Two Takes on Netting Fish
Do you ever become frustrated trying to net fish?
Netting a fish is a process. These 2 anglers give you their tips for netting and landing fish. Take these items into consideration next time you head out to the river.
Plan for it. Expecting to actually catch something is your first step towards success. Don’t make netting and landing your fish an afterthought. The excitement of being hooked up and keeping that fish out of the root ball is enough to worry about.
What goes into the plan? Having the right sized net, know where to go, prepare the fish for landing, position the fish for landing, manage your net, and a little luck.
Start with the correct sized net for the water. In other words, don’t take your little 12-inch trout net to lunker lane where your tossing bugs to 20+ inch pigs. *Tip of the day - try a long handle net. I have used the Rising Lunker Net and now use a Fish Pond Fishpond Nomad Fly Fishing Carbon Fiber & Fiberglass composite Mid-Length Net and I’ve found both to be excellent nets.
Slow down Tex! You want to land the fish fast but that fish has to be ready. Their head has to be up. When your fish is nosing down it is still strong and has plenty left in the tank.
Get downstream of that fish, reel it in, get into that Orvis pose and lift that head and let the current slide that head and body into the net.
Assist in the landing by positioning your net correctly. But your net down into the water at a 35% or so angle. Avoid bumping the head and especially making contact with the line. Line contact can be a deadly scenario. Breaks happen all the time from this poor technique.
Netting a fish can be a process, and playing a fish too long can kill them. Not to mention give them ample opportunity to come unbuttoned from your line. As long as a fish is holding itself upright in the water and keeping its head down, it is not ready for the net.
Once they roll on their side and come to the surface, it’s time to net. The first time this happens the fish may right itself again and make another run. The second time you should be ready to seal the deal.
Net the fish at the surface. Otherwise, you risk breaking off by making contact with the line.
As long as a fish has its head submerged it is in control. Fish can turn quickly to make an escape and there’s a good chance that you will catch the line with the net and break off.
Lift your rod tip high as you reach for the fish and keep its nose out of the water.
Net the head! Don’t try to scoop a big fish from behind! Fish do not have a reverse. Put his head in the net first and he’s got nowhere to go. Control your fish use the fish’s momentum to bring them to the net. Steer their head to you, keep them moving and keep that nose up and it will slide right into the net.
Now plan your landing before you cast. Look for a place where the current is slower, there are no obstructions to get caught up in, and where you can be downstream of the fish if in a river.
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