Theres nothing more frustrating than spending a bunch of cash on fishing gear, driving a long way, getting to a certain spot on the lake, and then not catching anything. However, this is something that happens to many anglers, especially inexperienced novices. So, why cant I catch any fish?
Yes, there are more than 10 possibilities as to why you arent catching anything, but the below reasons are generally the most prominent causes of this issue. However, during the middle of the day, especially if it is very sunny out, fish go to deeper waters to hide from predators.
For instance, on a super sunny and calm day, fish will stick to the deeper waters because there is too much sunlight which exposes them to predators. All of that runoff from the rain will wash things that fish eat into the water. If its too windy, not only does it become hard to cast and retrieve, but fish will also retreat to deeper waters if the surface winds are too high.
For instance, during the winter months, the most active fish are going to be ones like walleye, crappie, bluegill, trout, perch, and northern pike. On the other hand, during the warmer summer months, fish such as carp, catfish, and bass are going to be more active. The time of year in relation to the species of fish is going to make a big difference here.
Simply put, the fish there might not recognize the lure/bait as being a normal part of the environment, and therefore will not see it as food or try to eat it. Its just like if you are using a frog lure, you wouldnt drag it along at tip speed well under the surface of the water. Related : A fishermans guide on making a worm farm, read it here .
Something else which may be to blame for you lack of caught fish is that you are using the wrong size of hook. If you have a very flexible and high powered rod, combined with fishing line that is not overly sensitive, that nibbling, impact, or tugging on the lure, that energy is not going to be transferred to your hands. You need the right kind of rod in terms of action and power, and this is in relation to the type of fish you are aiming to catch.
However, if you ignore what we talked about above, a fish finder is not going to make a single difference. For instance, light rain may bring fish to the shore to feed on insects and detritus being washed into the water. Always pay attention to the time of year in relation to the specific species of fish you are aiming for and what location they may be in.
Fish arent too smart and if they are not biting, there is usually a reasonable and fairly simple explanation for it.
Is it normal to not catch fish?
There are some occasions in tournaments when no one catches fish, but that is usually under extreme weather conditions. Frequently, at the end of the day, when there are many participants in an event, someone has caught a fish or two, or many.
Why are fish not biting?
“When the fish ‘won’t bite,’ you’re often just in the wrong location or fishing too fast or slow,” Lindner explains. “But what happens is you tie on a bunch of different baits, throw ’em six or seven times and then cut ’em off and try something else — ‘Well, they won’t bite that one! … “It’s the bait they’re not biting!
What to do when you cant fish?
Tie Flies. ….Make slide shows. ….Hone your skills. ….Tidy up! ….Watch videos. ….Fix it! ….Waterproof it. ….Make a fishing kit for your car.
What to do when fish are not biting?
Chum. ….Downsize your leader line. ….Downsize your hooks. ….Check to be sure you are fishing an area where there is structure. ….Vary your retrieve. ….Switch depths. ….Try the one lure in your tackle box that you’ve never used.
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If things arent working out after thirty minutes or so, then it might be time to move on to another location. There isnt much point in sticking around if the fish arent biting after such a length of time.
If youre looking to catch a specific type of fish, then you can find information online about the depths that they prefer. Some experienced anglers will even mix up the bait on different days just to try to keep the fish interested. Trying something new might help you to turn things around, and its well worth a shot assuming that you have different bait options.
Youll have options to choose from, and changing out a lure for one with a different color will be possible. You could be retrieving the line too fast, and this is making it so that the fish dont have enough time to go for the bait. Conversely, you could be going way too slow, and this means that the bait isnt getting the attention of the fish.
Consider your cadence and the way youre moving your rod so that you can make alterations to try to attract the fish and get them to bite. As usual, a little prior research can go a long way toward making your fishing trip a success. You see, freshwater fish are all cold-blooded, and this means that the temperature of the water will heavily impact how active they will be.
If you get a cooler or hotter day, then your chances might improve drastically compared to what youre experiencing now. It isnt completely impossible to catch fish during a cold front, but itll be tougher. You might be tempted to listen to your favorite music on a Bluetooth speaker, but that might not be a good idea.
If youve been speaking loudly or making other types of noise, then that could be the cause of your issues. Finding a new fishing spot might not be a terrible idea if you feel that the lake or river youre going to isnt good. If you know about the types of fish that you can find in specific bodies of water, then youll be able to bring appropriate lures and bait.
