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If you are on a mission to catch the fish of your life, whether it is a tarpon, snook, kingfish, cobia or shark, you can do everything right and still lose the fish because of an improperly tied knot. My preference is a uni-knot, which can be tied easily at night by feel once you become familiar with it.

The uni-knot covers all necessary applications for knot tying. For line to leader, it provides a small knot to pass through the guides of a small rod and also eliminates the need for swivel connections that may be seen by wary gamefish. The uni-knot is one of a few 100-percent knots that will not bite into the line and cause it to break.

For artificials such as plugs and jigs that require constant movement to simulate a baitfish, there are two ways to tie the uni-knot to the artificial. You can cinch the knot tight against the eye, or as you cinch the knot down to the artificial. You can stop at any distance and create a loop before the bait, allowing the artificial to swing naturally as you retrieve it.

As a fish hits the plug, the knot will cinch tight against the eye but can be moved back to create a loop.

You can learn to tie the uni-knot at seminars or by book.

_ Keith Williams captains Big Gulp out of Seminole. Call 398-1126.