Selecting the Right Net
You really need to have at least two different nets on your boat, one for bottom fishing and another for big trophy sized striped bass. Not only does the size of the fish matter, but also the type of terminal tackle. In addition it is important to choose the right net to minimize any harm to fish that will eventually be released. Handles are also an important consideration and that selection is usually determined by the layout and freeboard of your boat.
The single biggest mistake that most boat owners make is simply buying the cheapest net from their local tackle shop. These nets never last and often fail at the critical moment. Good quality nets can last many seasons with little or no maintenance.
Many bottom fishing rigs include a a separate free swinging weight which can easily get tangled in the mesh and possibly cost you a trophy. In addition, the larger mesh size can be damaging to the gills of smaller fish. It is important to choose a small mesh size. It is almost impossible to select a mesh size that is too small.
Frabill Pow’R-Lok yoke system
Frabill makes many of their nets using their Pow’R-Lok yoke system which allows the net to be stored more easily by sliding the handle into the hoop of the net. This not only allows you to store the nets in a smaller compartment on your boat, but there is no need to re-attach the handle each time. Another great advantage to this system is when I’m fishing alone, many times I don’t always remember to have the net fully accessible and ready. In many cases when I’m fighting a large fish I realize my nets is still inside the console, I take a few steps towards the console while still fighting the fish, reach in and get the net out, hold the net over the slide and give it a quick snap and I’m ready to land the fish. The Pow’R-Lok yoke system has helped me land big fish in tough situations many times. Frabill is the only net manufacturer who has a system like this on their nets. No one else comes even close!
As if Frabill nets couldn’t be any better already, in the conservation series nets they have added an extending handle inside the standard one. In some cases a standard 48″ handle just isn’t enough so now you can extend your handle from 48″ to a whopping 96″! This is a great option to have especially on party boats.
When NOT to Use a Net
It is important that every boat be equipped with a Berkley hook removal tool (also known as a fish flipper or dehooker). If you know you are going to release the fish, and can see the hook. just use the flipper to release it. Netting a fish that is going to be released anyway causes needless wear and tear and can remove the slime coating which protects the fish.