There is a fine line between success and failure in fishing. There are just too many factors out there that can cause you to lose a fish, miss the bite, or otherwise come up empty handed. Make a cast one foot to the right of a stump and you might not get bit, turn your head a second too early and you might miss the telltale boil of a bass chasing bait.
You cant tie on your lucky spinnerplug if you cant find it, and youll never get that fish unhooked if your pliers are buried at the bottom of your tackle bag. Once youre on the water, a critical mistake many anglers make is avoiding cover like laydowns, grass beds, and docks because they dont want to snag up or lose baits.
Well, the best spot in the spring may be barren come fall, so youll have the more success by fishing the current conditions, and tailoring your approach toward what the bass are doing now, rather than last week or last month.
1. Wrong Place, Wrong Time
Timing and placement is everything when you are trying to catch fish. For instance, during the wee hours of the morning and the later hours of the day, so at dusk and dawn, fish tend to stick to shallower waters where there is plenty of cover.They come to the shallower waters to eat during these times. However, during the middle of the day, especially if it is very sunny out, fish go to deeper waters to hide from predators.So, if you’re in a lake or river, and you’re trying to fish the deep parts in the morning or night, or you’re fishing the shallows in the middle of the day, this would explain the lack of catching fish.
2. The Wrong Weather
Another factor that is going to affect how many fish you catch is the weather. For instance, on a super sunny and calm day, fish will stick to the deeper waters because there is too much sunlight which exposes them to predators.Now, fishing during the middle of a rainstorm is never ideal as fish will go for cover, but during light rain or after a rainstorm is ideal. All of that runoff from the rain will wash things that fish eat into the water. Wind is also not your friend.If it’s too windy, not only does it become hard to cast and retrieve, but fish will also retreat to deeper waters if the surface winds are too high. Weather could very well be the reason why you’re not catching any fish.
3. Wrong Fish, Wrong Time of Year
The time of year during which you fish may also affect how many fish you catch, particularly when it comes to certain species of fish. For instance, during the winter months, the most active fish are going to be ones like walleye, crappie, bluegill, trout, perch, and northern pike.On the other hand, during the warmer summer months, fish such as carp, catfish, and bass are going to be more active.The time of year in relation to the species of fish is going to make a big difference here.
4. The Wrong Lures & Baits
Yes, when you go fishing, you need to have the right baits and lures for the fish in question. This also has to do with the fishing technique itself. If you are trying to use a lure or bait that is not usually found in the habitat which you are fishing, it could explain why fish are not biting.Simply put, the fish there might not recognize the lure/bait as being a normal part of the environment, and therefore will not see it as food or try to eat it. In fact, if you use the wrong lure, the fish may even be fearful of it.You need to do research in terms of the fish you are going for and what lures/baits are most likely to peak their interests. Moreover, also do some research in terms of lures and weather conditions.For instance, a very dull lure on a cloudy day is going to be hard to see, and yes, fish do need to see the lure. Catching fish is all about using the right lure for the right fish and the right weather conditions.
5. The Wrong Fishing Technique
Related to the above point, the way in which you fish is going to make a difference as well. If you are using the wrong fishing technique, it could explain why you are not catching any fish.For instance, if you are fishing with a hook and a worm, whether a real worm or fake, with these you should be using a jigging fishing technique, which means allowing the worm to more or less bob up and down in a single place.This is what a worm would naturally look like in the water in the wild. However, if you are retrieving that worm at a quick pace, it’s not going to look natural.It’s just like if you are using a frog lure, you wouldn’t drag it along at tip speed well under the surface of the water. Certain lures and baits, as well as certain types of fish, require certain fishing techniques. The wrong technique is often to blame for a lack of catching fish.
6. The Wrong Hook
Something else which may be to blame for you lack of caught fish is that you are using the wrong size of hook. Yes, the size of hook is important.In layman’s terms, if your hook is way too large for the fish in question, it might be able to see the hook and then avoid it, or the hook may just be too large for it to grab hold of.On the other hand, if the hook is way too small for the specific fish in question, it won’t be large or strong enough to hook that fish. The fish may break or bend the hook, or it might just be too weighty for the fish in question.The size of hook is going to make a difference, so do some research on this front.Related: Ideal size and types of hooks to use for Perch.
