Whether you’re primarily a wade fisherman like me, or a boat or even bank fisherman, your fishing net can be a very important piece of fishing gear. When you fish with light line (like I do) being able to net a fish when you get it close to you can be a huge advantage to landing the fish. Many wade fishermen carry their nets on their back and simply reach behind them and grab the net whenever it’s needed. Then, when the net isn’t in use, it simple hangs of the way on the anglers back. These nets are great for trout and small mouth bass, but the nets are quite small, so aren’t very effective on really large fish.
Bank fishermen can employ nets quite effectively as well. Bank fishermen normally use larger nets than wade fishermen and these nets are equipped with long handles. This way as the fish gets close to the bank, the net can be used to net the fish rather than trying to kick the fish onto dry land or using your hands to grab the fish. Either of these techniques results in fish getting away about 25% of the time. Using a long handled net while bank fishing will result in more fish making it into the cooler, there’s no question about that. I’ve seen handles on bank fisherman’s’ nets that were easily in excess of eight feet! The length of the handle will depend on your fishing situation.
Boat fishermen use nets to avoid having to “hoist” the fish into the boat. Many times, having to do this will result in lost fish. Netting a fish instead of hoisting the fish into the boat is a way to avoid losing said fish. Not to mention the fact that many of the fish caught while fishing in boats are too big to “hoist” and have to bet netted in order to be lifted into the boat. Boat nets usually have handles long enough to reach from the boat to the water comfortably.
The bottom line is that fishing nets can be quite important to catching fish. Even if you’re a catch and release fisherman, netting a fish means that you handle said fish less, which is always a good thing. Remember these less stress we can put on the fish the better, and fishing nets help relieve the stress on the fish.