Getting your line snagged when fishing, and having to subsequently break your line and set up another rig, can turn what should be a fun day of fishing into a very frustrating one. Below are a few tips to help you avoid getting your line snagged as often.

1. Know your location. Know where you are fishing. This is easy if you are fishing a clear river or mountain stream, but it can be a bit more difficult if you are fishing a lake or pond. If you have fished the body of water before, you probably already have somewhat of an idea of what the bottom looks like based on your experience with getting snagged. If you know the bottom likely contains a lot of tree branches and other debris, you are going to have to plan accordingly.

2. Use a bobber. The first thing you can do to avoid getting snagged is to use a bobber or some type of float. Most lines get snagged near the bottom, so it makes sense that you should keep your line away from the bottom if possible. However, some types of fishing, like catfishing, require you to get your bait closer to the bottom. In this case, you can try to set your bobber based on the depth you are trying to fish. For example, if you are fishing in eight feet of water, you could set your bobber at seven. This can be easily accomplished by using a slip bobber.

3. Try to cover the hook as much as possible. The hook is the main thing that gets snagged, so try to cover it as much as possible. If you are bass fishing heavy cover, try using a Texas or Carolina rig. If you are trout fishing in a stocked pond, consider using some PowerBait so you can cover your hook. The less exposed your hook is, the better chance you have of not getting snagged.

4. Use some type of floating bait. Using PowerBait or some other type of floating bait can help you avoid getting snagged, but still let you fish the bottom. Try using this rig the next time you want to fish the bottom:

  • Cut a piece of line 12-18 inches in length to serve as your leader.
  • Tie one end of the leader to the hook and the other end to a barrel swivel.
  • On your main line, put on an egg sinker and tie your line to the other end of the swivel. The egg sinker should now move freely along your line.
  • Put your floating bait on your hook (try to cover as much as possible).
  • Cast out and let your sinker hit the bottom. When it does, reel in any slack line. While your sinker is on the bottom, your bait will float 12-18 inches (depending on the size of your leader) above the bottom. Since your hook is covered, you will also be less likely to get snagged when you reel in.

5. Retrieve slowly. When you are retrieving your line, do so as slowly as possible. This way, if you do get snagged, you can try to dislodge your hook or sinker. If you retrieve too fast, you are likely to get stuck.

6. Use weedless lures: There are many different types of lures out there that have some type of plastic guard that prevents the lure from getting snagged. The guard acts as somewhat of a shield in front of the hook(s).

Remember, you are going to get snagged sometimes, but by keeping the above tips in mind, you can lessen the amount of lines you have to break.