12 Reasons the Fish Aren't Biting

why fish aren't biting

You’ve tried your hand at fishing. Fishing looks like a relaxing and rewarding pastime. The thought of catching your own fish dinner excites you. You marvel at the large catches of other fishermen.

“How do they do that?” you ask yourself in part awe, part frustration and part jealousy.

You’ve gone on day-long fishing trips and never caught a single fish.

“Why aren’t the fish biting?” is likely the question you’re stumped on.

Don’t give up. Fishing requires much patience as well as some inside know-how. You may have the patience, but that patience can easily be thrown out the window if you consistently provide conditions that aren’t conducive for bites.

If you’re nearing your wit’s end and don’t know why fish aren’t biting, here are a couple reasons to consider:

1. You’re in the wrong place. Experienced fishermen may have their “spot,” but when the fish decide to move on, the fisherman will move to a more prosperous area to fish.

2. The moon phase is wrong. Fish tend to eat more during either a full moon or a new moon. This is because during these moon phases, fish are more active.

3. The weather is too extreme. It can be difficult to catch fish when it’s too hot, too cold or too windy.

4. The line is too thick. If you’re using a fishing line that is too thick for they type of fish you want to catch, you likely won’t catch anything. If the line is too thick, the fish are more likely to see it and avoid going near your bait.

5. The fish are full. Veteran fishermen can get an idea of the feeding schedule of certain fish in their favorite fishing spot. If you place bait in front of a fish that is full after a meal, you won’t have any luck.

6. The fish are skittish. Fish, even the large ones like bass can scare easily. If you’re river or lake fishing and you cast a shadow onto the area your fishing in or if there is too much boat traffic on the lake you’re fishing at, the fish will scatter and your chance of a bite diminishes. You’ll also scare the fish away if you wade in the water in the area you’re fishing in.

7. The line is too light. A fishing line or lure that is too light will stay on or just below the surface, being out of sight for many fish who prefer to swim deeper, towards the lake or river bottom.

8. The hook is too big. A big hook doesn’t mean you’ll land a big fish. Many fish, including the bigger varieties such as salmon and bass love smaller hooks. Hooks that are too big will be visible to fish and they won’t bite onto it. In cold weather, fish aren’t as active and will be more drawn to smaller hooks.

9. You’re using the wrong size and color of lure. Fish can be finicky as well as easily distracted. Many types of fish prefer smaller lures. If you’re not seeing success with one color of lure, change it out and try it with a different color.

10. The fish are tired. Fish expend a lot of energy chasing food, escaping predators, spawning, protecting feeding grounds and maintaining position in the water. If you time your fishing and drop some bait in front of tired fish, chances are they’d rather rest than expend more energy eating and biting.

11. Your hands are dirty. If you smoke, chew tobacco or handle anything smelly, scent particles from your hands can transfer onto lines, lures and hooks. Fish have a strong sense of smell and most of these odors will repel fish away.

12. The fish don’t like what you’re throwing. Sometimes you’ll go fishing and it will be during the same time as when the fish’s favorite insect is hatching or in the spring when vegetation grows, attracting more yummy morsels.

Timing and patience are crucial in fishing. Fish can be picky eaters, scare easily and can get distracted. They are also observant, being able to see fishing lines and large hooks.

Whether you need to get a thinner line, a heavier lure or a smaller hook, Kiehberg has all the fishing gear and equipment you’ll need for your fishing trips. Contact us for more information about our fishing gear inventory or to get suggestions on what to use to have the best chance of catching your favorite fish.