Fished the river in Hartford,planned to target big cats so I had some frozen herring with me.When I got there I was surprised how low the water level was and the river was unusually clear for the amount of heavy thunderstorms we've had lately.So rather than going to the area where I know the big cats hang out I changed the game plan and fished some areas I never fished before,mainly I was looking for smallmouth.My experience is when the Ct is muddy,the smallmouths are next to impossible to catch,when it's clear,lookout!So I find a likely spot,throw my ShadRap around and sure enough I get one.Nothing big,about 13 inches.After a few more casts I'm startled by a good sized schoolie that follows my bait into 5 inches of water!I throw out again,Bam I get one,18 inches.I throw out again Bang,anohther one and as I reel him in there is one right with him trying to get my lure from him.Say what you will about schoolies but when you get a gang of hungry ones it can be fast and furious.So I reel this one in and he wanted my ShadRap so bad that it is practically in his belly.As I'm working on him,I decide that it would be easier to back the bait out through his gills,otherwise I'd end up ripping his gills apart and killing him.I prefer to release them unharmed when I can so that's what I do.It works according to my plan and the lure drops out from behind his gill plate,that is until he starts flopping around uncontrollably.As soon as it happened,I knew it.A hook ripped through my middle finger and I had the rear treble imbedded in my index finger up to the bend.SON OF A B*****!"What do I do now?",I thought to myself.The fish was released unharmed but I'm not even 45 minutes into my fishing trip and the fish are biting,there is NO WAY I am calling it a day now.So I cut the hook with some pliers,pull out my first aid kit and try the best I can to get it out,it ain't happening,I tried everything,twisting it,pulling it,tried the trick with the fishing line to back it out,nothing is working.So I decide to cut the hook off as close as I can so I can bandage it up and keep fishing.A half hour has gone by now and by the time I get my finger squared away and start casting again,the schoolies had moved on.So I get in my kayak and to my surprise ,I can paddle just fine,the finger is not bothering me too much,casting was a little awkward,but that's it.The rest of the day went pretty uneventful,ended picking up another schoolie,another smallie and a couple of perch,all on the same crankbait that now only had 2 hooks on the rear treble.Decided to call it a day around 3.Pulled out the Exacto Knife at home trying to avoid a hospital visit,couldn't get it out so unfortunately the day ended at the emergency room.
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