How to FishHow to Catch Fish

How to Set the Hook

How to Set the Hook

You must know how to set a hook to catch fish. Because different fish require different methods, it's important to learn the basic steps and when to set it up.

What Is Setting a Hook

Simply put, it is the act of planting the hook into the biting fish. You might be thinking, well, how hard can that be? Fish takes bait, reel in. But how can you be sure? A fishing pole or fishing rod setup for beginners may only contain a common bobber. How do you tell the difference between an actual bite versus a nibble or bump of the line? Follow the steps below to learn how to hook a fish every time. 

When To Set a Hook

A good rule of thumb when learning how to fish, 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. For best results, be sure to use the proper fishing hook setup. For example, the use of circle baits when fishing catfish often eliminates the need to set the hook, as it generally gets caught in the fish’s mouth automatically.

How To Set A Hook In Simple 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 completely underwater, you feel a true tug 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 the sensitivity allowing you to feel the fish bite and be in a better position to set the hook.
  3. 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. So grab the proper fishing hook setup and maximize your catches!

Now that you know how to set a hook when you feel the fish, then next task is reeling it in! Visit our how to reel section to learn more about playing the fish.