Sometimes they don't bite

About the author

Stephen Headrick

Stephen Headrick

Stephen Headrick is better known to the bass fishing world as the Smallmouth Guru. He lives in Celina, Tenn., and is the owner of Punisher Lures.

I’ve had something on my mind for a while now but haven’t got up the nerve to write about it. It’s one of those things we all wonder about but are afraid to mention for fear that it’ll make us look bad, or stupid, or something. This week I’m going to change that. Here goes…

Sometimes they don’t bite.

Some of you are probably laughing. You’re thinking that I’ve stated the obvious. Maybe I have, but I get a lot of guys who come in off the water and ask me why they couldn’t catch them. They detail everything they did. It all sounds reasonable to me. They did what I would have done if I’d been there — lure choice, boat position, all that sort of thing. I really don’t have any advice I can give them other than to try again the next day.

This no bite thing is something that happens to all of us. It isn’t a matter of skill or experience, and many times it has nothing to do with the quality of the fishery you’re on. They just don’t bite.

I remember one time I was fishing on a really good, clear water lake. We stopped over an offshore hump. We could see the hump and plenty of arches on our electronics. It was as good a spot as I’ve ever seen.  After an hour without a bite we lowered a camera down to see what was going on.

That hump was full of smallmouth bass. We saw several in the 5 pound class and another eight or 10 that weighed at least three pounds. They were scattered all around the hump. We dropped every lure we had on top of them. We got nothing, not one nibble. All they did was suspend about a foot off the bottom and look straight ahead. It was like they were fake fish, or something. They didn’t even twitch.

It was a frustrating experience. It was also informative. The weather conditions were right and we obviously had found the right spot. Everything was perfect except that they wouldn’t bite. The reason, or reasons, for that are a mystery. I had no clue then and I have no clue now. We spent at a total of about three hours over that hump.

Maybe they were off the feed because they had eaten earlier in the day, maybe they didn’t feel good for one reason or another (oxygen, water temperature), or maybe they just weren’t hungry. For all I know maybe they had lost their predatory instinct for some reason.

The bottom line was, though, that no matter what we did or how we did it they we weren’t going to catch them. There was nothing we could do. That’s the way it was that day. In a strange sort of way I felt better once I understood that.

Sometimes a tough day on the water has nothing to do with what we are, or are not, doing. Sometimes not catching fish is simply a matter of Mother Nature protecting her creations. She has a way of doing that you know.

advertisement

advertisement