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EricD

How to land fish

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EricD

I've been watching a few fishing shows on TV and it seems that, lately, more of these professional TV fishermen aren't bothering with landing nets. I always thought that, unless you could lift the fish directly into the boat, you should use a net to keep damage to the fish at a minimum. I see a lot of these guys either leaning of the edge of the boat grabbing a thrashing fish by the gills or lifting heavy fish into the boat by the hook in it's mouth. It seems you'd do a lot more damage than you would sliding the fish into a net, removing the hook and sliding it back into the water. Thoughts?

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Larson15

Landing nets do more damage to certain fish than by hand landing them especially if the net is not rubber or nylon coated. I have not seen any shows where someone has lifted a really heavy fish by the hook in its mouth. This would definitely not be a secure or safe way to land a fish either.

I think this question is more species specific to determine the best method.

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mainbutter

Older style nets can wreck HAVOC on muskies and pike. Given the choice, I'll always hand land with a hand under the gillplate and another below the belly. It's real simple and very safe for the fish, but it takes some practice to do quickly and well.

I'll never land a bass below 8lbs with a landing net. Always grab behind the head or lip 'em. Lots of tourny fishermen lift bass into the boat by the hook just with a stiff rod because they're more concerned with getting the fish in the boat than doing it as safe as possible for the fish. That's why you see lifting by the hook often on TV. It doesn't look too bad on smaller fish however.

The only time within the past year I used a landing net was with a coated musky net (don't lift the net in the boat, just use it to cradle the fish in the water), and with fish I keep for eating so there's no chance of them throwing the hook while attempting to land.

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PerchJerker

I don't use my net very often --- usually only if I'm fishing for money, or if I have a "big" fish --- or if there's lots of treble hooks flopping around outside the fish. Most of my walleyes are hoisted into the boat by the line or picked up with a belly lift, most of my pike are grabbed behind the head and gills, and most of my bass are hoisted or lipped. Seems quicker and easier to me than using a landing net, plus seems better for the fish.

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JohnMickish

If your not using a knotless coated net you are doing more harm than good. Frabil makes a great line of nets called the conservation series. They are great for the fish and hooks don't stick in them as an added bonus.

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jigginjim

I have both a rubber net and a rubber coated pen style. Easier, and safer for both fish and me to use a net.

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paul pachowicz

I've got one of those spring loaded "lip grappers". They work great. Haven't lost a one with it and it keeps you hands away from the treble hooks. I've seen two guys get hooked. No fun gettin the hook out of a wrist or finger.

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EricD

Well, you learn something new every day. Thanks everyone!

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DUCKAHOLIC

when im walleye fishing we always use the stowmaster net to get the fish into the boat but i lay it on the floor right away.. i dont like pulling them up with the hook ive lost all of fish that way...always use the net with northerns and muskies

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Nick Kuhn

I hand land everything up to about 32". Bigger than that I use the muskie net. No sense pulling out the net until you have to.

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cold one sd

I have several ways that I land fish. but if they look like supper they get "the net".

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solbes

I have several ways that I land fish. but if they look like supper they get "the net".

That's pretty much my strategy too. I will net walleyes that are either eater size or those special few that I want a picture of and don't want to lose.

Pike up to maybe 25" or so I just hoist or land by hand. I've netted one or two large pike that I could not do a release in the water due to how they were hooked. Those were thrashing so much that I didn't want to risk getting hooked either from hand landing.

Bass I usually grab by the lip and pull into the boat.

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deadeye

I have one of those rubber nets that Frabill makes and I really like it. I think they are a lot better for the fish and they don't catch the hooks which is a bonus. They seem like they dont pull the slime off like the old nylon string nets do.

For the most part I will hoist fish in unless they are too big. I don't really like trying to hand grab northerns or walleyes as it usually ends up with me hooked to a thrashing fish. That is not my idea of fun.

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