Anglers often try idling around a snag to try and free their bait from different angles. If this fails and you have to use a lure knocker, make sure to return to the same angle as the initial snag. This is a simple task if you're dealing with a log or laydown in shallow water. When you can't see the bottom, note your compass heading or use a shoreline object for line-of-sight reference.

When deploying a lure knocker, keep a good grip on that cord, or your snagged lure will gain permanent company. Avoid such frustration by securing the retrieval cord to a plastic water bottle or marker float for those "oops" moments. The EZ Lure Retriever offers an optional retrieval reel for handheld or deck-mounted operation. Another idea — use a cut-off grouper rod to maintain your retrieval connection.

Overburdening light monofilament with a chunky lure knocker could end up snapping the line, so gauge the weight prudently. (Some, like the Pocket Knocker, state their suggested minimum line size on the packaging.)

Natural bottom, regardless of snag potential, should always be left intact. But when you snag discarded trot lines, busted anchor rope or any manmade material, do your best to pull what you can from the lake. Your fellow anglers will thank you, and if you return someday, the problem's gone.

Now, the quickest way to mentally overcome a snag's frustration is to recognize it as a structure indication. Brushpiles — natural or planted — love grabbing crankbaits, swimbaits and the like. However, finding a new pile is a treat any bass angler would treasure. Once you free your bait, survey the area with your bottom machine, identify the sweet spots, mark your waypoints and then target them with jigs, dropshots or Texas-rigged baits.

The same principle applies for logs, laydowns, bridge rubble, fallen docks and any potential fish haven that unexpectedly grabs your moving bait. Free the snag with your lure knocker and then work your newly discovered spot with targeted presentations with jigs, dropshots, shaky heads and Texas-rigged plastics. Creating waypoints for snag spots provides reference for future opportunities, while helping you avoid future snags. But when the inevitable occurs, just send in the knocker and get back to fishing.