Nothing is more frustrating than getting your hook hung up — especially when the fish are biting.
But Capt. Ross Montet, with Cajun Fishing Adventures in Buras, said a little patience can go a long way when you’re snagged on an oyster shell— and it could wind up saving you a few dollars in jigheads.
“A lot of people, as soon as they get hung up, they instantly want to break it off,” Montet said. “A lot of times your line can handle it, but only to a certain point.”
Whether you’re fishing with mono or braid, Montet said it’s sometimes possible to turn over an oyster and free your hook that way.
“So instead of applying a lot of force and trying to break it off, what you do is apply just enough force to roll that oyster over in the mud,” he said. “Then the hook pops right out.”
But if you’re fishing with braid, Montet suggested the “bow and arrow trick” to try to free your snagged hook. Basically, the lodged hook and your reel become like cams on a compound bow.
“You just grab the line about a foot or so above your reel — either a baitcaster or a spinning reel — and pull your line up and away from the rod about 18 inches. As you pull it back, the rod tip goes down,” Montet said. “Just let it go. Braided line has no stretch, so when you do that and then let the line snap back, it’s sometimes just enough to jolt that line backwards through the water and have the hook come off.
“As you let the line go, come back slightly with your other hand holding the rod. That way, once the hook frees itself, you don’t have any loose line to get stuck in the same spot again.”
It might not work every time, but it’s worth a try — especially if you find yourself running low on tackle.