During these moments we sit back and enjoy our surroundings. I personally use these pictures as backgrounds for my phone and computer, almost as motivation to head out and hit the water whenever I can. Here are a few of my favorite pictures.
The first picture is of the marina at Rocky Fork Lake last winter, yes it did snow a little last winter. Its a popular spot for crappie fisherman all winter long. Its one of my favorite spots to fish when I don't feel like dragging the boat out in the cold.

The picture above is of the Ohio River in Aberdeen, Ohio. Its also one of our favorite cold weather spots. Fish congregate in the warm water discharge all year round, and is a popular spot for catfisherman who are looking for easy bait.

This picture is of Little Three Mile Creek near Aberdeen, Ohio. Its heavily shore fished, but for a good reason. During periods of high-water and or extremely cold temperature, fish congregate and feed heavily....which produces some of the best fishing of the year.

The above picture is of Ohio Brush Creek near State Route 41 South of Peebles, Ohio. This creek hosts numerous different species of fish, in fact I once caught 7 different species of gamefish in a few hours of fishing here. (Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass, Freshwater Drum, Channel Catfish, Sunfish, White Crappie, and Rockbass) However, its northern stretches have been noted as one of the best southern Ohio Smallmouth fisheries, and of course smallmouth are the primary focus of our fishing efforts there.

Here is another picture of Ohio Brush Creek, however this picture is of its lower stretch only a few miles from the mouth at the Ohio River. This spot we were more than certain held a good population of flathead catfish. It was a fairly deep bend absolutely loaded with structure, unfortunately they were not willing to bite for us.

Above is a picture Rylan took of the horizon from the bank of the Ohio River. This is one of Amanda's favorite pictures because of the pink clouds. This particular spot has produced several nice Blue Catfish for Amanda, so of course she would like it. Barge traffic can be heavy at times, but we have noticed a positive correlation between fish bites and barge traffic.

Here is a picture of Adams Lake located in West Union, Ohio. Here you can see a strong line of storms approaching, which unfortunately ended one of my best days of bass fishing prematurely. Adams Lake is fished very heavy during the early spring when trout are stocked, and then bank angling is limited to areas near the dam that aren't covered in vegetation. This year has turned Adams Lake into one of our favorite electric only lakes.

The final picture is of Brush Creek Island on the Ohio River with a scenic cloud pattern. The boat is positioned a half mile down stream of the island where we believe the two main channels converge. This fall it tended to hold large numbers of Trophy Freshwater Drum.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Moon, Pressure, and Wind Analysis

Last year I started keeping track of several additional items in my fishing log such as moon phase, barometric pressure, and wind direction. With the year over, It's time to analyze these factors and see if we can notice any trends of what factors produced the best and worst fishing. It's important to note that a combination of all factors on any given trip determines the results, IE the wind might be blowing in the right direction but you might just be at the wrong spot.  Although on average over a long period of time I do believe these factors will show trends. Also, to understand this post you most first understand our points system which is explained here.

I'll start out with moon phases. I tracked my points per hour (PPH) over 11 different phases of the moon categorized into 3 different categories. These are the phases I tracked.

Poor (post full)
Poor (pre new)
Poor (post new)
Poor (pre full)
Good (post full)
Good (pre new)
Good (post new)
Good (pre full)
Good (half)
Best (full)
Best (new)

I determine whether a moon phase is poor, good, or best by using In Fisherman's Best Fishing Times calender in the back of their magazines. You can also find the calender on their website here. On the calender, better days of fishing are shaded grey, the darker the grey the better the time. Here's a picture of how I divide the calender up into the categories poor, good, and best.
In Fisherman Best Fishing Times
Days not shaded at all I classify as poor. Days lightly shaded including the half moons and two days before and after the new and full moon I classify as good.  Days shaded the darkest surrounding the new and full moon I classify as best. They also include specific times for each day but I have yet to take this into consideration as tracking my trips down to the hour would be time consuming.

Here's a graph of my PPH compared to each of the mentioned moon phases.
Moon Phase vs PPH
As you can see, my PPH didn't correlate to the poor, good, and best classifications. My two best phases were the periods of good before and after the new moon. Surprisingly though, the new moon phase itself was my worst phase. With that said, I'm currently not sold on any relationship between moon phase and fishing quality.

On to barometric pressure. For each fishing trip I averaged the pressure for the period of time I was fishing. I used the website http://www.wunderground.com/ to do this, which has pressure history recorded at increments as small as 5 minutes at various local weather stations. Once I determined the averaged I divided my trips up into .10inHg categories. Here's a graph of my PPH compared to each .10inHg category.
Barometric Pressure vs PPH
Disregarding the 1 trip in the 30.5 - 30.6 pressure range, at first glance it looks like the lower the pressure, the better the fishing. Although if you isolate the graph to the four categories with a significant amount of trips, 29.8 - 30.2, this trend isn't as apparent. In fact, it looks like just the opposite. I've always herd that lower pressure produces better fishing. At this point my data cannot confirm this. I do hope with more data collected over the years a trend will become more obvious.

