Fishing With Face

June 29th, 2013 at 9:37:21 PM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3339
DATE: 6/21-22/13 and 6/29/13
WEATHER: Sunny and hot on the 22nd. 29th was colder, just a bright spot in the middle of two storms.
TREND: 22nd was day 7 of a 14 day sunny streak. 29th followed 3 days of rainy, clouds and cooler temps.

6/21-22

I feel a terrible trend coming on two fronts.

Firstly, I'm having a hell of a time finding the fish. Last year was tough because it was day after day of sweltering temps and no rain to be found, but when I found them, ho boy. It was on. This year, it just rains and rains and rains. Just yesterday we hit the town and it was a hoodie type of day, just dark and wet and miserable. Hoodies in late June,... wtf.

Anyways, we gave it our best shot. I've been moving shallower and shallower, focusing hard on points and structure as opposed to just floating all over. I ditched the 18' to 20' and headed in to the 16' to 18', trying to recreate the conditions and temps of last year. After an hour of nothing, I headed in to the sub 15' and hooked up on the first of the day. I figured the shallows were gonna hurt the size of our catches, but I wasn't expecting it to be so drastic.



Ash hooked up with just a few more these two days, a fat perch and a nice smallie that took biggest for the day. Added to her first ever sheephead that was small enough to give her her first penalty of the year, she wound up with a +1. I eventually boated a few of my own, but there lies the second of the bad trends - I'm turning into the trashman. Every point I gain keeps getting taken by more and more garbage. I don't mind a monster sheephead, but I landed 2 of completely unremarkable size that erased my points for the lone perch and rockie I had caught. Ash has so far only boated one sheephead, whereas I'm getting the nickname of "The Shepard". Even Pop's girlfriend "baaaa!"s at me whenever she sees me. It's getting bad lol. Although 6 fish made it to the carpet by way of my pole, no points went on my tally due to garbage penalties.





The highlight of those days was confirmation of my cat like reflexes lol. After, oh, I dunno, my 7th or 8th beer, my pole in the holder became gummed up with weeds. I snatched it up, set the pole in my hand into the holder, and began reeling in line when I heard a splash. I just happened to see the last of my rod as it went over the side, and I lunged over to grab it. As we were humming along at 4 knots or so, it was already too far back for my first lunge to find purchase. Snap decision, I planted and dove off the end of the boat, keeping just enough of my body inside to keep from taking a swim, and lo! I came up with my rod. My jubilation was short lived, as I was awash in searing pain. I caught the rope anchor dead in the xyphoid process, which was overcome by the fire in my leg. The rod holder got me good, but it proved that A) I installed it good enough to resist a 200lb drunk man flopping on it, and B) I'm still as quick and agile as a puma cat =D Hell, it saved me $40. My leg will heal for free



6/29

Today was mostly a wreck. The races got canceled and we had no fallback plan, so despite the cold and the rain, we decided to give fishing a shot.

We found the lake mostly sunny and a lot less choppy than we had presumed. I decided to start off extra shallow and began right on the point at 7' to 10'. I immediately hooked the first; a tiny smallie probably not even 6" long.



A little further and I hooked a tank that started peeling line. I prayed my hardest for a rocketing jump of bronze, but it headed right for the bottom. Another #%$^*@ sheephead. I am the drum god.

As I was bent over dealing with my trash, a smallie flew out of the water just behind the boat. Wondering what the hell was going on, I spun to see Ash quietly beaming as she hooked her first of the day, locking up First and adding to her point total.



After her fish was gone, I whipped the boat around since the wind had died and tried to keep buzzing the point, but nothing else was coming. I decided to roll on down to the next point when Ash nabbed another, putting up a solid specimen for possible Biggest. I had to tease her for this one; she had a bit of trouble getting it unhooked. After much frustration, she tried to thrust it to me to handle, just as it flopped. It came out of her hands and it's dorsal spines slashed my back open. Even since, I been telling her not to get pissed and start throwing fish around "like last time" =) She doesn't think it's as funny as I do, but he who's bleeding gets to pick the jokes.



