What constitutes a "blank"

Cap'n Fishy

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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.

Here's one to think about then... 😜

This happens regularly...

Loch-styling with a team of 3, or fishing a pair of dries...

Hook a fish in the mouth on the dropper...

While playing it, it falls off...

Only to be foul-hooked on the tail fly... and then landed. Does that one count? :unsure:

Col
 

Scotty Mitchell

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Here's one to think about then... 😜

This happens regularly...

Loch-styling with a team of 3, or fishing a pair of dries...

Hook a fish in the mouth on the dropper...

While playing it, it falls off...

Only to be foul-hooked on the tail fly... and then landed. Does that one count? :unsure:

Col
I reckon you get that. You’ve already had the take, fooled the fish…….yes. That counts.
 

aldot

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I personally only count fish if I consciously do something to unhook them, ie remove the hook, shake them off, slacken the line etc. Any uncontrolled escape doesn't count.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I reckon you get that. You’ve already had the take, fooled the fish…….yes. That counts.

A variation... even more 'dubious goals committee'... 😜

You bring a fish up to the bob and it takes, but you only jag it. As it turns down, it runs along the leader and you foul hook it on middle or tail. What then? :unsure:

And even more dubious...

You bring a fish up to the bob and it swirls at the fly, but misses it. As it turns down, it runs along the leader and you foul hook it on middle or tail. What then? :unsure:
 

Scotty Mitchell

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A variation... even more 'dubious goals committee'... 😜

You bring a fish up to the bob and it takes, but you only jag it. As it turns down, it runs along the leader and you foul hook it on middle or tail. What then? :unsure:

And even more dubious...

You bring a fish up to the bob and it swirls at the fly, but misses it. As it turns down, it runs along the leader and you foul hook it on middle or tail. What then? :unsure:
Hmmmmm.
My take is that the fish would be nowhere near able to be foul hooked in that manner, if the sporting aspects of “fish fooled, makes a go at the fly” hadn’t been fulfilled, so I’ll say again, yes they count. If you were my boat partner I’d say count them anyway. Others might differ.
 

bobmiddlepoint

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A variation... even more 'dubious goals committee'... 😜

You bring a fish up to the bob and it takes, but you only jag it. As it turns down, it runs along the leader and you foul hook it on middle or tail. What then? :unsure:

And even more dubious...

You bring a fish up to the bob and it swirls at the fly, but misses it. As it turns down, it runs along the leader and you foul hook it on middle or tail. What then? :unsure:

No they don't count for me.
However the ones that are fairly hooked on a dropper but come off and get foul hooked by flies further down the cast do count for me, after all you have hooked them cleanly and they have just been unlucky.

Once or twice I've had top dropper fish make a right mess of the leader before falling off and getting tangled up in the tangle of their own making. These definitely count because of the work they give you unpicking the knots or retying the leader.


Andy
 

Reg Wyatt

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But if you were in a competition surely you'd claim it, or would you release it?
Well I've never fished in a competition aldot so not sure of rules but I'm guessing counting a foul hooked fish is not particularly sporting? As a lone fisherman, I prefer to catch something, anything, but quite often I don't which is ok. It's very black and white to me, no variables at all, if a fish is in any way foul hooked, then of course it doesn't count. If you feel the need to 'count' it, you've very missed the point of being there in the first place.

Reg Wyatt
 

kevin55

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A friend said after fishing 1 day that he'd had a "complete, total, utter, blank; I'd bet that there are no fish in that river" So he'd seen no evidence of fish life at all

Whereas when he'd merely blanked he'd at least seen fish or had a rise to his fly or touch on a nymph but caught nothing (net or 2 hand)
Or he might say "1 long distance release, but otherwise blanked"

K
 

Scotty Mitchell

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Well I've never fished in a competition aldot so not sure of rules but I'm guessing counting a foul hooked fish is not particularly sporting? As a lone fisherman, I prefer to catch something, anything, but quite often I don't which is ok. It's very black and white to me, no variables at all, if a fish is in any way foul hooked, then of course it doesn't count. If you feel the need to 'count' it, you've very missed the point of being there in the first place.

Reg Wyatt
Someone will hopefully correct me here as I’m no competition angler either, but I’m quite sure the rules on foul hooked are forward of the gill plate it is classed as fair, I think that actually is fair and use it myself.
 

loxie

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I remember a conversation with my boss in Norway many years ago about releasing foul hooked fish on the Tweed. While it was illegal to deliberately foul hook a fish it was perfectly legal to keep one if it was accidentally foul hooked. Sporting convention was to return foul hooked fish but like many such conventions it really only applied to other people. His take on it was that if the fish had showed some intent: ie moved to the fly then turned away it was fair to keep it. How times change!
 

