5 hours , not a nibble . ?

Eternaloptimist

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Hi to all .
Spent 5 hours at my local club lake today and didnt even get a bite . I was fishing with maggots on a short pole (top-kit and 2 sections) so about four metres out .
Weather was coolish but not cold . Water about 4 to 5 feet deep. Fairly light rig with size 18 hook. I stared at that damn float until I was cross eyed, willing it to move .
Just a twitch would have given a desperate man a glimmer of hope . Nothing zilch . ?
I know the weather is cooler now and club lakes are not like commercials but I did hope to get something, anything in 5 hours . Not even a bite !! . I bet many anglers on this forum couldn't do that if they tried . ? .
To make matters worse some other anglers at the other end did catch some fish . They didn't break any records but they did catch a few . One of the club regulars gave me some good advice on dotting the float down a bit (which I did) but still no luck .
Went to a commercial the other day and although I got a few, everyone else there seemed to be catching many more . Loving my return to fishing after many years away but I am pretty demoralised now .
Any help or advice would be welcomed. I'll try anything (even witchraft) ?
 

Peter Jacobs

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Was there any deeper water further out?

What were the criteria that decided you to fish that line?

Did you try any different baits? Bread or pellets or even worms?

If you are not catching then either the bait, the rig (an hence the presentation) or the location is wrong ,so ring the changes, experiment and try not to just sit it out in hope.

Good luck . . . .
 

Eternaloptimist

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Hi . There was a reed bed further out (plus it's only a margin pole 8.5 metres) . Not sure about the criteria question , not really sure what I should be looking for. I used maggots as I thought even a useless angler like me would do ok on them . I did have pellets but didnt use them . I thought I would be better targeting smaller fish like roach and was thinking pellets might be too big for them ? I suppose I could have moved to a different peg but it takes me that long to get set up I couldn't face it ?
 

john step

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Difficult to answer exactly but a few suggestions.
If other anglers stated you should dot it down then were they being polite until they know you better? On my local lake in the cooler weather looking for roach the match boys would accuse me of using shark tackle with an 18! Just a thought? With fine hooklength to match?
Light float and shotting (wind allowing).

The other thing is if you prefer maggots then buy pinkies which are much smaller.
I never go fishing without some small red worms which can elicit a bite when nothing else can. A small piece of worm can work wonders.
Was the water gin clear? Was the sun out? Roach will come on the feed the last hour before dark in winter.
Try a little mole hill soil to darken the water.
Fish deeper water.
Even in winter roach are not necessary on the bottom and a slowly falling bait stopped at various depths can produce.

I think most importantly is to research venues with a record of fishing in the cold. Some do. Many dont. Fish those that do for bites.
I know some very good anglers that go to places for bites in winter that you wouldnt consider in summer when there are crowds and holiday makers about on the venues.

The other thing to remember is that everyone blanks.
Dont get disillusioned.
Tight lines.
 

Eternaloptimist

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Difficult to answer exactly but a few suggestions.
If other anglers stated you should dot it down then were they being polite until they know you better? On my local lake in the cooler weather looking for roach the match boys would accuse me of using shark tackle with an 18! Just a thought? With fine hooklength to match?
Light float and shotting (wind allowing).

The other thing is if you prefer maggots then buy pinkies which are much smaller.
I never go fishing without some small red worms which can elicit a bite when nothing else can. A small piece of worm can work wonders.
Was the water gin clear? Was the sun out? Roach will come on the feed the last hour before dark in winter.
Try a little mole hill soil to darken the water.
Fish deeper water.
Even in winter roach are not necessary on the bottom and a slowly falling bait stopped at various depths can produce.

I think most importantly is to research venues with a record of fishing in the cold. Some do. Many dont. Fish those that do for bites.
I know some very good anglers that go to places for bites in winter that you wouldnt consider in summer when there are crowds and holiday makers about on the venues.

