The Bassholes - It takes one to know one.
 


The Moment Of Truth
Proper Netting
on Tuesday 30 June 2009
by Bob Jensen

 

The Moment of Truth

 

You and your fishing partner got up early this morning to get on the lake at first light. The lake has a history of producing big fish, and you have a lure on the end of your line that will appeal to big fish.

Your line is fresh and the knot attaching your lure to the line is a good one.

A few fish eat your bait. Keepers, but not the truly big one you've been hoping for.

Then it happens.

A fish takes your bait, and immediately you know this is the guy you came for. The weight on the end of your line is heavy. You can feel the head shakes. No long runs, just short powerful ones. Your drag is set perfectly, but you flip off the anti-reverse switch so you can back-reel. After a minute or two your adversary comes into view. It's a really big one!

What happens in the next few minutes will determine if you are going to go home with photos of a wonderful fishing memory, or if you'll be telling stories about the one that got away. Your partner's netting technique will be the difference between catching a trophy and losing a trophy.

The key thing to keep in mind when netting a fish is to net the fish head-first. Don't chase a fish with the net. Never try to bring the net from behind the fish to net it. Even if the fish is played out, it can swim faster than you can move the net.

Don't try to net a fish when it's still deep in the water. Even if you have a net with a long telescopic handle, wait until the fish is on or just under the surface of the water. Bad things happen if you try to net a fish before it's ready.

We net fish for several reasons. First, we just want to get it in the boat, and it's easier to get a fish in the boat with a net.

However, it's also safer to net the fish, for you and the fish. If you're using multi-hook lures, the chances to get one of those hooks in your hand is much higher if you try to hand-land the fish.

If you're going to release the fish, it's better to net it quickly so it isn't stressed, which decreases its chance for survival.

The proper net will also increase the fish's odds for survival. Frabill has a Conservation Series of nets that has a flat bottom to better support the fish, and knotless mesh on the bag. The knotless mesh prevents damage to the fish's eyes and scales. Frabill is the leader when it comes to net innovation.

Your partner came through for you. The fish went into the net, a couple of photos were snapped, and the trophy was released. When the moment of truth arrives again, make sure you practice good netting technique to insure your fishing success.

---Bob Jensen





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