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11 Aug 2017
by Terry Hearn
How do you achieve more positive bite indication?
Terry Hearn discusses finicky bites...

Question

I fished Sandhurst Lake last summer and found the bites were very finicky, almost as if the carp were mouthing the baits. I tried shortening the rigs but it made little difference. What can you suggest to help me achieve more a positive bite indication?

I’ve kind of touched on this in the last question herefunny enough. The question mentions shortening the rigs with little difference, so I’m guessing you’re talking about takes which aren’t actually developing. If you mean odd bleeps then, being honest, even those would be more than I’d realistically expect to register at the rod end from a carp ‘mouthing the bait’, even if I was only fishing ten-foot out. Truth is, unless it’s actually pricked and on the end, even if only for a second or two, and it’s actually moved your lead, then you’re probably not going to know anything about it at your end anyway. Any bleeps or indications are more likely to be line bites rather than carp ‘mouthing the bait’.

If on the other hand you’re talking about takes which you’re hooking and landing, but they’re always finicky, or at least you’re getting the impression that they’re finicky because you’re only getting minimal indication at your end, then there’s not really any problem. It’s easy to imagine a belting run as the more confident take I know, but it’s not really, if anything it’s the opposite.

The way you’re fishing your rods, the depth of water and nature of the bottom, the distance fished, and the angle it’s fished from will all be far more relevant to why the takes might have seemed subtle instead of full-blown flyers. Even the type of main line used will have an effect. Sandhurst is shallow and silkweedy, the sort of water I could easily imagine your main line catching up, even more so if it’s something weighty like fluorocarbon.

There’s generally other reasons for ‘iffy’ bites than fish being finicky with the bait, but so long as they still make it to the bank just fine then there really shouldn’t be any reason for tinkering with your rigs. Only if seeing the signs but receiving no action, noticing poor hook holds or actually dropping fish, is it something worth spending too much time thinking about?

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