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The 101 of Choosing the Right Fishing Nets

Selecting the correct fishing nets is a vital step in any fishing venture. Whether you’re an experienced angler, or still getting started, being able to identify the various types of fishing nets, discovering their particular uses, and how to select the best one for the moment, can improve your overall experience of fishing. 

This article aims to cover the basics of fishing nets, offering both informational insights into material types and mesh sizes as well as lightweight comparisons of various net types.

When this article is over, you’ll carry with you all the information you need to make up your mind about what kind of fishing net would best fit your fishing experience and at the same time make your catch rate higher. Fishing nets are among the crucial fishing gear that you need to carry to enhance your fly fishing.

Types of fishing nets

Gill Nets

Gill Nets

The most popular fish net is, of course, the gill net. These latter fishing nets were designed to suction fish by their gills, thus obtaining its name. Gill nets are hung in a horizontal orientation and are situated both in shallow and deep areas.

Generally, high-end fishing lines are extruded from synthetic materials such as monofilament or multifilament nylon. The size mesh will determine the size of the fish that can be hooked. 

Collapsing nets allow small fish to go through the net without getting stuck, while large fish struggle to get through and get caught when their mouths and gills get caught.

Gill nets constitute the common choice among fishermen due to their low cost and applicability. On the one hand, they prove to be very environmentally friendly when used carefully but on the other, they may cause non-target species to be caught inadvertently.

Cast Nets

Cast Nets

Cast nets, often referred to as throw nets, are relatively small, circular nets with small weights lining the perimeter. These fishermen, mostly from boats in the sea, cast the net into the water and let it sink to the ocean bed. The weight attached to the fishing net acts like an anchor and forces the net to flatten out into a circle, as the fish underneath it cannot avoid being ensnared.

As the net is stuffed full of fish, anglers haul it back into the boat. Cast nets are generally thrown in shallow water areas which are most suitable for capturing shoals of fish. They need talent to hold them because the correct technique of throwing is hard to attain.

Trawl Nets

Trawl Nets

The size of trawl nets is comparable to a cone, while the water is passed through by one or two boats that drag them. Through its wide mouth, the net captures fish, while only the relatively narrow end or codend holds them close to boarding the vessel. Trawl net may be perfectly configured to fish in different depths according to the species being pursued.

Using the trawling method allows the net to be dragged on the bottom, which is a good mechanism for catching bottom-dwelling fish but similarly leads to the destruction of the sea floor. The difference between bottom and mid-water trawling is that in the first, the net is towed on the seafloor and thus the damage to the environment is bigger, while the second tows in the water column above the seafloor and it is less damaging.

Drift Nets

Drift Nets

Drift nets are huge gill nets that are permitted to float adrift alongside the current. These are some most suitable gears for capturing pelagic fish like tuna and salmon being used in open-calm seas. Drift lines are said to go for hundreds and sometimes for thousands of meters.

The animals are very often exposed to the water the whole night and brought out the day after that. Drift which appears to be very efficient cannot stay immune from accusations due to its negative impact on nontarget species and the environment. A substantial number of states have prohibited fishing processes that employ drift nets to ensure the survival of marine life. It’s among the best fly fishing nets that you can add to your collection.

Purse Seine Nets

Purse Seine Nets

The purse seine are huge wall-like nets that are used to contain schools of fish which allow for their entire capture. The net is surrounded on the bottom, drawing tighter and tighter, or “pursuing,” to use the net’s fancy name, so that all fish wouldn’t escape out downwards.

Nets of purse seines are being utilized for the catching of pelagic fish such as tuna, mackerel, or shellfish. Certainly, they might be efficient just like other kinds of gears. However, careless usage of gears can also result in being caught by non-target species.

Fyke Nets

Fyke Nets

Fyke nets being bag-shaped nets are used for catching eels and other fishes in rivers and streams. It has one or more baskets with which the fish flop into the net and there is no way to escape.