Whinging pom

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Someone will hopefully correct me here as I’m no competition angler either, but I’m quite sure the rules on foul hooked are forward of the gill plate it is classed as fair, I think that actually is fair and use it myself.
That’s interesting, from my perspective I’m looking at inclusion in end of season catch returns. It’s not competitive just a reflection of the state of the fishery and an average of fish per trip.
For me on a practical level the return reflects the population of caught fish and state of the fishery.
Had I paid for a two fish ticket on a still water I presume the owner would have counted as half my ticket.
On a personal level it was really disappointing and found myself apologising out loud to the trout and dealt with it like getting a splinter out of little friends finger. (despite the fact it had porpoised into the fly).
“Come on , just stay still, Dont struggle I’m trying to help, we’ll soon have that nasty fly out of your belly and get you back in that lovely water,”

I’m going soft !
 

MobyJones

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Here's one to think about then... 😜

This happens regularly...

Loch-styling with a team of 3, or fishing a pair of dries...

Hook a fish in the mouth on the dropper...

While playing it, it falls off...

Only to be foul-hooked on the tail fly... and then landed. Does that one count? :unsure:

Col


Interesting scenario. In some ways you could liken it to a fluke shot in snooker. Not sure if it does count if fishing C&R but if fishing for my dinner then it counts 100%.
 

kingf000

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I personally only count fish if I consciously do something to unhook them, ie remove the hook, shake them off, slacken the line etc. Any uncontrolled escape doesn't count.
I agree. Most of the time I directly unhook a fish without the use of a net. I saw a video a couple of years ago on how to do this, but I couldn't find it. I think it was on an attachment on another thread on this or the US site. If the fish escapes before I've grasped the fly, then it doesn't count, just like I don't count a fish that escapes just before netting. However, if I net the fish and the fish comes off the fly in the net, I'd count that.
I've never tried slackening the line, so I'll give it a go next time. They come off pretty easily when the line slackens when playing, eg when they are tearing towards you!
 
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Cap'n Fishy

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Re foul-hooked fish...

Back in the 1980s and 90s, I used to fish competitions such as the Scottish National, and subsequent Internationals, plus Scottish Clubs and the Benson & Hedges. Fish were killed back in those days, so for a start, you had to land it to weigh it in. 😜. I don't remember there being any rule about foul-hooked fish in the National, International and Scottish Clubs rules. As far as I can remember, any foul-hooked fish were very welcome additions to the bag. Just how it was - it was a competition, and there were many rules that had to be followed, regarding fly size, etc, but foul-hooked didn't seem to be in there. Things may have changed since I stopped all competition involvement around 2000.

In the B&H rules, it definitely did state that foul-hooked fish did not count. I had many conversations with boat partners on the way out to get it decided between ourselves exactly what constituted a foul-hooked fish. Everyone had their own idea of what that was. More than once it was suggested that if the fly wasn't within a foot of the mouth it was foul-hooked... :whistle:

As for what constitutes a fish 'counted'... any catch return sheets I fill in for the fishery's records, such as our own club's water, only get what I landed*. If you include fish lost or jagged or offers on catch return sheets, you are bumping your gums, I reckon. :unsure:

Col

* Definition = I removed the hook from the fish.
 

sewinbasher

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This is a fairly academic question and a lot depends on the circumstances. If you are fishing on a club water or commercial fishery that requires a catch return you have to work on their definition of "caught" and report all fish that qualify. On a commercial fishery where there is no C&R and operators stock on the basis of replacing fish removed clearly only fish killed are of interest. Usually on a water permitting catch and release I would report to the operators any fish that I had "control" of as caught, this would include netted fish, fish shaken off when played out, and fish allowed to shed the hook. A much greyer area are the fish lost in play from the lip of the net to those with which the briefest contact is had. This is a matter for the individual and in most cases it matters not a jot to anyone except the angler on the day. I release all fish and to me I have succeeded when I deceive a fish into taking my fly as food, the fight and other aspects of the process are of minor interest. For me a blank is when no fish takes my fly and what other anglers think is of no interest to me,

Where things get potentially a lot more important is in the matter of EA rod licence returns for migratory fish where the consequences might be changes to byelaws. A significant purpose of recording fish caught is to estimate populations and then initiate conservation actions based on those estimates.

Consider two scenarios, firstly an angler fishing for salmon fishes all day without contacting any fish and correctly and accurately reports a blank on his EA catch return. In the second scenario the angler hooks ten fish but loses them all in play. Now clearly in terms of indicating fish populations to the EA the recording of a blank, although technically accurate, doesn't portray a true reflection of fish numbers present on the day. There may well be an argument for recording some or all of the fish as "caught" but where you draw the line is tricky as for example, you may not know if the fish was a salmon or sea trout.

