Potomac River fishing guide and BoatUS ANGLER pro-staffer, Capt. Steve Chaconas shows you how to create your own shotgun snags.

BoatUS ANGLER: Do It Yourself Department

Shotgun Snags

by Capt. Steve Chaconas, BoatUS ANGLER Pro Staff

shotgun shells to be used to make fishing snags Bending paper clipLead tire weights Pouring lead into mold Finished shotgun knocker

If you fish, your baits will get hung up! The options are: pull until something happens, (usually the line breaks and you lose your lure), OR use some type of contraption to dislodge it.

There are a few things you can do to retrieve stuck lures, like dipping your pole down to it, (which sometimes can damage your rod in the process), or by snapping your line to try to allow the lure to pop free. If these fail, there are pole-type retrievers that work down the line and actually push the lure off whatever is holding it.

There are also heavier weights that slide down the line to the bait. These are attached to a heavy cord and allow you to make repeated drops to jar the lure free. Theseare the best, but do require two hands and the cord needs to be stowed.

In the early days of lure retrieving, many old timers used an old spark plug. They would attach a snap to the plug and drop it down to the hung lure and shake until it came free. This worked well and if lost, it was only a spark plug. Advancements started appearing with a regular lead fishing weight taking the place of the spark plug.

I’ve created what I call the SHOTGUN KNOCKER! Find your buddies who hunt with shotgun shells, preferably the tall brass. Gather their expired shells. Cut the plastic casing off to about ¼ inch above the brass with either scissors or a razor blade.

Next, use large paper clips (about 2 inches) and bend a lip on the center portion of the paper clip. I use the vinyl-coated clips to insure I don’t have a sharp edge on a bare metal clip to cut my line.

Get some lead. I usually go to my local gas station and ask them for used, and hopefully free, tire weights. You can melt on a stove or a commercially available lead pot. http://www.jannsnetcraft.com.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When melting lead ALWAYS do so in a well-ventilated area.

Holding the paper clip with some pliers, lower into the brass shell to allow the clip to be submerged in melted lead just below the bend you put into the clip. Fill slowly and allow the excess plastic shell to melt over. Done!

Position the clip after partially filling the shell to allow the maximum amount of lead in each shell.

To use these is very simple. Position your boat directly over where the bait is stuck. Attach one of the Shotgun Knockers to the line by slipping line under the lip on the clip you created.

Allow the knocker to drop to the lure…then shake and allow some slack. This will knock most lures off. Some of the bigger crankbaits require more weight and adding a few more knockers will usually do the job.

This is a great off season project and works really well on jigs, worms and Silver Buddy lures.

 

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