Have you lost a catch of a lifetime at the side of your yak or had a fish with lots hooks hanging in its face thrashing around on deck? Time for a landing net. Check out the Bass Pro Gold Series Landing Net.
Bass Pro Gold Series Landing Net
Like everything else with my kayak fishing it is all trial and error. Fish/Landing nets are no different. I started out not using any and after losing to many fishing trying not to get bitten or barbed I made the switch. My first net was one I already had an old collapsible freshwater trout net I had inherited from my father. It did work very well except the fine mesh meant digging out any and all hooks that came into contact with it. Now here is the silly part after getting fed up with digging hooks out all the time I went back to not using it.
They are a safety item just like your life vest, they help keep you and the fish both in one piece. Being the knuckle dragger that I am I have to learn the hard way from time to time. The following two incidents occurred only two weeks apart after going 10 years or more without getting stuck. Both were while snakehead fishing in very remote areas of south Florida. The first was an out of control snakehead loose on the deck who managed to punch a 4/0 worm hook through the palm of my left hand. The next was a gar that buried a small treble in my right ankle. Field surgery was performed with success times two much to my wife’s dismay. Had these fish been in the proper net I most likely would have avoided scaring the heck out of my best fishing partner.
The next day we picked up two of the large rubber hex mesh nets from Walmart. They definitely kept us out of harms way. They had two issues that annoyed me to the point of finding an alternative. One was that they didn’t collapse making them harder to store. The second was that they were very limited in size. Longer and larger fish just wouldn’t fit.
Enter the solution we found online at Bass Pro. Their rubber mesh Gold Series Folding Landing Net model # GSF25-35. This model sports a 26″x25″ hoop; 15.5″ net depth and a 35″ handle. Its large enough that I squeezed a 42” 55-60 lb black drum into it. When folded it easily stores in the rear tank well with livewells or crates in the well. The only change I made to ours was to add a ¼” nylon rope leash with a D-ring clip at the end. This prevents losing the net.
It comes in three varieties a smaller version and the same size as ours but with a telescopic handle. Prices are 19.99, 29.99 (ours), and 34.99 for the telescopic model. When compared to other manufactures you cant beat the value for such a needed piece of equipment.