I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

• Lure Retrieval Options

So you got your lure hung up on a submerged stump. You thought it was a fish and you set the hook. Maybe your lure fell in the water. What in the world can you do? Well, you can break the line and add to the lead that's at the bottom of the lake or you could try to get it back.

Let's say you're snagged. First there are all the lure retrieval devices they sell in stores. You've got that funny crankbait looking thing attached to a rope with chains dangling from it. They call it the EZ lure retrieval system. Slide it down the line and pray it either knocks your lure loose or the chains snag the hook and you can pull it free. Just be sure to retie the rope after you buy it. I've read it can break off at the other end and now you've lost a lure and a lure retriever. You're left with some rope as a consolation prize.

Next up is a telescoping rod with a spiral shaped metal end. You can try to extend it down to your lure, get the end around the hook, and shake it loose. I do something similar. If you're in water that isn't much deeper than your fishing pole, crank as much line as you can and stick your rod down into the water (not the reel though) and shake things about. That works for me about 99 percent of the time. Sometimes I have to let the line back out and pull at a different angle because the shaking was enough to move it, but not free it completely.

The other technique involves taking a heavy object and sliding it down your line. With enough speed, hopefully it hits your lure and knocks it free. A spark plug will work. So will a 2 or 3oz weight. Attach it to a swivel and put it on your line. You might also tie a line to your weight or spark plug because you may want to get it back if the trick doesn't work.

For the times when a lure falls into the water, you need to have a magnet handy. Assuming the lure isn't all plastic or aluminum, a magnet should be enough to pick it up off the bottom. For example, one of my buzzbaits can only stick to the magnet by the hook, not the blades or the head. It makes recovery difficult. Stores sell magnets designed for this type of recovery. You could use one of those or you could try some of my suggestions. Earth magnets are very strong, but take up very little space. If you can design someting that holds the magnet(s), you've got yourself a good option. Just make sure you buy the real thing. Some products are marketed as Earth magnets, but aren't. I've also used an old blown out broken 5 1/4" car speaker tied to 50lb test fishing line.

Now let's go the other direction. Yeah...up. Suppose you snagged your lure in a tree limb. If you are unable to reach your lure and pulling or shaking every direction possible with the line hasn't worked, I have two more tricks up my sleeve, however people with expensive rods may not like the first. Why? It could potentially damage the rod tip. Still, this trick has saved a lot of my lures and even given me some new ones I have found up in trees. If you're in a boat, make sure you've got good control with the trolling motor or someone else is in charge of handling the boat. You are about to get your rod snagged and I'd hate for you to lose that too. Don't fall either. Keep your feet planted and steady. Situate the boat under the lure and raise your fishing rod tip up to snag the last eyelet in the hook or hooks. Moving the rod up and down along with some shaking always works a snagged lure loose. Sure it's risky, but it really does work well. The second tip usually works after lots of shaking has already been tried, especially if you happen to be fishing from the bank or a pier. Crank up the line nice and tight so it is pulling on the lure. Now point your rod straight at your lure. Hold the rod in between the reel and the first line guide. Now slowly pull straight back. If it doesn't work on the first pull, back off and try again. Keep pulling straight back and take care not to get hit by the lure should it fly back at you very fast. Sometimes the line will break, but this second tip gives you more leverage than a flimsy rod tip might.