A Guide to Fish-Friendly Landing Nets

Choosing the right landing net is crucial for ensuring the safe release of fish. Here’s what anglers should consider:

Example of Wide Mesh Net: In the past, wide-mesh nets were common, but newer options provide better alternatives. These nets, like those available from West Marine, offer improved design and functionality.

Tail Injuries: Large-mesh nets pose a risk of injuring fish, particularly their tails, as they can get squeezed through the mesh, causing tears and splits in the fins. This can lead to long-term damage and potential infections, ultimately affecting the fish’s health.

Cuts and Scrapes: Rough nylon netting can also cause cuts and scrapes on fish, exacerbating injuries. Additionally, the shape of the net plays a role, as some nets bend fish in unnatural positions, further aggravating injuries.

Fish-Friendly Mesh: Companies like Frabill and Promar offer fish-friendly landing nets with narrow mesh to minimize the risk of injury. For example, Frabill’s Trophy Haul series features ½-inch mesh and rubber-coated material, reducing the likelihood of tears and cuts.

Landing Pads: Specialized nets in the Trophy Haul and Premier Angler series have flat bottoms to cradle fish safely, preventing them from being bent in half. These nets prioritize the well-being of the fish, making them ideal for catch and release.

When selecting a landing net, it’s essential to prioritize fish-friendly options, especially for catch and release scenarios. Nets with narrow mesh, rubber-coated material, and specialized designs are ideal for ensuring the safety and well-being of released fish.

Image/Source: SaltwaterSportsman

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