Formerly a sixth-grade social studies teacher at Northside ISD in San Antonio, Texas, Douglas (Doug) Grant facilitated learning on both an individual and group level. Aside from his work as a teacher, Douglas Grant also founded his school’s fishing club, teaching students the skills needed to catch fish.
One key skill every fisher needs to learn early on is how to set the hook. Setting the hook secures it in the fish’s mouth, helping to ensure it cannot get free before you reel it in. While there are variations on how you set the hook depending on the fish species, type of bait, and timing, these tips will apply to most fish.
Before you set the hook, it pays to ensure the fish has taken the bait, and with it the hook. Key signs to look for are your bobber dipping below the water’s surface or feeling a solid pull on the fishing line. Do not get overly excited and attempt to set the hook after a tiny nudge on your line, as the fish may be cautiously checking out your bait. Trying to set it too soon can scare off your catch or pull the bait far away from the fish.
When you are sure the fish has taken your bait, stand straight with your legs about shoulder width apart, bending your knees to improve your balance. In one motion, gently pull your rod up over your shoulder or off to your side, which will set the hook in the fish’s mouth. As soon as the hook is set, keep the line taut as you crank the reel and bring in the fish.