Fishing Tips: How to Set the Hook

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You have to know how to set a hook in order to catch fish. Although different fish require different methods, we’ll take a look at the basics.

When to Set the Hook

A good rule of thumb when learning how to set the hook, is to wait and feel the weight of the fish before setting it. If the fish is cautious and just tapping your fishing line and bait lightly, and not biting it, it's best to wait. Let the fish take the bait, and then set the hook after you feel its weight.

How to Set the Hook in Two Steps

  1. To help you better know how to set the hook, look for common signs a fish is biting such us: your bobber is pulled under water, you feel a “thump” on your fishing line or your fishing line starts moving.
  2. Reel in slack and keep your line tight with the bait or lure. This helps increase sensitivity so you can feel the fish bite and be in a better position to set the hook.

The motion of setting the hook is relatively simple. But it can sometimes be difficult to tell if you have a bite or if you're just feeling the current or a fish bumping into the bait. The more you know about the fish species you’re after, and the more time you spend on the water practicing, the better you’ll get.

Now that you know how to set the hook when you feel the fish, the next task is reeling it in!