What constitutes a "blank"

Whinging pom

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. A fish will often get off a hook due to no fault of the angler
Your putting you’re head on the block with that statement! but I get it completely, We banned barbed hooks on the stream and a few times a year the line goes slack and I look to the water and mutter… “you wouldn’t have got away with that a few years back! “
But it feels no failure, the nature of the brook means it was probably a tricky take in the first place and the fish is going back anyway.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I can’t really talk for David but I would guess managing stalking an actively feeding trout and then watching it refuse all offers or even worse turn away and head for cover.
With me i feel failure when I have an evening of wading with the grace of a water buffalo, finding a rising trout and clumsily driving it to cover, discovering the hooks down the gullet of some poor fish. By Catching the same tree twice, rising into a decent fish and feeling a break off, generally having a night of being a clumsy clot that no number of trout caught makes up for the feeling I could have been so much better.
If I’m casting ok and and hit some tricky spots, react quick enough to bag some consolation Dace and experience some beautiful nature then when walking back to the car in the failing light, all is well with the world, and the lack of trout really doesn’t matter a jot!

Blanking is failing to land the trout in the manner you do it whether net, hand, beach or like I sometimes manage, reaching down and grabbing the hook and release them in the water! I get that ! . What I was trying to say was for some it just doesn’t matter, and it’s just not important and playing the fish is not really an enjoyment any more. It’s all the rest of the experience that comes with the hunt that counts.

For sure - it's the old horses for course thing again.

I would love to get you out for a day of dapping on a sea trout loch. I'm sure you would enjoy it. After you miss your 10th splash, you will be offering your right arm to hook the next one! 😜

Hope24-26Aug20_1349.jpg


Hope24-26Aug20_1293.jpg


😜(y)
 

Overmiwadrers

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I would be dismayed If we are bringing how you enjoyed the day into the same discussion as blanking , Surely its quite different? if ever I get to the point in life where just having a blank means a bad day then I think it would be time to hang up the rods for good. Now I must confess that " the big fish moment marks a day as special " . but also I remember last year I shared a stretch of river with an otter . I cant remember what I caught but the otter made the evening . I suppose the difference to me is that all my fishing is on rivers virtually all unstocked and all attractive natural places to be, The pleasure is in the place rather than the catch.

O M W
 

Whinging pom

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For sure - it's the old horses for course thing again.

I would love to get you out for a day of dapping on a sea trout loch. I'm sure you would enjoy it. After you miss your 10th splash, you will be offering your right arm to hook the next one! 😜

Hope24-26Aug20_1349.jpg


Hope24-26Aug20_1293.jpg


😜(y)
Dapping is something that’s always been on my bucket list. Like Char fishing it’s got an old traditional feel to it.
 

The Endrick Spider

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I nearly blanked on the river tonight, something I never do, and have an aversion to!

But what is a blank? For example, if you have fish on, and they get off, is that a blank... I wud have thought it isn't, because you fooled the fish... He just got off, and good luck to him.

Or is it just that if you don't bring the fish to hand, or touch the leader, then that's a blank?

My take is that a blank means you totally flunk, and don't even hook a fish.

Thoughts?
As I am now fast approaching 80 my eyesight is failing, my reactions to a taking fish are much slower and worst still, my concentration wanders. Because I very seldom take any fish I use flies that have had their barbs flattened so expect to loose a few fish anyway. I do not see the point in buying barbless hooks when I already have enough hooks to last me a lifetime. I also recycle the wasted flies as well, stripping them down and using the hooks again.
We all go fishing in the hope of hooking and landing a fish but to me anyway it is not that important. I go fishing because I enjoy going fly-fishing and as I make my own flies, find it a success that a fish has at least accepted my offer. I would love to at least bring it to the boat but if I do not connect I blame myself for not concentrating, or, if it gets off, blame the barbless hook and wish the fish good luck. Those anglers that do not take any fish are at a huge disadvantage as to those that do for we cant do an autopsy to see what the fish are on. Last week I was on the loch for 5-15am and by 6-30am had 7 fish. The following morning I was on the loch at the same time, same boat and the same cast of flies as the morning before. I fished until 9-00am and never touched a fish. That is what I call a total blank so on arriving back as the boathouse, having had about 20 outings this season, for the first time this year had to ring the bell. This bell is a hand bell like the ones you used to see when they rang it at school to get the kids in after playtime. It hangs from the rafters so if you blank then you ring this bell to let everyone know that you blanked.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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... having had about 20 outings this season, for the first time this year had to ring the bell. This bell is a hand bell like the ones you used to see when they rang it at school to get the kids in after playtime. It hangs from the rafters so if you blank then you ring this bell to let everyone know that you blanked.

