Monday, 14 November 2011

Sometimes, Fish Don't Bite

Now, when I say that 'sometimes, fish don't bite', I don't mean that you're fishing in the wrong place or that you've no fish out front or you're no good at what you're doing or perhaps the baits you're fishing aren't what they want or the way you're presenting it is askew or any of the million and one other excuses that can be made up to justify all the wasted time and money spent on trying to get bites in the first place...

I mean, that sometimes, fish don't bite. At all.

Often, there really seems to be no logical reason why they aren't biting - the day seems as good as any other, the weather is the approximate of what it was this time last year, when they did bite, and hard, but they don't today.

Perhaps something's bothering them? Maybe it's the constant stream of boats passing by on this Saturday morning on the Severn just above Worcester what's doing it in? Then again, perhaps that's got nothing whatsoever to do with it, remembering back to that day, not so very different than this one, when, despite all the boats, you caught all day long and right from under them and as they were doing their very worst...

We tossed various theories about between us, Martin and me, to attempt to try to understand why between us both we'd had no real bites in three or four hours fishing a stretch of river with fish in it and plenty of them to all the baits we'd tried, like meat and worms for the barbel chub and ells, and fish for the pike and zander. We came to the conclusion that it was either that sometimes, fish don't bite...

...or, we'd become so distracted that we'd missed all the bites we'd had through being too focused upon all the morning's distractions. The eight sweaty scullers and one tiny cox in the same craft for instance, which was pleasant viewing!

...or the speeding maniac intent upon his round trip task of picking up gangs of scouts from just above Martins swim (him remonstrating!) then planing downstream and dropping them off somewhere in Worcester town and then making his way back as fast as his outboard would take him, which was increasingly unpleasant viewing, and especially for Martin...

So in the end, we decided, because we still aren't allowed to shoot holes in speeding scoutmasters or their boats in this country, that a complete change of river might be the answer, so we upped sticks and went over to Fladbury on the Avon to try our luck there for barbel and pike, or whatever would bite really.

On the opposite bank a fishing match was in progress. They weren't catching much else but minnows, the only fish that actually will bite when real fish aren't biting, and the fact that they were dropping minnows in the keep net, which at about 1000 minnows to any ordinary chub I took as a sure sign that even here, on a different river some twenty miles distant from our original choice of stream, the fish still weren't biting.

Then there was another fella sitting fishing in the weirpool who swore that he'd caught a smallish barbel around dusk, but it was remarkable that Martin who was sitting right near him when he was supposed to have caught this fish failed to see anything of it. Whether or not Martin was dreaming the whole time or had fallen asleep at  his rods or missed it whilst taking a leak is neither here nor there (though it's hard to miss someone battling a barbel just a few yards to your left) because the fish weren't biting that day so he must have been lying through his teeth. The scoundrel...

Nobody caught a barbel in the whole country that day, I'm sure of it, and I suspect there were no fish of any species caught (other than minnows) the length and breadth of at least Britain, and perhaps, the entire world.

And, if anyone reports that they did catch a fish on Saturday 12th November 2011, then don't believe them as they're either outright liars or terminally confused, or both.

Strangely, I felt very good at the end of the day - it being the third day of my giving up smoking notwithstanding - as it was clearly none of my fault...!

Sometimes, fish don't bite...

At all.


  1. Some one some where must have caught someting of merrit jeff.
    But it just wasn't us mate.
    How's your Gold these days ?
    Fancy a round and back to the club house.

  2. Oh how I dread the tight-lipped fish days and ponder the reasons over and over. The more time you spend at the water’s edge allows you to be there when the bite is on. May the bite be aggressive on your next trip. Great post.

  3. I caught a small barbel on Sunday on the Severn... But there again that was not the question! You are right in what you say though jeff, the Severn appeared dead on Sunday as well.

  4. Best day of the season so far for me on Saturday, 6 pike to 17lb... But you're normally catching while I blank...

  5. Steve in Colorado17 November 2011 at 02:57

    ...and this is why it's called 'fishing', rather than 'catching'.
    Anyone who claims they've never been skunked doesn't go fishing very often.
    Next time they'll be on...!

  6. Now that is a well related story about a magnificent blank session. I admire a team that can move rivers [mid-stream] so to say, and still continue to blank.

    I did not fish on that Saturday so thereby save myself a total waste of time.

  7. Got a post saying you had another blog but no sign of it on my or other blogs. Problem?

  8. It was a Blogspot glitch Phil.

    I was notified midnight last night that I'd published a post and that had me scratching my head as I hadn't published anything, but it turned out to be one that was published in summer and has always been there since.

    It was a canal roach post published in july, but the message says it was published 1st November and yet yesterday was the 21st. Weird...

    I have the foggiest idea why this happened, I never hit any buttons.