Carrying a landing net on a kayak is a necessary evil. The net takes up valuable space and always seems to tangle lures and rods. But, when a trophy fish is on the line, and the hook dangling precariously from the corner of its jaw, a landing net will scoop in to save the day.

More important, a landing net is safer for the fish, supporting its weight and protecting the fish from further injury.

Tournament angler Roger Colledge has learned the value of solid net skills.

When the winning fish is on the line, he follows these 8 simple steps to get the fish in the boat.

Step 1

Keep the net untangled and in easy reach. I place my net in the bow at arm’s length. Don’t place rods or tackle on the net and make sure it is clear of kayak rigging.

Step 2

As the fish approaches the boat, leave six to eight feet of line from the rod tip to the water. Keep the rod tip high to maintain pressure but be prepared to react if the fish jumps or runs.

Step 3

Lower the net into the water, submerging the front edge of the hoop.

Step 4

Do not lift the fish out of the water. Maintain tension on the line.

Easy as 1, 2, 3,
4, 5, 6 and 7. | Photo: Dustin Doskocil

Step 5

Hold the net steady and guide the fish into the hoop. Bring the fish to the net,
don’t chase the fish with the net.

Step 6

When the fish is over the hoop, lift it with the line while scooping with the net. Keeping the line tight prevents hooks from tangling in the net.

Step 7

Once the fish and net are on the deck, cover the fish to keep it from thrashing.

Step 8

With the fish under control, attach a lip gripper and remove the hook.

Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. | Featured Photo: Dustin Doskocil


  1. As I have discovered, a net with small mesh can lead to a nightmare removing a treble hook lure. I’ve taken to using a net where the holes are the size of a quarter to avoid the anguish of a tangled lure.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here