Snags are the harsh reality of fishing around shell bottoms. And if an oyster reef grabs your lure or bait hook, breaking your line is the last option.

But try these steps first:

• With braided main line, use the bow-and-arrow technique. Just drop your rod tip, pull line tight to the side and, as you release the line, snap your rod tip forward through a wave of slack toward the snag.

Braid’s no-stretch property allows the bait to jolt back and fall off the oysters.

• With monofilament, whip you line as if you’re trying to get a loop out of a water hose.

• Popping cork snags can be tough because the cork dampens your line manipulation efforts. Capt. Ross Montet suggested tightening down and using steady pressure to pull individual oysters loose.

• If all else fails, reverse your boat position and pull your snagged bait off the back side of the reef.