Things got quiet after that as we motored across the openness of the bay, but as we approached the next point I hooked one of my own. Again the rod that hooked up was in the holder, and again I switched it for the one I was holding, and again the goddamned thing went over board. Again I lunged for it and missed, and again I dove off the back, this time missing the rod holder but landing on my beer. I can handle physical trauma, but spilling Labatt's is not acceptable. In my despair of spilling the Canadian goodness, I missed my swipe and watched as my pole sailed down to the bottom. I had hoped my fish would catch in the line, and when I saw it wasn't, I gave it to Ash and tried casting her's to snag it. No dice; the pole was gone. And the fish that caused it all? Another Christing, cursed, bastard sheephead. Perhaps I will start a vegetable garden so I have a use for these things...

That did it for the fishing. Almost immediately, as if the weather changed with my mood, I got windy, dark and cold again. We toughed it out for a bit, but the bite had vanished. I decided to cut my losses and we headed for shore.

So, I've single handedly destroyed my points, lost a pole, line, and lure, lost some blood, and damn near lost my patience with the whole thing. Hey,... that's fishing =)


ID: Total: Couples: Fishing Team:
Me 5 (7) 5 (7) 0
Ash 7 (1) 5 (1) 2
Johnny L 2 N/A 2
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
July 3rd, 2013 at 1:51:28 PM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 132
Posts: 6672
Look at this Fish, Face

Hah ha. I saw your comment on the other thread and couldn't resist. Seriously, that's kind of an odd looking bugger in that photo.
Nobody learned anything from the global financial crisis.
July 3rd, 2013 at 2:15:53 PM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3339
Quote: rxwine
Seriously, that's kind of an odd looking bugger in that photo.


The fish, or the guy? Looks like George Costanza's older, fitter brother lol.

The fish doesn't look entirely odd, at least not compared to most of the dark depth fish out there. Keep in mind, those ghastly eyes almost certainly have burst out of the skull due to the change in pressure. I have no info on these types at all, but I bet if you get on the Google you'll find the eyes to be of normal shape and depth.

I'm more impressed the guy was fishing at 900'. Who the hell does that? =)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
July 6th, 2013 at 6:56:59 AM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3339
DATE: 7/04/13
WEATHER: Scattered thunderstorms, temps in the high 70s
TREND: Scattered thunderstorms throughout week, temps in the 70s to 80s

Even though the weather had been sketchy all day and all week, we decided to give it a shot as I had the whole day with nothing to do. We spent the early hours fly fishing for minnows at the local hole, and headed to the lake with about 20 of the buggers and hopes to take it deep and fish for perch.

We headed out into weather about as schizophrenic as it comes. It would be overcast and comfortable, 5 minutes later the sun poked through the haze and was plasma hot, like, sunburn in 10 minutes hot, and by the time we motored 300 meters further, the skies open up and it was pouring rain. We zigged and zagged around it, trying to come out from under the angry, purple blobs above, and were soon back in sunshine again. Everywhere you looked, there was different weather happening; it was a strange sight. But we finally made it to a place dubbed The Perch Bed, some 2 miles out and further than I've ever taken Capt Jax's Sparrow. The lake was calm, the temp was up; let's go fishing.

We bobbed in 60' of water for about 90 minutes with no luck. We had just about enough battery to last the rest of the night if we started trolling, so we decided to head straight in and troll one, big, 3 mile pass in uncharted waters. Sticking to what worked last time, we kept in 12' to 14'.

The entire way back, we killed it. The beer went down good and I was quite tore up, but nothing bad happened. It was fishing the way it's suppose to be. I'd hook up and begin reeling in when my other pole would hook up. I'd hand it to Ash to bring in, and then her pole would hook up. I had a pole in my hand, one under my arm, and she with a third, all with fish on them. It was an all day, non-stop haul of fish for almost the entire way back. We caught smallies, had a few perch, were even hauling in the rarer white bass, and only had about three sheephead to dull our point totals. And even though we got poured on a couple times, it never got windy and the temp never dropped, so we just kept on in the downpour, hauling fish, getting drunk, and having a grand ol' time.