We used to call a blank a 'toastie'. A group of us used to go down to fish Chew and Blagdon every year and stay at the Live and Let Live Inn. When we came off fishing, we used to get a bar meal - and we would be coming off at dark o'clock and sitting down to fish and chips at 11:30! I can't remember how it came about, but if anyone blanked, they were not allowed to order fish and chips or anything like that - they were only allowed to get a toastie! Hence, "How did you get on today?" "Terrible. I got a toastie." Fishing can be a cruel sport at times! 😜
 

Vintage Badger

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A blank is a fishing rod that has not yet been fitted with rings, a reel seat or handle. I'd have thought at least one of you would have known that! :rolleyes:


;)
 

kingf000

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Are we referring to blanks fishing or what gets reported on the club end of season catch report to the secretary?

As someone who has at times collated these for a club for many members you need to take a view .

Reported catch 1 BT , Actual catch Blank
Reported catch 2 BT , Actual catch 2 rose but missed
Reported catch 3 BT including a 2lbr , Actual catch 2 BT including one about 1 1/4
Reported catch 3 BT and 1 Grayling of 2lb Actual catch 2 BT and a grayling of about a pound , maybe one and a quarter maximum.

Sorry but you get my drift .

As for me a blank is exactly that no fish in the net. nearlys or not quites dont count.

O M W
So you play a fish, tire it and bring it in towards you with mouth just out of the water. You grab hold of the fly in the lip, quick twist and the fish swims off. Or you net it, lift it out of the water, often with it thrashing around, grab hold of it hopefully with wet hands, remove the hook, maybe take a photo of it then spend a while holding the fish in the water with head facing upstream until it recovers. Which one is a blank and which one is better for the fish? Just asking.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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So you play a fish, tire it and bring it in towards you with mouth just out of the water. You grab hold of the fly in the lip, quick twist and the fish swims off. Or you net it, lift it out of the water, often with it thrashing around, grab hold of it hopefully with wet hands, remove the hook, maybe take a photo of it then spend a while holding the fish in the water with head facing upstream until it recovers. Which one is a blank and which one is better for the fish? Just asking.

Surely if you manually have to remove the hook, by any means, it is a fish landed? :unsure:
 

Overmiwadrers

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So you play a fish, tire it and bring it in towards you with mouth just out of the water. You grab hold of the fly in the lip, quick twist and the fish swims off. Or you net it, lift it out of the water, often with it thrashing around, grab hold of it hopefully with wet hands, remove the hook, maybe take a photo of it then spend a while holding the fish in the water with head facing upstream until it recovers. Which one is a blank and which one is better for the fish? Just asking.
Actually in your haste to be " just asking " there is a another way, you see I would consider that bringing a fish in with its head out of the water adds to the stress. Especially to draw it it close enough to be able to just slip the hook from its mouth I suppose that would be possible if you had arms like an orangutan Perhaps your way or are we still in the "Just Asking" mode yes I use a landing net out of habit unless of course I am stood in the river ( which is often the case) and the fish is small , I would consider playing the fish to the point when it simply slides towards you with its head out of the water and still enough to be able just as you put it grab and with a quick twist release the fish . I would consider that excessive tiring of said fish. Not using a net risks causing the fish additional damage as holding a fish on a tight line is the point when you are likely to get a hook pull or worse. . You also assume that a net user will as you say lift said net from water to allow fish thrashing about. Not something that I personally condone. I of course assume that you arent one of those individuals that fish without a landing net. Which i consider vary bad form. Just asking?.


O M W
 

kingf000

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Actually in your haste to be " just asking " there is a another way, you see I would consider that bringing a fish in with its head out of the water adds to the stress. Especially to draw it it close enough to be able to just slip the hook from its mouth I suppose that would be possible if you had arms like an orangutan Perhaps your way or are we still in the "Just Asking" mode yes I use a landing net out of habit unless of course I am stood in the river ( which is often the case) and the fish is small , I would consider playing the fish to the point when it simply slides towards you with its head out of the water and still enough to be able just as you put it grab and with a quick twist release the fish . I would consider that excessive tiring of said fish. Not using a net risks causing the fish additional damage as holding a fish on a tight line is the point when you are likely to get a hook pull or worse. . You also assume that a net user will as you say lift said net from water to allow fish thrashing about. Not something that I personally condone. I of course assume that you arent one of those individuals that fish without a landing net. Which i consider vary bad form. Just asking?.