Lastly, lets take a look at wind direction. For each trip I used http://www.wunderground.com/ to classify the average wind direction during the trip into one of nine categories, Variable, NW, W, SW, S, SE, E, NE, and N. Here's a graph of my PPH compared to each of the mentioned categories.
Wind Direction vs PPH
The saying goes "Wind from the West, fish bite best. Wind from the South, blows the bait in their mouth. Wind from East, fish bite least. Wind from the North, don't go forth." The graph doesn't entirely back this saying up, but it definitely doesn't disprove it. You can see that West and Southwest wind was my best days of fishing which goes along with the saying. All other wind directions were very close in PPH, averaging slightly below my average PPH on the year. It is important to note that the direction of wind isn't the only factor. In my experience, higher winds, no matter what direction, is usually worse than low wind situations. Thus a low wind from the North could be better than a high wind from the West. 

In conclusion, of the three factors (moon phase, barometric pressure, and wind direction), It would seem the only one with a solid trend has been wind direction, at least for me. When I go out on a trip and I know the wind is blowing from the West, I always have the mindset that today is going to be a good day of fishing. I hope that with more data from more years of fishing I will be able to discover and confirm more trends. By no means should anyone limit their fishing by waiting for conditions to be perfect. Fishing in unideal conditions is often times better than not fishing at all. It is just interesting to understand what external factors can effect your fishing success.

Monday, January 7, 2013

1/5/2013, Ohio River

Amanda and I decided to take the boat out to the Ohio River once again. We got the boat in the water around 9:30am and fished until 3:30pm. Water temps ranged from 36 to 37 degrees fahrenheit. As always we went straight to the Dayton Power and Light warm water discharge to get our bait for the day. We anchored in a few spots on the Ohio River near the mouth of Little Three Mile Creek. After two hours of casting without a bite and finding nothing with the cast net, we immediately initiated plan B. Plan B is our plan if we fail to get bait for our catfish rods, which entails tossing artificial lures for Hybrid Striped Bass in Little Three Mile Creek.

I tied on two 1/16 ounce jigs with Bobby Garland swimbaits in silver and blue spaced 18" apart, and a 3/4 ounce bell sinker for added weight. I began casting toward the bank and letting the current pull my baits out into the middle of the creek. I immediately caught a hybrid striped bass at around 14", which gave us hope that we could salvage the day. Amanda began casting toward the middle of the creek and reeling slow and constant back toward the boat. A few casts later her drag began to sing, and a rather large silver fish leaped 3 to 4 feet out of the water. To our surprise Amanda had hooked a massive 2lb 6oz Skipjack Herring. Just for reference the Kentucky record Skipjack is 3.10lbs (only 11oz larger), and the Alabama state record Skipjack is only 3lb 2oz (12oz larger).

We were in need of bait, and skipjack make great cutbait so we tossed the skipjack into our bait bucket. A few casts later I had landed one an ounce shy of her previous fish, so I took the moment to bask in the glory and took a picture with two trophy Skipjack Herring. (Hers and Mine)
We decided to keep fishing and tossed the skipjack in the bucket to use later for bait and took a few more casts. I found another decent skipjack, this time the skipjack weighed 2lbs 3ounces. As to keep things honest, to show that I'm not taking pictures of the same fish over and over, I took a picture of all three trophy skipjack.

To keep things short, I caught a fourth skipjack within a 30 minute window. This skipjack went 1lb. 15oz. Here's a picture of the 4 skipjack. (2lbs 6oz, 2lbs 5oz, 2lbs 3oz, 1lb 15oz...in no particular order.)
We continued to catch skipjack all day long, and caught several over a pound with only one other skipjack coming close to two pounds at 1lb 14oz. We also caught several "normal" size skipjack, and since the air temperature was in the mid 30's we decided to keep the skipjack and freeze them for future use. Here's a humorous picture I took of a typical skipjack and a picture of one of the skipjack over 2lbs.
Skipjack were the highlight of the trip, but were in no way the only fish we caught. After we came down from our "skipjack fishing high", we eventually cut one of them up and tossed it out to see if any larger predatory fish were out with the skipjack. Sure enough Amanda found the largest fish of the day, with a 14lb 11oz blue catfish.
As always, I had to work for my fish. I eventually started throwing larger artificial baits in order to get away from the skipjack. We had filled a 5 gallon bucket with skipjack, which will last us well over 6 fishing trips.

I started with a 3/4 ounce Kastmaster chrome spoon. I did fairly well with it, catching over a dozen hybrid stripers on it, but none of which were large. I even managed a large skipjack on the spoon, the above mentioned 1lb 14oz skipjack. I eventually snagged the spoon on bottom, and broke off. I then switched to one of my favorite baits, a 1/2 ounce blue, black, and chrome Bill Lewis Rattletrap. On my second cast I landed a 17" 3lb 0oz Hybrid Striper.
Although it was my largest fish of the day, I was pretty disappointed because I thought I had a fish Ohio on my first outing of 2012. However the Hybrid Striper was 2" short of a Fish Ohio Trophy. We ended the day on this fish and decided to head back and get the skipjack packed up and put away. All in all we had a good first trip, and got plenty of bait for the next few weekends of fishing.