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Cast and Retrieve Fishing

Use whatever lure you want, a swimbait, a crankbait, a spinner — they all are designed to be tossed out, and reeled back in using a particular motion, this is called cast and retrieve.

Cast and Retrieve Fishing: Basics

Those new to fishing may find this term confusing. After all, all lure fishing techniques require the angler to cast the line and retrieve it once you’ve hooked a fish. With cast and retrieve fishing, however, the casting and retrieval motions are continuous. Most often associated with fly fishing, this fishing method can cover a lot of water quickly as the motion is mostly horizontal. The speed at which you reel to retrieve the lure, the angle at which you hold the rod and the design of the lure all impact the depth of the lure on the way back.

Just as there are different casting techniques to master depending on the rod used (fly, spinning, etc.), learning how to retrieve lures can be just as challenging and loads of fun. When it comes to fish casting tips, remember to ensure that you have plenty of space both behind you and in front of you to cast the line without interference and most importantly: practice, practice, practice. Once you feel confident in your casting techniques, it’s time to get to work on retrieval methods. Whether jigging, jerking/twitching or even using the Leisenring lift, you’ll find that your lure often influences the best retrieval method.   

Many hard swimming lures have a lip at the front that helps dive the lure to a specific depth. Many are available in deep, or shallow running versions. Soft plastic minnows, or curly-tailed worms can also be used. 

Cast and Retrieve Fishing: Steps

  1. Cast your lure to your target – remember fish love structure or cover.
  2. Let the lure fall to your desired depth.
  3. Retrieve the lure by reeling in, using your line to pull the lure to mimic a swimming fish. You may wish to vary the speed of your retrieve to find a speed that entices a bite.
  4. Wait a couple seconds, then cast again.
  5. Repeat the retrieval.

Learn how to use surface poppers and techniques in the next section.