By far, it was the best trip of the year. And it all happened because we didn't give up when the rain tried to send us back home. I love it when a plan comes together =)

Big perch of the day -


Big smallie of the day -


Big white bass of the day -


ID: Total: Couples: Fishing Team:
Me 11 (9) 11 (9) 0
Ash 15 (2) 13 (2) 2
Johnny L 2 N/A 2
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
July 29th, 2013 at 6:23:33 PM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3339
DATE: July 2013
WEATHER: Who cares
TREND: Doesn't matter

Ash went in for surgery on the tumor I mentioned some weeks back. I'm happy to say the procedure went off even better than hoped, and she remained in high spirits throughout.

Immediately after she was out and I went to visit her, I hit the lake. I just needed to clear my head and relax after what had been many months of worry and fear. Of course, with no one to share and no one to take pics, I caught a boat load. I stopped counting after my fourth beer, and didn't stop fishing until after my tenth. I just got wasted from 2p to 8p, when I finally called it a day due to fatigue. I was just catching too many, and I was too drunk, too relieved, and too satisfied to want to continue. I caught 30 if I caught 1, but was too out of it to keep track. We'll just pretend that day never happened, as far as the totals are concerned.

Ash spent almost three weeks in the hospital recovering. Both her hearing nerve and both balance nerves were taken, so she's deaf on her left side and is still a little wobbly on her feet. She's good enough for most things, but standing up quickly or balancing on a narrow step is still a little difficult. She's also got some left side facial paralysis, which they say will pass in 3-6 months, and will explain why some of the coming pics might look a little funny lol. She's taken it all in stride, and even laughed it off when she fell down the stairs her first day home >< And although it was a bust from a major swing in the weather, she was back on the boat just 4 days ago, trying to get back into the swing of things. Other than griping that she couldn't drink, she handled it just fine.

8/8/13, her, I and Jonny L will be taking part in an all day fishing tournament off the shores of Buffalo. There will surely be a report to follow. Wish us luck, and thanks to all for the well wishes!



ID: Total: Couples: Fishing Team:
Me 11 (9) 11 (9) 0
Ash 15 (2) 13 (2) 2
Johnny L 2 N/A 2
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
July 30th, 2013 at 3:20:49 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 93
Posts: 2331
Wishing for the best indeed!
Mustard:You like Kipling, Miss Scarlet? Sure, I'll eat anything [from movie]
August 9th, 2013 at 8:19:33 AM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3339
DATE: 8/08/13
CONDITIONS: Bi-polar
TREND: Week full of cool temps and rain.

Yesterday Ash, Jonny L and I took part in our first for-pay fishing tournament on the Buffalo side of Lake Erie. Man, what a trip.

The plan was to meet at my house at 5a to be there and launched by 6a. When I woke at 4:20a, it was blowing 12mph, gusting to 20mph, and raining as if it never would again. I’m talking gutters flooded, leaves being knocked from trees…it was a monsoon. But I wasn’t going to let my spirit break, so I got on up and started getting dressed.

Some 100 minutes later, I finally got the normally punctual Jonny L out of bed and to my house. The rain and the wind had let up, but it looked to be a moon before the sun would show again. The clouds hung low and angry and purple, like even a sideways glance would cause them to open again. It wasn’t looking good at all, but to hell with it. It was time to go fishing.

By the time we were out of town and pointed toward the water, the rain stopped, the sky lightened up, and we could see nothing but a wispy fuzz of clouds where the lake was. Perhaps, things were going to be OK. I hoped they would be, because my boat is quite small, completely open, we’d be out deep on tumultuous Erie, and there wasn’t a chance in hell I wasn’t going fishing. Fingers crossed, we motored toward the city.

