It takes a combination of three simple things to catch fish. There have to be fish present, you have to put a lure/bait in front of them, and they have to be biting.
Two of those you can do something about and one...well...you can kinda sorta maybe...naw not really. The first two? Yeah, that you can manage. But when they bite?
Yesterday I was fishing in the creek next to my house. It's a deep sided creek and the water level goes up and down with the river level since the river is also next to my house. When the river is up, it is too fast to do any realistic fishing. So then I go to the creek.
The creek is, on my side, thick with bamboo. We've cut a trail through the bamboo and cleared a small area on the bank. Can't fly fish there unfortunately because of the bamboo and the overhanging trees, but you can gently cast a little. The water is still and clear. It is a bit like fishing a large aquarium. Fish are easily visible.
I've fished it off and on this spring and haven't had any luck at all. I have dangled live wiggling night crawlers right in front of scores of bass, they ignored it. I've cast a rig with a worm a hook a split shot and a bobber right on top of a bunch of bass. They didn't flinch, they just turned and looked and slowly swam off.
Until yesterday evening just before dark when the switch came on. I had fished for a few hours with absolutely zero interest from the dozen or so bass that I could clearly see swimming around. Nothing. Nada. Zip.
Then I saw one make a light swirl on the surface so I cast right onto the swirl and the bass took the worm. About a pound and a half bass. I put him back and saw another bass swimming along so I cast right on top of him and he took the bait too. About a three pounder. Two bass back to back in less time that it takes to tell. The switch was on!
But I was out of worms and it was near pitch dark.
I've had that same experience over and over in my fishing life. From I can't buy a bite to they take everything I throw as fast as I can throw it. And then back to can't buy a bite.
There's a switch that turns them on and off, something in nature's world that sends a signal to EAT NOW and STOP EATING. And that, as all of my fellow fishermen know, is the most important part of what it takes to catch fish - being there when they are biting.