Bites, How Many Are You Not seeing?

Neil ofthe nene

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Fishing yesterday I had some amazingly delicate bites that resulted in fish. That set me wondering whether many anglers actually fail to see a number of bites in a session. This could be down to poorly shotted floats, not dotted down far enough or just not recognising the bite for what it is. Eyesight also plays a part. Yesterday was my second session out after picking up new glasses.

It is just shy of two years since my last eye test. But a recent session where I was not being able to focus properly on the bristle had me calling at my optician on my way home to book a test. I am lucky in having an excellent independent optician just 500 yards from my front door. Over the years I have built up a great relationship with Tracey my optician and she understands my demands for as perfect sight as she can manage. The change over the last 21 months was minimal but noticeable to me. I may pay more than at Specsavers but the care and attention is well worth the price. I even had my eyes scanned this time with a £30,000 CT scanner. The one off scan does not tell much but small changes in the future could be an early sign of a problem.

So my first piece of advice is to get your eyes checked every two years. You may be amazed at what you can see with corrected vision. Eyesight is one area where you get what you pay for and I am happy to pay a premium for excellent service and results.

I always try and dot the float down as far as possible given how I want the rig to fish. Yesterday I had approximately 2mm of a 2mm thick bristle showing. One bite sank the tip no more than 1mm but out of pure instinct I struck and thus landed a crucian-looking 2lb F1. Looked exactly like a crucian apart from the colour. As I was landing the fish I was still wondering why I had struck as the movement of the float was so minimal. I guess it is instinct and experience overruling any conscious thought process. Other bites saw the tip dip under and immediately resurface. Most often this resulted in a skimmer. I have a theory as to why you get this type of bite from skimmers.

I think bream need to tip forward to pick up a bait. In sucking the bait in they cause the float to dip. But they right themselves and thus the float rises. I am guessing that many would not strike at such an indication, yet yesterday proved that you should.

With many of the float movements being minimal proves to me why it is important to dot the float down as low as possible. Even in a ripple I still keep the amount of visible float tip to a minimum.

I would much rather strike at half a dozen false bites than not see the real one when it happens.
 

Capt Birdseye

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Hi Neil . My problem is the changing light conditions, I try to have various colour tips set up for the pole but somedays its either the feeder or Jigger . The white ripple is the worst scenario for me , even a blacked out tip doesn't work
 

banksy

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Cataract operations on both eyes certainly improved my bite detection!

I'm convinced that instinct also plays a part. Many times I have struck and hooked a fish, when afterwards I have absolutely no recollection of seeing a bite?

And it can work the other way. Fishing for roach with a larger than usual bait such as breadcrust, I often take a shot or two off the line.
Saves me hitting at all the dinks and having to rebait all the time, and when the float does finally go under, it's fish on.
 

Silverfisher

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Happens to me fairly often. Usually got the float set pretty well just sometimes the fish pick up the bait without it registering and suddenly you’ve got a fish on and other times I think it’s the bottom and it turns out to be a fish. Who knows how many times it happens where I miss the fish altogether but I doubt it’s that often as the bait being gone or crunched gives it away most the time I’d have thought.
 

Cobweb

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I get mine tested annually these days just to make sure. I'll readily admit that in recent years I have been buying rods with much more sensitive tips, or buying more sensitive tips for the rods I have to avoid missing those tentative bites
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Hi Neil . My problem is the changing light conditions, I try to have various colour tips set up for the pole but somedays its either the feeder or Jigger . The white ripple is the worst scenario for me , even a blacked out tip doesn't work
By far the easiest for me to see in most light conditions is yellow. Even against a light background it is quite visible. I doubt I have used a black tip twice in the last five years at least.
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Cataract operations on both eyes certainly improved my bite detection!

I'm convinced that instinct also plays a part. Many times I have struck and hooked a fish, when afterwards I have absolutely no recollection of seeing a bite?

And it can work the other way. Fishing for roach with a larger than usual bait such as breadcrust, I often take a shot or two off the line.
Saves me hitting at all the dinks and having to rebait all the time, and when the float does finally go under, it's fish on.

Yes, I will take shot off when I want the float more buoyant so as to trip a bait along the bottom with the tow or wind.
 

Maesknoll

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Have to say that for me 2mm tips are sidelined at this time of year as I feel that they hold up a bit to much, prefer a finer cane tipped float as i find them a bit more sensitive.
And for me, 1.5 for carp, 1.2 for silvers at distance and 1.0 for silvers at short range, a solid tip will ensure you see more of those tiny indications.
 

chefster

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I tend to have to use a 1.5 mm tip, I can use a 1.2 if I’m fishing shortish, but I struggle sometimes seeing a 1.2 at distance..I only use 2mm in the summer for carp
 

PJG

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In Hobbycraft they do a dayglow yellow paint (make is Revelle) which I find shows up really well even in dull light.

Sometimes although I am sure that the float has not moved I catch a fish - they think "poor old sod I'll pull on his string!".
 

G0zzer2

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I don't think I miss seeing many bites, if any. My optician confirmed I have very good sight with spectacles, and I know I have a good instinct, seeing bites when someone beside me can't do so.

BUT I have to put my head on the block here and say that since I started fishing commercials where carp are in the majority, I have come to believe that I miss more bites bites by striking too quickly than I do by striking too slowly.

Since I worked this out I have been amazed by how long some fish take to properly take the bait into their mouths. Bryan Lakey once told me he would wait for more than ten minutes for a bream bite to properly develop. I've not found that with carp, but there are lots of occasions where a fish will take my float down and hold it for two or three seconds before taking the bait properly. On other occasions carp will hit a bait without intending to eat it, which accounts for fish being hooked on the outside of the lips.

When the float shoots under, though, it's always difficult to restrain myself from striking, as everybody will understand. But a lot of those are liners, I believe.
 

John Step

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I get mine checked every year now at the private opticians suggestion. ( economic sense for him?)
The specs are much more costly than a set I got from Specsavers previously but far better.
I will never go to Specsavers again. They were useless. I was told by someone that Specsavers give you specs to the nearest specification and not custom made individually. Seemed true in my case.

As to bites not being seen. I was on a quiver tip and small cage feeder today and sat behind my brolly in the wind and rain. Bites were difficult to see being little taps etc. I decided to hold the line and touch leger. I was surprised to feel a bites before my eyes registered a tip movement.
 

Zerkalo

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I have had a few times feeder fishing on the river where there has been no bite and I go to wind in and a decent fish on the end, sometimes the feeder is snagged but there's a fish on. Does not happen as much on stillwaters or when float fishing for me.
 

Millers Thumb

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I really struggle to see any size pole float at more than 8mtr, but last night when i was out with my dogs i could quite clearly see the moon and that is roughly 240,000 mile away, can anybody explain please. :unsure:
 

alanmac

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In Hobbycraft they do a dayglow yellow paint (make is Revelle) which I find shows up really well even in dull light.

Sometimes although I am sure that the float has not moved I catch a fish - they think "poor old sod I'll pull on his string!".
Thanks for that, been after this for ages, will pop in after lockdown.
 

ATTICUS FINCH

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I really struggle to see any size pole float at more than 8mtr, but last night when i was out with my dogs i could quite clearly see the moon and that is roughly 240,000 mile away, can anybody explain please. :unsure:
Try looking up in the day time that bright yellow ball in the sky is 92.8 million miles away .
 
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