We arrived to sun, no wind, and light clouds. The air had already taken on the thorough heat of August, and everything was looking up. Our port of departure was Dug’s Dive, a relatively large marina just before the Skyway on Buffalo’s schizophrenic waterfront. As a long time criticizer of said waterfront, I was somewhat struck dumb. The contrast of what I saw there was jarring. The access road was newly paved, divided by a clean median full of manicured landscaping. Bike paths paralleled the road, things were neat, clean, and orderly. I was a nice place to take your dog for a walk or soak up a sunset with a loved one. Smack in the middle of this urban oasis were the long abandoned grain elevators, giant 80’ tall monoliths of assembled concrete. Adjacent to them were the old coke furnaces, behind them the relatively new wind farm, and not far down the shore, the vast expanse of the abandoned Bethlehem Steel stockyards. Seeing all the different worlds mashed together… it was just “jarring”, there’s not another way to explain it. New with old, the sharp, clean windmills throwing shadows on the fire belching coke furnaces, the marinas and natural gardens trying to take over the industrial powerhouse-turned-rotting-corpse of the Buffalo waterfront. Even the water… Erie is a basin lake which means it drops off slowly, only reaching a max depth of 150ish. Here, and just off shore, the bottom had been scoured and gouged deep from the days of barges entering with resources, and just a few casts from shore, it was 30-50-80 feet deep. It was a weird scene.

Anyways… we headed out at about 7a, boat full of leeches and crayfish and entered the open lake to light waves and warm temps. Approximately 5 miles out dead from the windmills, an enormous buoy marks a large shoal where depths rise from 40’ or so up to 15’. This was prime structure where bass would cruise for food, have the warm water to heat themselves, and the depths to escape the midday sun. We set up on the deep side of it, rigged three poles each, and began our day.

Ash was completely ignorant of live bait rigs as we usually troll, but as per usual, needed be shown only once before she was setting all her gear up herself. And same went for the bait. Rigging craws and leeches isn’t exactly intuitive or pleasurable, but after some initial trepidation, she was pulling the buggers out by hand and slangin’ them on the hooks just as neat as could be (although she never quite got completely comfortable with the leeches sticking to her fingers lol). We each had a leech pole, craw pole, and a rig of some sort of plastic bait. After about an hour, I declared that at 8:30a we were moving to the top of the shoal.

8:30a came without so much as a bite, so we moved 20’ over to the top of the shoal. Within minutes, a bass jumped right in front of me not a foot from the boat. Shortly thereafter, Jonny L noticed his line had been pulled way to the back of the boat and set the hook into the first of the day. He reeled up his gear to a tangled mess and a bare hook. That bass had jumped because it was hooked, but on MY LINE. It then went and tangled in his, but since he pulled in the wadded mess, he declared First Fish. That set off an argument that, I’m pretty sure, is still going on as I type this =) In any case, the first one was in the boat and put our bar at 2lbs.

3 more quick bites were had and lost; they were killing the crayfish. A bit later, Ash hooked into a tank that peeled line. After a decent fight, she hauled in what was damn near the biggest bass we caught all year. She was shaking with excitement, and the scale read 3lbs 12oz, culling the 2lb’er caught earlier. The lunker went in the well, and we carried on with the day.



Ash and I went blow for blow for a bit after, hauling 2lb’er after 2 lb’er. It was one of those hectic times where you can’t even get a fish released and bait reapplied before the other pole lit up. It only lasted 15 minutes, but it was a furious quarter hour. I was already deep into cups by then, and was having a ball trying to bait, and unhook, and crack another cold one, and pull a hook out of my hand, and not fall overboard…and it wasn’t much past 10a yet lol. This whole time, Jonny L sat sullen in the bow, not having much action save for the gobies nibbling his craws all to hell.



Come noon, I was annihilated. And I was too involved in fishing (and too drunk) to feel what had already become the worst sunburn I had had in decades. With little time to go in the tourney and Ash’s tank still setting the bar as Big Fish, we decided to kill the rest of the time trolling and see if we could get that money winning 5lb’er (and get Jonny L on a fish, finally)

We trolled for a good 3 miles with Ash and Jonny L bring a few on board. All were in the 2lb range, and all went back overboard. With time running out, and with me nodding off on the rail, I was woken from the urging grunt of Jonny L and seen my pole bent over. I set into a tank of my own and immediately had line peeling off. I fought it for a bit and had to quickly kill the motor because I wasn’t making headway with it. After a minute, I was convinced it was another damned sheephead; it just pulled too hard. A few minutes later and I saw it, that flash of bronze. Get The Net!!

