"Snags, a Part of Catching Fishing"
We are sure you have felt that pull on your line and for a second the excitement built, to only realize you were snagged. Part of catching fish is getting snagged and the fact is all anglers get snagged but we hope to offer some tips to help you get your lure back.
We have come to realize that areas holding the most fish are areas where the risk of snagging is high. These would be weedbeds, lily pads, brush piles, most timber cover and more. Therefore, areas free of snags or obstructions are usually free of fish too.
The type of lure you use can increase your odds of getting snagged. An example would be using a deep diving crankbait in a weedbed or a topwater bait with treble hooks fished in lily pads will both snag easily. To reduce the odds of snags, choose a lure that works best for the water conditions such as a weedless lure or a weedless rigged hook when fishing in weedy areas. One other way to reduce those visible snags is to work on your casting accuracy.
When retrieving crankbaits or spinners, many anglers tend to overreact at the first signs of snagging. When the lure drags or hesitates, they begin to reel in furiously. If the lure is indeed about to snag, this extra pressure serves only to embed it more deeply. Instead, at the first hint of a snag, you should stop reeling immediately, and then make gentle attempts to dislodge the hook. Sometimes if you know there are snags, using a floating crankbait will help by releasing your pressure and allowing it to float up from the snag.
Even with the right lure and technique, you are likely to get snagged anyway (if you are fishing where the fish are). First you must know the type of snag you are in so you can use best approach to free it. Weed snags are usually just a test of strength for your line and knot. Many times a few quick snaps of the rod will free your lure. However, I often just do a simple slow pull back till it frees and then check my line and knot or just re-tie. Try holding the rod high, wiggle the rod tip left and right and avoid pulling may work if the hook is not set too deep. Next attempt the “bowstring” technique by reeling up the slack, grab line with finger and thumb, pull it semi-tight, and then let it pop back. This works well when crappie fishing with small jigs and many times pops the lure free and if not; it is time for a “lure knocker”. These are heavy weighted items that will slide down your line and knock the hook or jig free from whatever it is attached to, but be careful as it can get tangled too. We make our own knocker with a paperclip, and heavy weights.
When in a boat, just get directly over the snag for better leverage or try a hook-type retriever for the tougher weeds. If you can get this retriever down close to the lure, it may hook on and clear the weed. Brush snags are an occurrence we get into often while crappie fishing and many times this is free-floating brush that can be reeled in. For these we start by pulling on the line to see if there is play and if we feel it is a small branch we try to break it off. If snagged in a more solid piece, we will pull back slowly to hopefully straighten a hook and get the jig back. This is where using jigs with thin wire hooks works best so you do not shake the brush too much and spook fish. Sometimes it is just the worm sinker or split shot weight which is hung up and a quick snap of your line may free it. Rock snags can be the least forgiving because the lure is most often wedged and refuses to come free. The feel of a rock snag is one that says .”WHOA”. This is one you need to change position by getting behind it to pull it back out from the direction it went in. Here is where a pole-type retriever works best by giving you more control but is limited by their length and depth of water.
The above-water snags are the most embarrassing since everyone can see them. But there is an advantage in that you can see how it is snagged so you can plan your attack. Again, a pole-type retriever will best fit these snags. For those ones up in a tree, get up close and reel up to lure and try to push it free. If the snag to too high and not hooked to a tree, get under it and let out line to lower lure to you so you can cut the line. We enjoy topwater fishing so much, we have even cut off the lower points of treble hooks, the points that usually catch the vegetation when fishing surface lures in dense weeds.
Remember, getting snagged is part of catching fish and we hope to have given you some techniques so you can at least go home with the same amount of tackle you left with. To us, this makes for a day of Good Fishing.
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Till Next Time GOD BLESS & GOOD FISHING !