Strike the Lure Sideways for a Second Chance at a Bite

Set the hook to the side to keep the lure working in the case of a missed hit

sideways hookset
Set the hook to the side to keep the lure working in the case of a missed hit.Illustration by Steve Sanford

When the strike comes while retrieving a lure or bait, resist the urge to set the hook in a vertical plane, which pulls the lure out of the water. Instead, pull on the line with a horizontal motion; if you miss the fish or it strikes short, the lure remains in the water, and you both have a second chance at a hookup.