Turn Line Bites Into Fish

10 June 2021

Getting plenty of line bites but no fish? Here's how to turn bites into full bags.

by Tom Scholey

Line bites. We’ve all had them. Weird movements on the float, little pulls and lifts that tell you the fish are around your bait.
Or it might be that you are feeder fishing, and your tip is regularly twitching and tapping with the movements of fish – but never actually going round with a positive bite.

So if you're getting plenty of signs, but not actually catching anything READ ON.


The first thing you need to work out is whether these fish are feeding, or just sat midwater minding their own business.

This is very common, especially on deeper venues. The good news is though, if the fish are in front of you, there is every chance that at some point in the day, they will switch on to feed, and that's when you can apply the following tips.

As we all know Fish are wonderfully fickle creatures and the only real way we can control them is to tap into their intrinsic need to EAT through FEEDING BAIT.

— Tom Scholey

How to work out if line bites are feeding fish?

1. First work out if the fish are feeding.

First feed some bait, then watch what happens. Do you get more indications straight after feeding? If so, great news! This means that the fish are responding to the bait you are feeding. You just need to work out WHERE the fish want to feed, and you should soon start to empty the joint.

2. What to do when float fishing.
Let's look at float fishing first, A great trick in this situation is to keep feeding small amounts of bait regularly, then shallow your rig up (decrease the depth that you are fishing) until the line bites stop, and you start hooking fish in the mouth.

This tactic is often called ‘shallow fishing’, and can be a killer method at times. Keep feeding regularly, and don’t be afraid to tinker with the depth of your rig throughout the session to stay in touch with fish.

3. Fish on the bottom

If this doesn’t work, try fishing on the bottom but in a shallower depth of water. A deadly place to catch can often be right in front of you, just a couple of metres from the bank. Because the fish know that you are there, they stay hugged to the bottom to avoid detection, meaning you can keep them where you want them. On other days if the fish are more spooky, it can be best to fish next to marginal cover. It’s just a case of trial and error.

Again, you are looking to decrease the depth of water that you are fishing in by moving up the marginal ledges until line bites stop, and proper bites start. Remember though the fish are responding to your bait, so above all, KEEP FEEDING!

4. Legering

I’ve saved legering until last, because in many ways it is more simple, and the concepts that I have explained above all apply.

Again – the first port of call though is to establish if the fish are responding to bait. So start by looking at the correlation between when you cast your feeder (or loose feed if you are lead fishing) and when you get your bite.

If you can see indications straight after feeding (and have float tackle with you), it can be a simple case of applying the float fishing steps, and fishing up in the water over your feeder swim.

"Fish are wonderfully fickle creatures as we all know, and the only real way we can control them is to tap into their intrinsic need to EAT through FEEDING BAIT."

By following the steps above, you can take control of your swim, and bring the fish to where you can easily catch them.


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