I landed a lunker at zero hour, another 3lb 12oz that was bigger in size than Ash’s. It went in the well with hers and we headed in for the official weigh in.



Ash’s came in at 3lb 9oz officially. We resuscitated it at the dock and released back into the lake. Mine ended up being just a tick over 4lbs and only 8oz shy of the money. It was the biggest smallie I’ve caught all year, and one of the biggest I’ve caught ever, just a prime specimen. We stuck around as the prize money was being awarded and were treated to a free barbeque. They even had consolation prizes; I won a 3 slot rod holder for the boat and Ash got a rod bag that holds up to 4 for transport, which was perfect because we needed one for our upcoming Wyoming trip. Jonny L got a tackle box, which I’m sure he has already filled by the time of this writing.

And that was that. I went and hid in the truck as I was roasted beyond tolerance, and by the time we rolled back home, the skies opened up again into a monsoon. Made it just in time =)

And No Sheephead!!


ID: Total: Couples: Fishing Team:
Me 16 (9) 11 (9) 5
Ash 19 (2) 13 (2) 6
Johnny L 4 N/A 4
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
August 9th, 2013 at 10:52:29 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 93
Posts: 2331
Sounds like a great time.

no pics?
Mustard:You like Kipling, Miss Scarlet? Sure, I'll eat anything [from movie]
August 9th, 2013 at 12:43:58 PM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3339
Quote: odiousgambit
Sounds like a great time.

no pics?


It was.

Just two, which I've not yet been able to pull and stick. It must be understood that tourney fishing is a different ballgame. As seen with my zero hour catch, "the money" could come at any time, so you best be ready. That means poles in water at all times, hand at the ready at all times, etc and so forth. There was no time spent admiring catches or the scenery, or sitting back and taking it all in. It was set hook, yank it in, judge the size, toss it back, and Get That Rod Back In The Water. As a result, the pics were few.

Hope you understand =)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
August 25th, 2013 at 9:46:18 AM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3339
DATE: 8/24/13
WEATHER: Blue skies and low wind. Temps in the upper 70s
TREND: Cold front moved through early in week, followed by 3 days of sun and warmth

With no fishing having been done since the tournament, this weekend was a must-have. The weather ended up being just perfect; hot enough for no shirt with little worry of sunburn, and waves reportedly under a foot. Captain Jax, Ash, and I spent Friday at the local hole handpicking our bait, instead of paying some $6 a dozen at the launch, and after 45 minutes or so, had a cooler full of craws fit for a good night out on the lake.



I called up Pops and his girlfriend figuring it'd be nice to have a big family outing. With quick and excited acceptance of said invitation, I got everything ready, got the boat packed, and hitched it up. Or "tried to". See, there are many ways to connect a hitch and ball. "By feel" is probably the least desirable of these, a fact I'm sure I'll forget in about, oh, 6-8 weeks ><

On the bright side, I found I can one-arm curl 400lbs, when the need arises =p

After I got my finger out from between the hitch and ball, we headed back out the the city to launch at Dug's Dive and motored for the shoal again. The water was as smooth outside the wall as it was inside, and we were able to blaze at full throttle across the lake. We arrived to several boats on the deep side of the shoal; I assume, by their tightly huddled circle, that they were after perch. I had the whole shoal to myself and eventually set up on a very steppy, broken part, where the wind would waggle us back and forth over severe holes and drops.