7. A Lack of Sensitivity
A big part of being able to catch a fish is to first be able to feel that nibble. When you feel a fish nibble on the bait or lure, you jerk the rod to sink the hook into the fish’s mouth.However, if you cannot feel the nibble, then you’ll never know that fish are interested in your bait. This has to do with sensitivity.If you have a very flexible and high powered rod, combined with fishing line that is not overly sensitive, that nibbling, impact, or tugging on the lure, that energy is not going to be transferred to your hands.
8. The Wrong Rod Power & Action
The type of fishing rod you use is going to be a difference maker too, especially in terms of rod action and power. For one, certain fishing techniques require certain rod action levels. Use the wrong action level for a fishing technique, and it may not work.Moreover, when it comes to rod action and power, if the fishing rod is way too light for a big fish, you’re never going to be able to reel it in and fight it.On the other hand, if you have a super heavyweight rod and you’re trying to catch small fish, it’s never going to be responsive and gentle enough to deal with smaller fish.You need the right kind of rod in terms of action and power, and this is in relation to the type of fish you are aiming to catch.
9. Your Boat
Ok, so this is one which for some reason many people do not consider. Are you fishing in calm conditions, but have a huge and noisy boat?Yes, fish are very sensitive to both noise and vibrations, so if you have a super loud boat with a powerful engine, it might be scaring the fish away.Moreover, if you have a large boat, and it is very sunny outside, that huge shadow which the boat is going to cast may very well scare all of the fish in the vicinity away.
10. Too Much Repetition
One of the worst things that you can do as an angler is to constantly do the same thing in the same place. If fish have been biting in once spot, but have since stopped, maybe the fish got wise to what you are doing. Staying in the same spot for too long is never ideal.The same can be said for the baits and lures you are using, especially if a fish gets away. Fish will grow weary of certain baits and lures, especially if they are very recognizable.If one bait or lure does not work, there is no reason to keep using it. Try to keep switching things up for the best results.
3 – Lure and Bait Issues
Lure and bait issues could also be to blame for your fishing woes. Some fish simply aren’t going to be interested in certain types of baits or lures.This is why it’s good to have an idea of what types of fish are supposed to be in the body of water where you’re going. You can use this information to ensure that you’re bringing lures and fishing bait that will work for you.Try changing up your bait to see if it makes a difference at all. Maybe using something better will attract some fish and your luck will turn around pretty fast.Some experienced anglers will even mix up the bait on different days just to try to keep the fish interested. You might have had a bait work out well the last time you fished at this location, but it might not be working well now for whatever reason.Trying something new might help you to turn things around, and it’s well worth a shot assuming that you have different bait options. It’s always good to bring more lures along for a fishing trip so that you can mix things up, too.
4 – Lure Size
Lure size can play a big role in your success as well, and sometimes using a lure that is too big will be unwise. You see, different-sized lures are going to be more likely to attract different fish.Some big fish might be interested in some of theIf you’ve been having rotten luck so far, then it would benefit you to try mixing things up. Consider changing up the size of the lure that you’re using and see if the results get better.It’s true that big lures can do a good job of attracting big fish, but there are times when small lures will work better for you. Try different combinations and see if it improves your odds at all.
5 – Changing the Color
This might seem odd at first, but changing the color of the lure that you’re using might help out. Sometimes you will notice that fish will bite at certain lure colors but not others.If you see that one of your friends is having some luck using a lure of a specific color, then it might be worth changing your lure out to a color that matches what they’re using. It might be that the fish in the area are more likely to go for that color.This is why so many anglers keep many different lures in their tackle boxes. You’ll have options to choose from, and changing out a lure for one with a different color will be possible.
6 – Your Technique Is Wrong
Your technique could be wrong, and this could be making you come up empty all the time. Some fish are going to be more likely to bite if you’re using a certain retrieval speed.You could be retrieving the line too fast, and this is making it so that the fish don’t have enough time to go for the bait. Conversely, you could be going way too slow, and this means that the bait isn’t getting the attention of the fish.Mixing up the way that you’re doing things could make the fish start biting. Consider your cadence and the way you’re moving your rod so that you can make alterations to try to attract the fish and get them to bite.
8 – Water Temperature Changes
Water temperature changes can have a huge impact on whether the fish are biting or not. You see,If you’re having a tough time getting fish to bite, then it could be that things are too hot or too cold for the fish in the area. Something about the water temperature could be making it nearly impossible to catch fish.You might simply need to come back to a specific body of water when the water temperature changes. If you get a cooler or hotter day, then your chances might improve drastically compared to what you’re experiencing now.If a cold front moved in recently, then that could be making the fish far less active. It isn’t completely impossible to catch fish during a cold front, but it’ll be tougher.When you suspect that a cold front is the issue, it’s going to be best to try to fish deeper than usual. Use smaller lures and try to slow down how you’re presenting the lure to the fish.If all goes well, then you might be able to get at least a few bites. Otherwise, you could wait until the weather is better suited to catching fish so that you won’t have to struggle.
