Fishing nets made of nylon and other fabrics can be troublesome for fish and fishermen.
Looking for ways to increase your stress levels, raise your blood pressure and put a real shine on your cursing skills?
There’s an easy way to do it
Starting this spring, go fishing. Pursue a species that likes to thrash – I mean really go crazy – at the side of the boat or at the bank. Maybe a big smallmouth bass or a hefty northern pike, let’s say. And be sure to catch that fish on something like a jerkbait that’s got three big, sharp, pointy treble hooks dangling below it.
Finally – and here’s the key – scoop that fish up in a fabric fishing net.
And let the sweaty, red-faced blasphemy fly.
You’ll want to anyway.
That’s because fabric fishing nets – those made of nylon or cotton or some other material – have two real flaws. One’s bad for fish, one’s bad for fishermen.
The problem the nets pose to fish is health related.
All fish – trout, bass, walleyes and so on – -are covered with a protective slime. It’s their version of Teflon coating.
It not only helps them glide through the water efficiently, but protects them against bacteria, fungi and parasites.
Thrashing in a fabric net invariably scrapes some of that slime off, though. That’s not a big deal on a fish destined for your table. But it is for the one you think you’re throwing back as healthy as ever.
The problem fabric nets pose to fishermen is that they’re hook point magnets.
Catch a bass on a floating minnow lure with two or three trebles and you can guarantee that most of those points will bury themselves in your netting. You’ll spend minutes getting the fish unhooked, then many more getting your lure out of the net.
That adds up to lost fishing time.
Rubber fishing nets – increasingly popular these days – solve both problems. But they are comparatively expensive.
And switching to one still leaves you with your old fishing nets in the garage.
There is, though, perhaps one way to make use them in a way that’s easy on you and your prey.
I was at the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo recently, talking with some tournament kayak bass anglers. And one offered a tip.
He has a favorite fishing net, one that suits him because it folds up. It’s perfect because it takes up minimal space on his already-crowded boat.
But it has fabric netting.
His solution, he told me, is to spray the net with a rubber coating, like Flex Seal or something similar. It doesn’t clog up the holes in the net, but does give it a smooth coating.
That doesn’t last forever. He might have to re-spray the net once a season, or maybe twice if he’s had a good year.
But, he claimed, it keeps his favorite net in the game.
To me, it seems that if you are only going to have one net, and space and weight aren’t considerations, buying a rubber net would be cheaper in the long run. But if you’ve already got one you’re partial to, and want to continue using, like his foldable one, this might be a solution.
Has anyone else tried this? If so let us know how it works.
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