Netting fish is a critical aspect of angling and even seasoned anglers make mistakes while netting fish. Jake Wallace offers a few tips on how to net fish.

How to Net Fish

First off you want to have the right net for the job at hand. Today net’s come in wide variety of sizes designed for all different species of fish. We have crappie and panfish nets, bass size nets, walleye size nets as well larger nets for pike, large trout and muskies.

Today, the best nets have good solid yoke that are made of strong tubular aluminum and have an adjustable telescopic handle with conservation focus rubber coated netting.

This coated netting is less likely to remove the fish’s protective slime coating. Clam Outdoors – Fortis line of nets has all the right features and even has a lifetime guarantee.

How to Net Fish: Position of the Net Man

Netting fish properly is sort of art form in itself and it does take a little practice to be really proficient at it. The first point I would like to talk about is the net man’s position in the boat.

how to net fish

This is particularly more important when you’re dealing with larger powerful fish like musky, pike or salmon or when you have light line fishing for walleye or bass.  As a general rule you’ll want the net man want to be in slightly in front of angler reeling in the fish. That being said you still need to be out of the way of the angler fighting the fish. 

It’s vitally important not place the net in the water in till it’s time to scoop the fish. Putting the net in the water to early tends to spook the fish away from the boat. If possible always try to net the fish head first. I’ve seen many anglers try to net the fish tail first and this when a lot of fish are lost boat side.

The real key is to have the angler fighting the fish lead the fish to the net. You don’t want to chase the fish are the net man.

Make sure the net man is in the right position and make a quick sweep with the net directly toward the fishes current swimming direction. Based on the length of your net you want to take the fish so it will swim directly through the center of the hoop. Remember, it’s very tough to net fish on the end of the net’s length.

How to Net Fish in Current or Trolling

Netting fish in fast river current is always tough. Make sure to position the net man downstream, of the angler with a hooked fish. It makes it a lot easier for the angler to simply back up and bring the fish to the net. This exact same thinking can be applied to netting in trolling situations.

How to Net Fish: Musky

Musky anglers uses a very specifics large net with a deep bag. Muskies once in the net they are usually left in the water where you take the hooks out and minimize the chances of hurting the fish.  Once the hooks are out the fish a lifted-out net for a couple of quick pictures prior to the release.

Hopefully these tips and tricks on how to net fish help you next time you are on the water.