Fishing Landing Net
Tubers and tooners should always have a landing net. Nets are the quickest and easiest way to corral and control fish. That can be especially important if you are catching fish with teeth, spines or sharp gill covers. Of course you can just “lip” some species with your thumb and forefinger. But, using “lip grippers” on the toothy ones is safer…with less “weight loss”. There are many different sizes and designs in landing nets. Some prefer longer handled nets. Others like those with shorter handles and stretch cord. Long handled nets are better for pontoons where you need a longer reach to scoop your fish. Shorter handled jobs sometimes work better in the less spacious confines of a float tube.
If you prefer a bigger net one with a 2 or 3 foot handle is usually plenty long. The longer the handle the more difficult it becomes to find a spot to keep the net out of your way when not in use. Many tubers and tooners who carry the longer handled nets either lay them across their craft, out of the way, or rig special tubes in which to carry them. Some tooners install snap-in holders on the frame of their toon.
Some floatation fishermen prefer the simplicity and easier storage of the shorter handled nets with cord and snap ring connectors. Hanging one of these on your craft is simple in concept. Just snap the hook onto a D ring and away you go. But, just in case you haven’t thought things all the way through here are some considerations:
1. Set up the net on the side opposite your rod arm. That makes it easier to reach the net when
you need it to land that lunker while holding the rod and maneuvering the fish.
2. If you use a net with a stretch cord connection don’t leave too much cord between the net
and your craft. It will tangle around your fins and/or every rock or snag you come near.
It’s better to leave only a few inches between D ring and tube. If you have a long cord run it
through the front D ring and attach it to the rear one. You’ll still have enough stretch to
reach as far as you need to scoop a fish.
3. Get a net with a floating handle or install a piece of foam around the handle if floatation is
not standard. That makes it easier to recover the net if you lose it over the side.
4. Don’t carry a bigger net than you will ever conceivably need. Optimism is great but the
larger the net the more likely it will get in the way…and nets are “hook magnets”.
5. Don’t go “under-netted”. You seldom use a net on small fish anyway. If you catch a big one
you don’t want to have to explain to everybody that you didn’t have a big enough net and
that’s why you don’t have a real fish to verify your fish story.
6. Get a net with heavy-duty rot-resistant nylon or rubber mesh. Nobody wants to hear you
crying about the big one that tore through the bottom of your rotten net either.
Tubers and tooners sometimes add a tube to a rod rack or tool rack to hold landing nets.
Ideally, your net will be on your non-casting side but you can rig a separate tube on the casting side,
as long as it is out of the way. You may want to secure the mesh with a rubber cord. That helps
keep the net from interfering with your casting or fishing. Just make sure you can reach and
remove it easily during the excitement of battle.