Getting Un-snagged in Cambridge Bay

Jim Baird
Ted Baird casts for trout Cambridge Bay, Nunavut
Ted Baird casts for trout Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

Enter the Bow and Arrow Technique

It seems the better a place to cast and retrieve the more likely you are to get snagged. Even the best of us get hung-up sometimes but I had never heard much on tricks for getting un-snagged until I was fishing from shore near Cambridge Bay Nunavut a few years back. I got my spoon snagged on the rocky bottom and after trying all my old tricks to free it my fishing buddy for the day, a local Inuk named Lawrence, reached for my rod and said “I’ll show you a trick”. Since then I have gotten out of twice as many snags and caught more fish because of it.

Ted with a lake trout Cambridge Bay
Ted with a lake trout Cambridge Bay

Enter the Bow and Arrow Technique:

1) Ready:  When snagged, reel in a bit or let some line out to create a little tension on your line, then pinch your line with your thumb and pointer finger right between your reel and the first guide.

2) Aim: Pull your line out, stopping when you feel a lot of tension build and you see your rod bent.

3) Fire:  Release the line like you were firing an arrow. The lure will be struck with a jolt that usually jars it from the snag.

4) Try again:  If it doesn’t work on your first try (which it often does) repeat the bow and arrow action a few more times while playing with the tension of your line and the angle of your attack.

Note: The Bow and Arrow Technique is not a foolproof method to free your lure from a log but it’s very effective for releasing a snag in rocks when done right.

Lawrence with his catch of lake trout near Cambridge Bay
Lawrence with his catch of lake trout near Cambridge Bay