9 – Making Too Much Noise
It’s believed that making too much noise will scare away the fish and make it impossible to get them to bite. You might be tempted to listen to your favorite music on a Bluetooth speaker, but that might not be a good idea.It might even be best for you to keep chatter with your fishing buddies to a minimum so that you can focus on catching some fish. In many ways, fishing is similar to hunting since you need to be quiet and try not to make your presence known.If you’ve been speaking loudly or making other types of noise, then that could be the cause of your issues. Being quieter might help you to get some fish if you’re able to get everyone to quiet down.This is why some people prefer to go fishing alone since they want to just be zen-like and focus on the water. Try to talk to your group about the need to be quiet and see if it helps to improve the situation.
10 – The Season
You should keep in mind that the time of the year plays a role in your success, too. You might have assumed that going fishing was fine, but it might actually not be a good season for it.In some places, the fish might become inactive during certain parts of the year. You might have just decided to wait too long, and it got too cold for you to be able to get reliable results when fishing.Sadly, if the season of the year is to blame for the lack of fish, then you’re just going to have to wait. Try coming back months later when the season is different and the fish are actually biting again.
Find a New Fishing Spot
Finding a new fishing spot might not be a terrible idea if you feel that the lake or river you’re going to isn’t good. Sometimes you might have a much better time fishing at a new spot than you will when fishing at one that hasn’t been giving you good luck.It’s also fun to go out and discover new fishing spots that you’ve never experienced before. You don’t have to keep fishing in the same lake all the time so long as there are options in your area.Consider venturing out a bit further and finding fishing spots that will give you a chance of catching interesting fish. You just might have a more enjoyable fishing trip that way.
1. Being unprepared
By far the most common angling mistake, unpreparedness can range from the minor – having only one bag of the hot colored worm, to the serious – forgetting to charge your trolling motor batteries. There’s nothing more frustrating than not having something you need once you get out on the water. Fortunately, unpreparedness is also super easy to fix. Develop a mental checklist of everything you’ll need each trip, and don’t leave the house until you’ve checked each item off.
2. Not developing a game plan
It’s been said that 90% of the fish in a waterbody occupy only 10% of the water. For that reason, having a game plan is critical to success as an angler. Don’t just go out there and start casting – think about what you’re trying to catch, where on the lake you may have success, and what types of techniques you may need to be successful. Think of this pre-game planning as an ‘outline’ for how you will approach the day. Don’t forget to be versatile though, as things on the water are constantly changing.
3. Being disorganized
You can’t tie on your lucky spinnerplug if you can’t find it, and you’ll never get that fish unhooked if your pliers are buried at the bottom of your tackle bag. Efficiency is key in fishing, and disorganization is the enemy of efficiency. Knowing what you have, and having everything in easily accessible locations will increase the number of casts you make in a days’ time – and increase the number of fish you catch.
4. Avoiding cover
Once you’re on the water, a critical mistake many anglers make is avoiding cover like laydowns, grass beds, and docks because they don’t want to snag up or lose baits. This is a big mistake, because cover is where most fish species hide. If you’re not fishing around cover, you’re likely not fishing around fish. There are many presentations and techniques out there designed to help anglers fish around cover without snagging up. Plus, it’s just part of the game – if you’re afraid to lose a lure you probably shouldn’t be using it.
5. Not thinking seasonally
Far too many anglers fish entirely off of memories. It’s easy to do too, as you are naturally compelled to visit the spots you’ve had the most success in the past. Well, the best spot in the spring may be barren come fall, so you’ll have the more success by fishing the current conditions, and tailoring your approach toward what the bass are doing now, rather than last week or last month.
6. Fishing too fast
If you watch some of the best in the business, one thing you’ll routinely see them do is lob cast after cast to the same likely looking piece of cover – especially when fishing with reaction baits. The reason they do this, is that in order to strike, a bass must see the bait first. If you only make one cast to a stump and move on, what happens if the fish is on the other side of the stump? Slow down and thoroughly saturate any pieces of cover you come to, ensuring that any bass in the area have seen your presentation.