Phantom Bites

Dave

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You know the type, the float buries itself, you lift and there's nothing there, not even a bump.

What causes them?

Small fish too small to take the hook and bait, or fish bumping into the line?

Or, before anyone says it, a Ghostie passing by :D
 

Chris Calder

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Fish are up in the water, taking your freebies on the way down and rushing around to intercept them,or just to many fish in the swim and they are liners.
Try moving all your shot 3 feet up and lifting and dropping a few times to see if they are of the bottom, if not try to the sides of your feed area to avoid the concentrated feed area.
 

ukzero1

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Also another possibility. Fish thinking your dropper shot is a bit of Hemp and they've nibbled at that. Happens on our club waters fairly often, especially if that dropper is a number 8 or 10 shot.
 

RedRidingHood

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Yup, As stated already I've always just assumed it was smaller fishing pulling on the bait, or fish in the upper regions knocking into and dragging the line.

Whats more annoying though is when it happens constantly and you question your rigs line, hook, shotting pattern.
Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to change something up? lol
 

Dave Spence

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Specsavers?:p You are getting to that age mate:devilish:
 

crackatoa

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You know the type, the float buries itself, you lift and there's nothing there, not even a bump.

What causes them?

Small fish too small to take the hook and bait, or fish bumping into the line?

Or, before anyone says it, a Ghostie passing by :D

Had similar problems yesterday fishing down the edge in 4ft of water using 4mm pellets. Also foul hooked a few. So went shallow to half depth and had a good hour on them. Carp between 1lb and 5lb.
 

Dave

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I hooked and landed a stone the other day. It buried my float as well
 

gixer 13

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I have watched this happen in clear water fish sipping in a bait and blowing it out at speed the only movement on the float was when it shot under when the bait was expelled
 

Ken the Pacman

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Most of them are not bites as the hook is not inside the mouth, a better description would be indications :p :p:p
 

Neil ofthe nene

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Watching the fish feed in my pond it is no surprise we get lots of false indications. The fish often miss the pellets I feed and bump them or just miss the pellet altogether.

I think if you were to put a rig over your feed with a plummet on you would see lots of indications on the float that are obviously not bites. We try hard to use fine lines and small hooks so the fish can't see them. Can we be surprised if that works and the fish bump into or brush the line while milling over the feed?
 

Ken the Pacman

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Years ago on the Liverpool end of the Leeds and Liverpool canal somebody,I cant remember who exactly described the "bites" which lowered the bristle a little but never submerged it as "Testers" implying that the fish was inspecting or testing the bait to see if it behaved in a similar way to the loose feed offerings around it.
On a trip to Holland mid 1980s we got talking to some Dutch anglers about their method of feeding similar to most continentals approach which was lots of low feed groundbait maybe 4 kilo or more with just half a pint of pinkies in it.
Their theory is based on the colour,flavour and action of the groundbait being the attraction and the pinkies simply hookbait samples.
We tried this on the canal with an initial balling in with a few pinkies or casters but it never worked well enough but what bites you did get were very positive with none of the "Testers" so maybe there is a clue in that.
On other waters the balling in approach can work really well but the more actual feed is in the mix the more potential to spoil things.
 

Zerkalo

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Maddening when this happens on the feeder, proper wrap round bites where you're sure it's not a line bite. Been getting it loads from Chub which I'm sure are snatching at the bait and somehow avoiding the hook.
 

Silverfisher

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At least with float fishing when the float goes under and you just strike hoping it's a proper bite and you win some and lose some. On the feeder I often sit looking at tip at some "bites" thinking do I strike or do I not until it's too late, not a fan of those bites much prefer the proper rattles and wrap arounds!
 

Zerkalo

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Some of the wrap arounds are just so quick I don't have time to strike! When I was catching Bream on the feeder the other day, really shy bites then a 5lb slab on the end! Definitely would have preffered a few wrap arounds or stonking drop back bites from them though!
 

Silverfisher

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You do get a right mix of bites and fights from bream. I've had those that just nibble at it and those that wack it and then they can either come in like a sack or turn into the current and actually scrap a bit.
 

Zerkalo

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I've found if you foulhook them in the tail fin they can actually put up a bit of a fight too!
 
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