Too much bait

This morning I got up early and took a quick trip down to the lake.

I was hoping to try to hook a largemouth bass or two while I was by myself—my kids don't have the patience for anything but bluegill right now.

Bass tend to go after bigger lures, so I was trying out this shiny plastic minnow that was about 5 inches long.

I was working my way down the western shoreline and not getting any bites, when all of a sudden I noticed that my line was moving sideways—and FAST.

I started hauling on the line, and I saw a silver flash.

The line went tight, and I felt the fish shaking and flopping on the other end.

And then… the line went limp.

Dang.

A few minutes later, same thing—something hit the lure, fought for 15 seconds, and disappeared.

This happened 5 times in a row, including one time where I had a bass on the line and he jumped out of the water before escaping.

Bad luck?

Nope—this was entirely my fault.

See, when you're picking out a lure and a hook to go with it, the size of the hook is pretty important.

Most people assume small fish = small hook, and big fish = big hook.

That's not really true.

The most important factor in choosing a hook is the size of the bait.

Whatever size bait you're using, you need an appropriately sized hook so that the point doesn't get completely lost.

When the hook point is buried in the bait, the fish will grab the bait and run—then spit it out when it feels the tug of the line.

This is what was happening to me.

The hook I was using was a decent size, but it was too small for this chunky plastic minnow I was using as bait.

So I ended up playing tug of war with the fish.

It's really easy to do this with marketing emails too.

With so much emphasis on “creating great content” and “providing value” in your marketing, it's not hard to glob so much tasty bait on your microscopic little sales pitch that it doesn't have a prayer of landing you a customer.

Too much bait can be just as useless as no bait at all.