In the past, detecting bites used to be a challenge, especially with subsurface baits. Anglers relied on watching their line to spot bites, and this technique still has its advantages today. Even though modern equipment is more sensitive, these line-watching tricks can enhance your bite detection and hookup ratio.
Line Jump Maintaining a semi-slack line when casting baits for a free fall allows you to detect bites that occur during the fall. To achieve this, cast and then hold your rod tip slightly above eye level. Let the line droop in a smooth curve from the rod tip to the water. Slowly lower the rod tip as the bait sinks, keeping the line semi-slack. This helps you see your line jump when a fish hits during the fall, which is especially useful for finesse techniques, swimbaits, jigs, and more.
Swimming Off with Your Lure Another technique involves watching for your line to start swimming off. Focus on the point where the line enters the water. A bass swimming off with the bait is a more subtle movement compared to a line jump. This indicates a bite when the fish hits the bait while coming towards you. Pay attention to the direction the line moves and engage the reel to set the hook.
Both techniques require focus, but they improve bite detection, reducing missed opportunities and ensuring a higher live release rate. While distractions abound, a keen eye and attentive mind can make a significant difference in your fishing success.