Net Results
Musky Hunter|April/May 2020
STUDY INDICATES TYPE OF NETTING USED MAY AFFECT SURVIVAL OF FISH
Jordan Weeks

Most of the musky fishing world believes in catch and release. Furthermore, we often partake in conversations regarding the ethics of fish handling and safety. In addition, most of us carry a bunch of gear specifically to protect the fish (and ourselves) during the release process. One of the most important items a musky angler carries is a net.

What if I told you that a net could be one part of your gear that actually harms the fish we all love? Now before you get too fired up, let me explain.

There is a gradient of stressors associated with fishing in general that cannot be avoided and includes use of gear that magnifies those stressors. Acceptable risk/stressors include hooking and fighting the fish. We all assume these two items as risks to fish mortality we are willing to ignore. If this was not true, you wouldn’t have much use for this magazine, and I wouldn’t have this job. You would not fish for muskies.

Once the fish is hooked and nears the boat, each angler is faced with several choices, all of which have varying consequences as they relate to delayed mortality for the fish and potential injury for the angler. The first of which is how to subdue the beast. Most anglers I know use some sort of large net to corral the fish and dislodge the hooks.

Fifteen years ago, I “used” a cradle. The word used is in quotations because despite my extensive use of this gear at work, I found it problematic to put into practice while fishing and had many failures using a cradle. Some of you know what I’m talking about.

Back to that beast in the bag.

Nets come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. Each has a long handle and semi-circular hoop from which a mesh “bag” hangs. This “bag” is of interest to me and at least a few other scientists. Does the mesh type influence post-capture mortality? If so, to what extent?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM MUSKY HUNTERView All

What can Current Do For You?

WATER FLOW IN LAKES IS SUBTLE AND OFTEN OVERLOOKED. BUT MUSKIES USE IT, SO WHY SHOULDN’T YOU?

3 mins read
Musky Hunter
February/March 2021

Mountain State Muskies In Spring

CATCH MUSKIES DURING TIMES WHEN NOTHING IS PREDICTABLE

4 mins read
Musky Hunter
February/March 2021

Winter Presentations For Southern Rivers

Winter has arrived, yet in the South it’s still mild enough to keep fishing with the exception of maybe a week or two of an Arctic front.

3 mins read
Musky Hunter
February/March 2021

Tune Up For The Season Ahead

Have you started making your plans for the upcoming fishing year?

3 mins read
Musky Hunter
February/March 2021

Rob Manthei

Guide Rob Manthei’s love for the Vilas/Oneida County region of northern Wisconsin is deeply rooted. His father and grandfather started taking him there on fishing trips when he was just two years old, and he began guiding full-time at the age of 25.

6 mins read
Musky Hunter
February/March 2021

Find The Right Structure In Deep, Clear Water

With breathtaking scenery, vast amounts of water, and complex and diverse structure, clear water Canadian Shield lakes offer some of the most sought-after musky fishing in the world. A bucket-list destination for the passionate and determined angler, there’s something truly special about being in the sanctuary of the great Canadian Shield lakes.

4 mins read
Musky Hunter
February/March 2021

Multi-Species Or Bay Boat ... You Make The Choice

Is there really such a thing as a perfect musky boat? There are so many variables to choose from in the market today. Do I want a casting or trolling boat? Aluminum or fiberglass? Welded or riveted? Do I want a tiller, side console, dual console, or full windshield?

4 mins read
Musky Hunter
February/March 2021

Region To Region

Region To Region

10+ mins read
Musky Hunter
February/March 2021

Genetic Study Yields Answers

STUDY SUGGESTS LEECH STRAIN IS NOT THE ‘SILVER BULLET’ FOR WISCONSIN MUSKY WATERS

6 mins read
Musky Hunter
February/March 2021

Crawling Crankbaits To Catch Cold Water Muskies

Crankbaits catch plenty of muskies during spring, summer and fall, but the key to catching ’skies in the very early cold water season on these lures involves some special tricks.

3 mins read
Musky Hunter
February/March 2021