Nets are for wimps and fishermen using light equipment, right? Wrong! Nets are for fishermen who want a better chance of landing fish.
If you are losing fish at the boat, then there is a good chance one of three things is happening;
You aren’t setting the hook properly or your hooks aren’t sharp enough. Make sure to always check your hooks before you head out fishing. Simply scratching the top of a finger nail will give you an indication of the hook sharpness.
You aren’t using a net. If you’re fun fishing and would rather the thrill of landing your fish by hand, there’s nothing wrong with that, but be aware that if those fish are short striking then there is a good chance you could lose a lot of fish. When fish short strike a treble hook type lure, like a jerkbait, you will find that you are always be hooking them on the back treble. Using a net in this case will only eliminate the chances of losing fish.
You aren’t using the right net. There is much deliberation on what the “best” net to use is, but like many things fishing related, it mostly comes down to personal preference. Some may say that the shallow rubber nets give the fish the chance to literally bounce out of the net. In our opinion, it all depends on the experience of the person netting the fish. If you scoop the fish and bring it in the boat all in one motion, you stand less of a chance of that fish bouncing out and going for a ride.
Deeper nets are preferred by many pros, as the fish literally can not jump out of the net. With that in mind, it’s best to spend a few more dollars and get a net that has a rubberized coating on the mesh. Yes, those nets will run you $20 or $30 more, but for the sake of the fish’s well being, it’s worth it. The rubberized coating aren’t as stretchy as the rubber nets themselves, it simply helps preserve the fish’s protective slim.
Another feature you may want to have in a net, and most nets do have them now, is an extendable handle. The extendable handle allows you to go out and get the fish further away from the boat, which is a big help especially for guys fishing with light line and tackle. Also, if you are limited for space in your boat, a telescoping handle will save you space and frustrations as you won’t always be tripping over it.
Nets are an important piece to our arsenal. They help us eliminate the frustration of another fish jumping off! That extendable handle we mentioned gives us a better chance of boating the fish, makes it easier on our backs, and like a good neighbor, it’ll be there when you need it most!
photo cred: Wyandotte High School Bass Team