Why can’t I feel the bite?

Why can’t I feel the fish bite? Probably because there is slack in you fishing line, which  is a challenge when teaching folks to fish. “Tight line” is what telegraphs feel to the angler and “slack line” is what kills sensitivity. Look at these photos.  You are looking at a chartreuse worm on a hook at the end of an orange line. The chartreuse worm is lying at the bottom of the water. The left photo shows “slack line” and the right photo shows “tight line”. 

All professional anglers understand the importance of feeling everything happening at the end of their line. They also know that every undetected bite could cost them money.  They spend hundreds of dollars for each rod and reel setup, yet, all that money spent on quality equipment is wasted if the fish bite is not detected.In most cases, “slack line” is due to inexperience, inattentiveness and/or conditions.  Line management may be the last thing an inexperienced angler is concerned  about. Learning how to cast, how to work the lure and what a bite feels like dominates their thoughts.  Once those skills become less consuming, constant attentiveness and focus on line management is required on every cast.  If that were not enough to think about, wind, waves, trees, docks, weeds and other obstacles must be considered.  Getting fish to bite is one thing and catching fish is a totally different skill.  I estimate that 40% to 60% of bites are never detected for one reason or another.

Line management differs with different fishing techniques but the principle holds true; having enough contact with the lure to transmit as much feel as possible to the angler.  The more contact there is with the lure, the better you feel subtleties of the bottom, branches, weeds, and bites.  Line management should be your priority after every cast and during the retrieve. “Slack line” is challenging even to the most highly skilled and is only managed by experience and attentiveness. 

All my clients expect to catch fish but the exchange of stress for relaxation, fun and memories, being on the water, enjoying nature and learning how to fish pays the biggest dividends.  

Barry Dodd - Teach ‘Em to Fish Guide Service

(210) 771-0123  © Teach 'Em to Fish - Barry Dodd 2017