Hard fishing? Fish not biting? What can you do to improve your catch?
There are lots of reasons the fish are not biting: they aren't feeding or they are only interested in spawning. The moon phase is out, the tide is low/high, the wind is from the east and many more reasons. Or maybe excuses.
I've done it, had “can't be bothered” days, or it’s too hot or the fish aren’t surrendering. You need to say to yourself, “time for a change”.
Here are some suggestions. Move, drop right down in tackle size: lightest leader, lighter line, sharper hooks (not smaller hooks), fresh bait, enhance every bait with a squirt of Black Stuff. For bait fishing, go on the drift so you cover more ground, plus drifting a bait looks more natural.
For lures, try a proper slow jig like a small free slide or kicktail;. They shine best when the fishing is hard because fish are inquisitive and they generally use their mouths to check things out. The small sharp hooks usually lip hook the fish when they are just checking it out, not necessarily trying to eat it.
With all types of fishing, work back from the fish end. Having sharp hooks is the single most important thing you can do. It’s the first link in the chain. The second is the leader. Fluorocarbon or high quality mono leader (the new Japanese Gosen X leader is excellent). The rest — mainline, rod and reel — need to be in balance for ease of use, depth of water and lure weight.
Fishing is about evolving, and experimentation to suit the conditions, then it becomes catching.