The instant my bait hit the bottom, I hooked into First of the day, a hard fighting smallie of about 2lbs. Before I had even gotten some bait back on my hook, Ash hooked into her first of the day, a bigger smallie pushing 3lbs and taking the lead for Biggest. (Notice the big smile, which has almost fully recovered =D)



Ash and I went fish for fish for a while, while Pops shunned the live bait for plastics and hadn't set upon one yet. Jax sat in the bow with grandma, casting his Lighting McQueen rod over and over, confident he was going to catch a "dolphin or a whale". Everything was going swimmingly, when I cracked my first beer, hooked another smallie, then heard a squeal of what I can only describe as excitement, fear, apprehension, and disgust all wrapped into one. With that, Ash committed the first infraction of the year... she hauled a goby into Catain Jax's Sparrow.



Gobies are one of the newer invasive species of Erie, entering the waters around 1998. Much like the zebra mussel, it was the next buzzword that was going to destroy every piece of water in the north. As it turns out, they ended up like much of the other doombringers; they brought change, but it was managed. Gobies don't have a swim bladder, and as a result, cannot suspend. They spend most of their lives darting and crawling on the floor. Like most everything that has been introduced, there are pluses and minuses, as well as ways to decrease their negative impact.

Gobies are quite voracious, and many of my craws came up as just a tail due to them simply chomping the body off. They are the biggest consumer of the zebra mussel, and aid in keeping their numbers somewhat in check. They're also an additional source of food for the larger fish we all pursue; everything from smallies to walleyes have been taken with evidence of a goby diet. The biggest worries are displacement of native baitfish, as they eat and take up resources from many of the "mid food chain" fishes, as well as their predation on the nests of the game fish. For this reason, spawning fish should be left alone. While many people pursue the spawn due to it being the time when fish are their largest, removing a fish from the nest leaves it wide open to be destroyed. Gobies now number in the tens of billions in Erie, and gamefish must keep a constant presence to ensure their eggs survive. Spawning bass? Let it pass.

They are kind of beautiful, though, no?

After Ash's goby, I ended up boating a few of my own, keeping my score down and preventing me from taking the overall lead. After I nabbed three in a row, Ash hauled in a tank of a smallie that almost surely was going to keep Biggest for the day. And as the day is over, I can confirm - she took that honor again.



After she landed the tank, the fishing just died. I tried relocating a few times, but with no luck and the sun setting, I decided to pack up and try out a trolling run to see if I could swing the luck and maybe get Pops on a fish finally. We trolled until the sun was down and I had to get the lights on, but other than me and Pops hooking and losing one each, the action was gone. We packed up, fire up the motor, and headed home. For about 10 seconds...

Just like the last time it happened, the motor coughed once and just died. I knew that tank wasn't empty, but figured an air bubble got caught in the line or some such thing. I just had this bastard rebuilt and it didn't even have 10 hours on it; I knew it was something stupid. I messed with the carb, I messed with the lines. I checked the fuses, everything checked out. I went to check the battery and the negative terminal was so hot it gave me an instant blister. I switched the battery out, still nothing. Not even a cough, the thing was just dead. Checked the electronics, checked the plugs and plug wires... we were dead in the water.

It's one thing to be out with capable friends and nearly unlimited beer under the light of the summer sun. It's another thing entirely to be out in the pitch dark with a 4yr old that is completely confident he can fix it himself. It was an interesting hour of bobbing in blackness, trying to keep my anger and frustration under control, as the wind blew harder and harder and pushed us further and further from home. With only the trolling motor for propulsion that wouldn't come close to pushing us 4-miles-into-the-wind home, I debated whether to call in the Sheriffs or just camp out under the stars.

Eventually, What must've been the last man out on Erie happened to motor right passed us, and after some frantic waving, he (seemingly reluctantly) agreed to tow us in. At idle speed, it was a 90 minute ride.

We drifted into the marina just a tick before midnight, and after refusing to take the $100 we offered for his compassion and assistance, he disappeared into the shadows just as quickly as he arrived. Under electric power, we were able to navigate the giant marina to the docks, loaded up, and headed home.

I don't know which is worse, a new motor blowing stranding me with my son on board, Ash boating the goby, or the fact that I just can't catch her in the point totals ;)


ID: Total: Couples: Fishing Team:
Me 18 (13) 13 (13) 5
Ash 21 (3) 15 (3) 6
Johnny L 4 N/A 4
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.