The other thing to remember is that everyone blanks.
Dont get disillusioned.
Tight lines.
Good advice, I will take it all on board. Thankyou.
 

john step

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Just to edit the above reply. In clear water the fish will not appreciate a pole waving over their heads. A longer line from top to float than normal.
I have noticed that if you can fish next to or with branches of trees overhead the fish wont notice your rod.

Try a waggler and get comfy with a brolly up and any wind to your back.
 

Eternaloptimist

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Just to edit the above reply. In clear water the fish will not appreciate a pole waving over their heads. A longer line from top to float than normal.
I have noticed that if you can fish next to or with branches of trees overhead the fish wont notice your rod.

Try a waggler and get comfy with a brolly up and any wind to your back.
Good point thanks
 

whitty

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Distance,helps as fish become more cautious at this time of year,an 18 hook with maggot is quite big again at this time(I was on a 22 on Tuesday),feeding,start by feeding very little,say 3 maggots a chuck,as fish respond you may find a more positive approach pays off,remember if you put too much feed in,you cannot take it out,you just kill it....
 

Eternaloptimist

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Distance,helps as fish become more cautious at this time of year,an 18 hook with maggot is quite big again at this time(I was on a 22 on Tuesday),feeding,start by feeding very little,say 3 maggots a chuck,as fish respond you may find a more positive approach pays off,remember if you put too much feed in,you cannot take it out,you just kill it....
Thanks for tips . When you say kill it , do you mean that too much food can sends them away ?
 

Ray Roberts

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Fish aren’t evenly spread through the lake, they often shoal up or feed in different areas. It could be that you inadvertently picked a poor peg to fish from.

If they have competitions on your water, then on most waters there are favoured pegs that anglers would be pleased to draw, conversely there are pegs that are usually no hopers. You may have chosen the later. If you are just fishing for fun then (covid restrictions permitting) move peg. If you are a beginner you won’t learn by not catching fish.

Also, if what you are doing isn’t working then change things up. Try a lighter hook length and/or a smaller hook. If they aren’t having the maggots then try liquidised bread and punch. You have to spend a bit of time preparing it but it can get them going when other baits don’t. Try feeding several lines with different baits. For example; feed a close in swim with chopped worm and small worm on the hook. At the same time as feeding liquidised bread further out. Try different depths with the bread, or on the drop. And after all that, take consolation that decent match anglers don’t always catch. When you look at the HDYGO thread there is a natural tendency to write up the better days, but if you look at Simon’s posts (Peter Crabtree) he is a decent match angler and he doesn’t always catch.


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Keith M

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great advice above.

I’ve also found that in most of the waters that I fish during prolonged cold spells the fish often start to congregate in much tighter shoals, and not every swim may have feeding fish in them. So it pays me to be able to move swims until I can find a shoal of feeding fish. However in a match this isn’t really possible unless it’s a roving match.

However being able to search for your fish instead of being limited to just one swim is often the key to avoiding a blank.

Keith
 

rubio

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Most fishing is a pursuit of hope over expectation. Soak up those tough days and focus on the good ones.
I find rivers far more reliable in winter. Especially if you're prepared to search a little. Best bait for getting any bite at all must be flouro pinkie, tho I'm confident with bread.
 

Tree123

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Pretty much of the lakes near me that have that sort depth have gone very quiet too. Cooler weather is clearly starting to kick in now
 

Eternaloptimist

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Pretty much of the lakes near me that have that sort depth have gone very quiet too. Cooler weather is clearly starting to kick in now
Is it still possible to get a good days fishing on commercials in winter ? . Im really keen to get out again but dont want a 5 hour blank . I have a decent commercial near me , its £8.00 per day but I'll pay that to catch fish if I have to .
 

Tree123

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I'm sure a better angler then me would still get a few fish out but would depend on the depth to.. but I think odds are not in your favour.
But personally I normally always only go to the rivers from now to season end.
 
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