Putting meat into the net is a learned skill. Consistent successful netting means practice, some basic gear, and lesson learned from mistakes.
As a kid, my Dad and I were fishing the Slough Creek, below the campground. I had found a silver Mepps #2 in a tree. Using this new spinner, I was catching trout after trout. As I retrieved the spinner through a deep bend pool, the rod was nearly jerked from my hands. I hung on and reared back. My Airex Reel’s drag screamed as loud as me!
A HUGE Rainbow Trout began putting on an aerial display. After seeing the trout airborne, several times, I can honestly say that it was well over 25 inches. As a kid, it was Moby Dick! After great coaching from my Dad, the big trout was coming toward the net.
The net was tiny! It was one of those cloth black fabric nets maybe 12 inches across. I remember thinking that there was no way the fish was going to fit. My Dad guided the trout into the net and two thirds of the fish was hanging out. Several flips and flops later, the mighty trout was gone! CRAP!!!
That trout taught me a lot. First, I needed a bigger net with a wider opening and deeper net. The net fabric needed to be fish friendly and durable when hooking onto the fence, branches, and… We learn the best lessons from Big Fat Mistakes!
Fast forward to ice fishing season, I hooked into a HE Rainbow on Martinsdale Reservoir. The 6-inch ice hole was tiny compared to this monster’s girth. When I tried to pull the fish through the hole, it got stuck! I grabbed for the mouth, but… You know the rest of the story.
On the next trip, I brought a small gaff!
Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight!
For more Montana Grant, net him at www.montanagrantfishing.com.