A Decade Later, Justin Moore’s “Bait A Hook” Is Better Than Ever

Justin Moore in a boat

Justin Moore knows his way around a hit song.

He just recently notched his 10th number one song with the nostalgic and evocative hit, “We Didn’t Have Much.

Moore also knows his way around a fishing pole. Earlier this year, he even teamed up with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to encourage people to go out and hit the water and reminded folks they need to purchase a fishing license.

A decade ago, he blended his propensity for good music and good fishing stories seamlessly together into the hit song “Bait A Hook.” The song was a part of his 2011 album Outlaw’s Like Us, and while the song never reached #1 on the radio charts, it’s widely considered to be one of his most popular songs.

And now, 10 years later, it’s better now than ever, which speaks to the depth and quality of the song’s sound and style.

Even more interesting is the fact that longtime Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger apparently inspired the song.

The story goes that songwriter Rhett Akins had a conversation with a girl he knew down in Georgia that was once casually dating an NFL QB, but despite his athletic accomplishments, she just wasn’t that into him because he just wasn’t country enough for her.

The girl reportedly went fishing with the guy, and he wasn’t even able to bait his own hook, and when she shared that story with Akins, he sat down with fellow co-writers Moore and Jeremy Stover and they turned it into a song. And the rest is history.

Now baiting a hook is a relatively simple concept, so its’ hard to imagine there is a knowledge barrier that prevents a man from being able to bait a hook. It’s more likely that any fellas unable to bait a hook are just too much of a pretty boy to get their hands dirty.

The song seemingly applies more to country music culture today than it did even a decade ago, as the “country” radio charts are now filled with songs sung by dudes who have probably never baited their own hook or caught a fish. It’s a trend that Lainey Wilson seems to have called out in her #1 song Things A Man Oughta Know through the lyrics “I can catch a fish.”

Let’s take a deep dive into the lyrics of the song and get a full appreciation for the incredible songwriting it displays. There are also some important life lessons that can be learned from the song.

“I heard you had to drive him home after two umbrella drinks
I heard he’s got a Prius ’cause he’s into being green
My buddy said he saw y’all eating that sushi stuff
Baby that don’t sound like you, that don’t sound like love
Sounds like it sucks…”

Given that classic Nashville dive bars and honky Tonks are seemingly turning into clubs and fancy restaurants, and the number of trucks on the road is now exceeded only by Priuses and Teslas, these lines apply more now ever before.

“He can’t even bait a hook
He can’t even skin a buck
He don’t know who Jack Daniels is
Ain’t ever drove a truck
Knows how to throw out a line
But not the kind in a Field and Stream book
No darling I ain’t even worried you’ll come running back
He can’t even bait a hook.”

Now, I’m from Kentucky, so I prefer Jim to Jack but I mean no disrespect to Mr. Daniels. But again, the only excuse for not being able to bait a hook just comes from an unwillingness to get your hands dirty.

Skinning a buck is also an important life lesson that every man should learn.

“Has he kissed you in a hay field as a summer rain falls down
Has he took you to meet his mama back in his hometown
Does he drive the interstate or does he take them ol’ back roads
Can he melt your heart with a country song every good ol’ boy should know
I didn’t think so …”

Nothing more romantic than making out in a hayfield during a thunderstorm, plus everyone knows a relationship gets real once introductions to mama start happening.

Plus there is nothing more therapeutic than cruising a backroad with some classic country music blasting out the windows.

If a guy knows more about pick up lines than fishing lines, that’s probably a red flag. This song serves as an important reminder that if a girl breaks your heart you can always just go fishing, and that might be the most important life lesson in all of these lyrics.

And the outro:

“Nah you’re the one that’s gonna be sorry when you’re headin’ to get tofu and he has a flat tire in has foreign car and don’t know how to change it and you’ll get your new Gucci shoes wet and you’re mad and irritated, I’ve seen you irritated, I’m telling you, better him than me actually…”

If he’s wearing Gucci shoes instead of a new pair of cowboy boots, chalk that up as a major red flag too.

And if he doesn’t know how to change a flat tire, then maybe see if Lainey Wilson will come help since that is something else she also sings about that in Things A Man Oughta Know.”

This song might have been inspired by Ben Roethlisberger, but it applies to a lot of fellas out there…

A beer bottle on a dock

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A beer bottle on a dock