Run your rod tip down to it

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Even when I’m snagged shallow, I’ll start off trying to pop my bait undone, especially if I’ve just made a long cast. But if popping it undone doesn’t work, I’ll reposition directly over my bait and try this. First you’ll want to carefully reel your rod tip all the way down until it makes contact with the bait. You have to do this carefully to ensure you don’t damage your rod tip or the last guide. I have, on rare occasion, broken a rod tip doing this or knocked out an eyelet. But if done carefully, you can usually dislodge a bait hung up in less than 8 feet of water by reeling down to it and then pushing the bait backwards with your rod.

If you’re snagged just a little deeper than this and you don’t have a plug knocker, you can actually send your rod down as a plug knocker and use the momentum of your rod to knock the bait free. But this is even more hazardous to the health of your rod, so proceed with caution and perhaps only if you’re particularly fond of the bait. But if you want to try this, leave a couple feet of slack between you reel and the first rod guide, hold that line in your hand and then shoot your rod down to the bottom almost like you’re throwing a dart. If this is going to work, you’ll know in the first couple tries.