Landing nets for flats fishing

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Landing nets for flats fishing

Post Number:#1  Postby Fla » Thu Mar 28, 2019 9:41 pm

Hi all

Whats your opinion about landing nets for flats/bonefish fishing? Is anyone around that is using a net?

Cheers, Flavio
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Landing nets for flats fishing

Post Number:#2  Postby Graeme H » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:31 am

We have local flats around Perth that contain a fish we call whiting. They look a bit like bonefish in shape but are definitely not in the same league as a sport fish. They are very tasty though!

If I'm fishing for them, I often carry a net because I sometimes keep a few for dinner. The landing net makes it easier to land them. If I'm fishing the same flats for other fish that I do not intend to keep (e.g. giant herring or mullet) I don't bother with a net because I'm releasing them anyway.

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Landing nets for flats fishing

Post Number:#3  Postby Nick » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:11 pm

Bonefish have a thick slime coat that would be easily damaged by a net, except for maybe a soft rubber net. I think the best option for the fish is probably to use a hook removal tool of some sort, and not handle the fish at all.
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Landing nets for flats fishing

Post Number:#4  Postby Fla » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:44 pm

The thing with the slime is what one often hears/reads for a reason not to use a net. I would only use a net in order to be more fish friendly. I am thinking about a rubber mesh wading net (trout competition style).

I guess it's a trade off between shorter fight/reduced stress and damaging the slime - the outcome is very difficult to estimate for someone like me with no bonefish experience. Could the fight be drastically reduced by using a net, or does it not really matter compared to the long runs you will have anyway?

In my opinion me using a landing net is very beneficial for the fish in most of my usual freshwater fishing.

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Landing nets for flats fishing

Post Number:#5  Postby petevicar » Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:32 pm

Hi Flavio
One problem with bonefish, particularly the smaller ones is that if they are not tired they jump about like crazy when you try to hold them to unhook them.
The smaller fish can be brought in quite easily but are then quite difficult to handle. The larger ones are pretty tired when they come in and are much easier to unhook.

The best way to calm a bonefish down so that you can unhook it is to turn it onto it's back. It then becomes very docile and easy to unhook.

I have never seen anyone use a net to land bonefish. I have seen guides use nets for redfish, permit, snook but never for bones.

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Landing nets for flats fishing

Post Number:#6  Postby Paul Arden » Sat Mar 30, 2019 1:46 pm

A friendly net that turns into a cage, similar to my trout nets but of rubber, I think would be a great bonus for this type of fishing. Something like the guides on the Madison use but 2ft deep with a circular flat bottom. Such a thing doesn’t exist at the moment.

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Landing nets for flats fishing

Post Number:#7  Postby Willy Franzen » Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:43 pm

petevicar wrote:I have never seen anyone use a net to land bonefish. I have seen guides use nets for redfish, permit, snook but never for bones.


I've had a few guides use nets on bonefish. One was in the Bahamas a long time ago. The other was last year, but it was a very, very large bonefish. He usually doesn't bother with the net, but he didn't want to risk losing this one at the boat with the leader grab.
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Landing nets for flats fishing

Post Number:#8  Postby Jonathan » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:04 pm

For bones I only use the Moana Kofe hook release and almost without exception you need not touch the fish. Works for other species also of course.
https://tforods.ca/products/moana-kofe- ... freshwater
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