Casting and fighting a fish aside, where you hold the tip of your fishing rod can make a big difference in whether you get bit and how well you set the hook. For instance, now that the water is getting cold and bass are getting the slows, it’s time to break out suspending jerkbaits.
Some days, there’s no jerking to it and all the action the bass want is more like a very subtle short slide forward. So I keep my rod tip down toward the water and just give it a little twitch – just enough to move it a few inches as it wobbles a bit. If I held the rod up, chances are the wind would put a bow in the line and pull the jerkbait forward, or even the weight of the line would move it. I want to control it. I don’t want it moving but a short distance at a time, and then stopping.
Beyond that, once you feel a fish take the jerkbait – and it might just be a heavy feeling on the line – you can sweep the rod up and back at an angle and get a good hookset. Of course, if I’m fishing over grass or wanting to fish something shallow, I might need to hold the rod tip up more. The point is that you should always be mindful of where the rod tip is, and why it needs to be where it is.
---- Chevy pro Jimmy Houston, Cookson, Okla.