Unlike fyke nets which are usually anchored to the riverbed, they take a few days. They are a method of fishing where the fisherman does not need to wear out, as once the fishing net is set the fisherman can do other things.

Lift Nets

Lift Nets

Lift nets are a special kind of net that is lowered into the water and then brought out quickly. This excludes any fish that was mostly above the net. They can be used from a ship as well as from the shore, they come in different variants. By hand-operating small lift nets while the larger ones usually are operated by winches or other lifting devices. Lift nets can be employed for intercepting congregating fishes or submerged-swimming species.

There are advantages and disadvantages of different types of fishing nets, a decision of which type to use requires the type of fish to be targeted, the fishing environment, and the specific skills and needs of the fisherman. Fishermen should practice responsible fishing to minimize the environmental impact of their nets and the number of non-target species.

How to Choose the Right Fishing Net?

Consider the Type of Fishing

You should think about the type of fishing that you want to perform as the first thing to consider when choosing a fishing net. Different forms of fishing usually require the use of some specific kinds of nets. For instance, when you’re going to practice fly fishing, a net with a long handle and deep bag is needed to safely capture and let the fish go back into the water again. If you are planning on going beach fishing, you will wear a net which should be made from the material that resists corrosion.

Think About the Size of the Fish

When thinking about the size of fish you want to catch, the net type should be included as a factor. If you target the catch of smaller species, a small net with small mesh spacings will do. On the contrary, a wide mesh size for the net is necessary if you are hunting larger species.

Choose the Right Material

Nets of fishing barges may come in a variety of materials, each having its own set of pros and cons. Some nets are abrasion-resistant and inexpensive, but unfortunately, during catch-and-release fishing, they can damage fish scales, rendering them less appropriate. Rubber nets involve smooth catching and less difficulty in the separation of organs or fish species but they are more expensive.

Check the Depth of the Bag

The bag’s capacity also needs to be considered. A good net with a deep bag will enable you to place fish straight back into the water when you are removing the hook, without removing the fish from the water. On the contrary, a small bag may be the best solution if you will be keeping the fish.

Consider the Handle Length

The handle length plays a big role in fishing from the boat or a dock, and it should be not too long or short, to avoid accidental drops when casting. An extended handle will enable you to reach deeper into the water, but a shorter grip can be more convenient and movable to carry around wherever you need it.

Look at the Hoop Size

The size of the hoop should allow the netting to be big enough to scoop the fish freely without being overwhelming to handle. For targeting the larger species choose the larger balloon size.

How to maintain your fishing nets?

Maintaining your nets and fishing gear not only prolongs their operating life but also ensures their correct functioning. Cleaning the filters is an imperative rigor to undertake after every fishing trip that may entangle sludge, fish grease, salt, dirt, or scales that have subsequently stuck on the net during fishing.

This is achieved when immersing the net in a bucket composed of a solution of water and mild liquid soap or dawn soap as theorized by The Hull Truth and Angling Direct institutions. Let it soak for at least one hour or until the soil is soft enough to easily skim off by scraping. Wash such “stubborn dirt” in the net can be strengthened by agitation in the soapy water.

Wash the net with clean water. Then, let the net dry correctly before packing it. It’s mandatory to hang dry in the open and ideally under the sun so it gets the fresh air.

Let’s just consider storage, your fabrics are better stored in a cool, dry, and ventilated space because mold growth can damage the net and could be harmful for storage. However, the importance is often on the quality of the nets which may even require special care. It’s a case in point why nets containing some metal parts like those in nets must be cleaned at least once a year but some cases can be even more frequent or depend on where and for what purpose they are used.

Wrapping up!

The fishing nets are critical tools that no angler would do without. Using the appropriate net is therefore the first step to unlocking a rewarding fishing experience. Whether you’re a novice angler or someone quiet on the experienced side, it pays you to know what kinds of nets fishing has and their features.

Another important idea is the fact that you’ll need to maintain your net system to make it keep functioning and trapping fish. Now when you go casting for one of those hour-long tugs next time, see to it that your nets are in prime condition before and after use.