How to avoid blanks. Disclaimer: This post is for people that are not catching fish at all. So maybe for those people, the tactics we go through could help increase your chances of catching some fish and fishing safely.

How To Avoid A Blank
How To Avoid A Blank

We all blank from time to time

How to avoid blanks: Whether we like it or not, we are all going to experience a blank or two from time to time.

From December through till May, I had only caught one fish. Although quite a good fish, the feeling of finally landing one was incredible. I was that pleased to end the drought. But the blanks carried on after that fish.

The run was 15 blanks on the trot. And the funny thing is. The conditions on that day I caught were not that great either. But that’s not the point. We are going to take a look at some of the reasons why the fishing was bad.

Going When the conditions are bad

The point is, on most of those occasions when I had blanked, the conditions were not good. You see, when you are struggling with the right conditions, you will tend to get your gear and go regardless. You want to go fishing.

Firstly, we had been fishing from October through till May before I had had some success.

At that time, we were desperately fishing when generally I would have put the lure gear away before October. Yes, It usually comes back out in late March. But this will depend on the weather conditions. Some March months over the years have been freezing with snow. This meaning the water temperature would have been too cold.

Also, trying to fit things around work commitments can be challenging. You would hardly want to get out of bed at 2 am to fish both sides of the tide when you have to be at work for 6. The problem is; You will be going to work feeling tired. That’s not always good.

So how do you figure out the best times and when to fish? The answer to that question is simple: You have to do your homework and plan your missions. You never know for sure if those fish are going to turn up. But we can cut the odds down by choosing when we are going to fish. So to end our run of blanks, we are going to need a strategic approach.

If you love bass fishing and just happy to go out and throw a lure in water that looks like tea, then that’s fine.
However, this post could be for you if you are not catching fish.

how-to-avoid-blanks
Steve Wood New PB 65cm

Stepping out of your comfort zone

This has to be the hardest part of bass fishing. Remember though this is primarily for people that have not caught any bass and are getting fed up trying.

Personally, since I have started stepping out of my comfort zone the dividends have been inmmense. Sometimes, leaving the house at silly o’clock is definitely what you’re going to have to do to break that duck bass fishing.

First off though, make sure you do your homework before you plan your mission. Here are some very important things to take into consideration.

  • Weather Conditions
  • Water Clarity
  • Tide Times
  • Safety

Weather Conditions

Ultimately, you can catch bass lure fishing in any weather conditions. But remember, we have not caught any bass, so we want to get off the mark.

So we are going to look for some settled weather. Preferably, I want the sun to be out for a few days, with the wind blowing away from the land. Generally, the water clarity will go clear when the conditions are like this. This is crucial for our success.
You can fish in any condition, but we want to maximise our odds by going down to fish into darkness or fishing first light when the sun comes up.

These are usually the most productive times bass fishing, especially with lures. You may have to go to bed early in the evening, then get up before the sun rises and get down to your spot.

Water Clarity

This has to be the most important factor if we are going to get off the mark. To make the right decision, we need to be 100% sure before even thinking about what lures we’re going to use.

We know about having a good run of weather; now, we will have to check on the water to make sure it’s clear. You can normally tell at a distance if the water clarity is good.

You can drive around the coast to check on the areas where you live to see if the water is clearing anywhere. The reason for this (and depending on where you live) is because some areas of the sea clear better than others. This again is normally down to the wind direction.

Tide Times

As for tide times and what state of the tide should you fish is not so important. Recently my thoughts on the most productive tides to fish have gone out of the window. We have been catching fish on the slack water. However, I would normally throw the towel in when the water had gone slack. Trust me; they still feed on the slack tide.

I prefer to fish both tides late at night into the early morning. For example, If high tide is at 12 am, we would probably start fishing at 9.30 pm and fish through the high tide till about 2.30. Then say we were fishing the following day, the whole process would be roughly an hour later. See the tide table.

The black arrows indicate the hours difference over a 24 hour period

Safety

Safety is a no brainer when it comes to fishing for bass. The water can be a dangerous place if not treated respectively. Even the environment around the sea, like rocks, sand, seaweed, can be treacherous on its own.

Here is a list of essential item you should always consider before fishing our coastline.

  • Decent pair of boots
  • Waterproofs
  • Mobile phone
  • Life jacket
  • Wading stick

Boots

If you are planning just fishing from dry land, it is still essential to wear a decent pair of boots, especially if you plan to walk across the slippery rocks to your fishing marks.

You could even consider getting studded boots for that extra peace of mind.

Waders

I wear stocking foot waders, and my boots have studs in them. They are especially effective when you are walking over seaweed. But still, no guarantee you’re not going to slip over. Get a wading stick; we go over that in a bit.

Wading in the water is another scenario. If you are contemplating wading, be sure you know the ground your wading over. Ensure you check at low tide that you are not risking going out of your depth should you fall over when the tide covers the rocks. DO NOT TAKE ANY RISKS.

The Piscifun Breathable Chest Waders are the best value for money that I personally have purchased. So if you are thinking of getting some quality stocking foot waders, click this link before they sell out: Piscifun Breathable Chest Waders.

Wading Stick

A wading stick is a convenient tool to have if you are walking or wading over the rocks. It will help you balance on the rocks and seaweed should you do slip.

Get a wading stick that you can attach to a lanyard to get it out of the way whilst you are fishing.

Here is the type we use from eBay; TELESCOPIC DELUXE WALKING HIKING TREKKING POLE STICK ANTI SHOCK CLIMBING RAMBLER.

Mobile phone

Just do not leave it at home because it could save your life. Although it is not wise to fish alone, you should always have that phone to hand.

Life Jacket

Life jackets save lives; it’s that simple. Just get one. Here is a link for life jackets on Amazon.

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