I am aware that in Wales, where draconian restrictions on methods were introduced by the NRW in the belief that, in particular, salmon were critically threatened, anglers doubt the methodology used, and will be reporting at least some fish lost in play as caught. Although I no longer fish for salmon, had I lost a fish clearly identified as a salmon on the rim of the net I would now probably report that fish as caught. It would get more and more marginal the earlier in the fight the fish was lost but I would probably report some others as caught but would be uncertain where I'd draw the line. I would just want my return to give a better reflection of the true number of fish present than a blank, nothing egotistical, just wanting to promote better policy decisions by the NRW. I fully appreciate the views of anyone who believes this to be wrong and accept that the fact that the resulting mixture of fully accurate returns and potentially inaccurate returns will lead to a false catch but the NRW track record of poor science and dismissal of angler input rather forces the issue in the minds of many.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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This is a fairly academic question and a lot depends on the circumstances. If you are fishing on a club water or commercial fishery that requires a catch return you have to work on their definition of "caught" and report all fish that qualify. On a commercial fishery where there is no C&R and operators stock on the basis of replacing fish removed clearly only fish killed are of interest. Usually on a water permitting catch and release I would report to the operators any fish that I had "control" of as caught, this would include netted fish, fish shaken off when played out, and fish allowed to shed the hook. A much greyer area are the fish lost in play from the lip of the net to those with which the briefest contact is had. This is a matter for the individual and in most cases it matters not a jot to anyone except the angler on the day. I release all fish and to me I have succeeded when I deceive a fish into taking my fly as food, the fight and other aspects of the process are of minor interest. For me a blank is when no fish takes my fly and what other anglers think is of no interest to me,

Where things get potentially a lot more important is in the matter of EA rod licence returns for migratory fish where the consequences might be changes to byelaws. A significant purpose of recording fish caught is to estimate populations and then initiate conservation actions based on those estimates.

Consider two scenarios, firstly an angler fishing for salmon fishes all day without contacting any fish and correctly and accurately reports a blank on his EA catch return. In the second scenario the angler hooks ten fish but loses them all in play. Now clearly in terms of indicating fish populations to the EA the recording of a blank, although technically accurate, doesn't portray a true reflection of fish numbers present on the day. There may well be an argument for recording some or all of the fish as "caught" but where you draw the line is tricky as for example, you may not know if the fish was a salmon or sea trout.

I am aware that in Wales, where draconian restrictions on methods were introduced by the NRW in the belief that, in particular, salmon were critically threatened, anglers doubt the methodology used, and will be reporting at least some fish lost in play as caught. Although I no longer fish for salmon, had I lost a fish clearly identified as a salmon on the rim of the net I would now probably report that fish as caught. It would get more and more marginal the earlier in the fight the fish was lost but I would probably report some others as caught but would be uncertain where I'd draw the line. I would just want my return to give a better reflection of the true number of fish present than a blank, nothing egotistical, just wanting to promote better policy decisions by the NRW. I fully appreciate the views of anyone who believes this to be wrong and accept that the fact that the resulting mixture of fully accurate returns and potentially inaccurate returns will lead to a false catch but the NRW track record of poor science and dismissal of angler input rather forces the issue in the minds of many.

Fair comment. However, you have 2 types of angler. The one who hooks and loses 10 salmon in a day and would never dream of putting anything other than a zero on their catch return. They would just see that as wrong. They caught none and none is what they will put on their return. Then you have the angler who hooks and loses 10 salmon in a day and considers that a score of 10 is a true reflection of the information the fishery management are looking for to assess the population. So, what you get on the returns depends on the numbers of the 2 types of angler. Would you not need to have a major overhaul of catch return sheets to include columns for fish landed, fish contacted and lost, and possibly even a column for fish jagged. The latter two would allow for the identify of the species to be unknown.

Just a thought... :unsure:

Our club water gets enough information from its catch return sheets by gathering numbers of fish killed and numbers of fish landed and returned. They really have no need to gather info on fish lost and fish jagged. But that is largely just to monitor stocking levels of rainbow trout and whether there are any brown trout still in the place after the cormorants have had their fill.

Col
 

Tangled

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In one of the rivers I fish for salmon Russia a fish goes down as 'caught' if landed,'lost' if played for more than 30 seconds but escapes and 'a chance' if touched or played for less than 30 seconds. For trout I guess you could include rising a fish as 'a chance'.

Helps with their stats I suppose and reduces the impact of incompetent anglers on their numbers. But also gives a fairer account of the day.
 
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