O M W
I do fish with a landing net on rivers on the rare occasions that I need it and would agree with you the it is bad form not to. On lakes when I am bank fishing, I bring the fish into the net and unhook it in the water. If wading in the lake, I'll normally unhook it as in the river unless impossible to do so. I've never fished from a boat so don't know what I would do. I've just found from experience that I rarely need to help fish to recover when unhooked without a net, far less often than with a net even when keeping the fish in the water. Maybe it is my bad technique but with unhooking without a net, I simply transfer my rod to my left hand and unhook it with my right. With a landing net you really need three hands, or use some form of holder for the rod.
Those that say that you must net a fish to count would, I assume, say that I have blanked.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I do fish with a landing net on rivers on the rare occasions that I need it and would agree with you the it is bad form not to. On lakes when I am bank fishing, I bring the fish into the net and unhook it in the water. If wading in the lake, I'll normally unhook it as in the river unless impossible to do so. I've never fished from a boat so don't know what I would do. I've just found from experience that I rarely need to help fish to recover when unhooked without a net, far less often than with a net even when keeping the fish in the water. Maybe it is my bad technique but with unhooking without a net, I simply transfer my rod to my left hand and unhook it with my right. With a landing net you really need three hands, or use some form of holder for the rod.
Those that say that you must net a fish to count would, I assume, say that I have blanked.

I think if you manually unhook the fish, you have caught it, so a net is not required. Some folk use a Ketchum Release tool to do it. Speaking as a boat fisher, a net is by far the best way to bring the fish under control. It can be left hanging over the side with the fish in the water, while the angler kneels down and reaches over the gunwale to unhook the fish. Then just turn the net inside-out to allow the fish to swim away.

I can't see how giving the fly a 'twist' to release the fish is good for it? :unsure: Surely twisting it causes more damage? The hook needs to be pushed backwards on the track that it entered, surely?

I don't know what percentage of fish other folk catch that have the fly fully inside the mouth? For me, it is quite a few - whether wets, dries, nymphs, lures, etc. They usually require a bit of careful attention to the unhooking to avoid damage. No way you could just 'give the fly a twist'. Best to hold the fish with one hand and extract the fly with forceps or long-nosed pliers. For deep-hooked fish, I find one of these a great life-saver...

81jKcXgjnyL._AC_SL1500_.jpg


Bought one about 30 years ago in Mike's Tackle Shop, Portobello, for 20 p, and still using it!

Col
 

Rhithrogena

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A 'blank' day for me is when there are no takes and no hook ups. Different, indeed, from the 'my fault' days when I do get takes/hook ups but don't unhook them myself.
The second is far preferable to the first, unless any of the lost fish are seen to be very special.....
 

Paul_B

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As I said earlier, giving a small or large fish some slack so it gets off the hook without me touching it is part of a good days fishing, I haven't landed it so its a caught nowt but I've still had a good day :)

A bit like being in a good spot and moving on so someone else can have a good day (y)
 

kingf000

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I think if you manually unhook the fish, you have caught it, so a net is not required. Some folk use a Ketchum Release tool to do it. Speaking as a boat fisher, a net is by far the best way to bring the fish under control. It can be left hanging over the side with the fish in the water, while the angler kneels down and reaches over the gunwale to unhook the fish. Then just turn the net inside-out to allow the fish to swim away.

I can't see how giving the fly a 'twist' to release the fish is good for it? :unsure: Surely twisting it causes more damage? The hook needs to be pushed backwards on the track that it entered, surely?

I don't know what percentage of fish other folk catch that have the fly fully inside the mouth? For me, it is quite a few - whether wets, dries, nymphs, lures, etc. They usually require a bit of careful attention to the unhooking to avoid damage. No way you could just 'give the fly a twist'. Best to hold the fish with one hand and extract the fly with forceps or long-nosed pliers. For deep-hooked fish, I find one of these a great life-saver...

81jKcXgjnyL._AC_SL1500_.jpg


Bought one about 30 years ago in Mike's Tackle Shop, Portobello, for 20 p, and still using it!

Col
Sorry but I used the word 'twist' as I couldn't think of a more suitable word. It isn't really a twist but a push backwards and lever it so that the barbless hook comes out easily. I'm sure that is the way that most of the fish escape when playing them!
Maybe I'm lucky but when I bring in a fish, with the vast majority I can see the fly in the lip of the trout. On the odd occasion I can't, I resort to the net and forceps.
 

Whinging pom

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(Sorry to bring this up again but a thought occurs to me?!)
…., so what if you’ve only caught one fish but you foul hooked it ?
 

Scotty Mitchell

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(Sorry to bring this up again but a thought occurs to me?!)
…., so what if you’ve only caught one fish but you foul hooked it ?
Depends where it’s foul hooked for me.
If it’s forward of the Gill plates I’ll tell myself it went for the fly and a combination of its movement and my strike, took it away from the actual mouth.
Anything other than that is just foul hooked and if no other fish are caught that session, it’s still a blank.
 

Whinging pom

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I had three fish rise last night like dolphins purposing over sedge, one did take, one flattened it and one got caught in the belly ( first time in years I’d foul hooked a trout ) and it got me thinking?!
 

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