How to weight your musky net.
If you are fishing alone and have to land a musky it can be a very demanding task to hold the rod in one hand and dip the net in very quickly to scoop the fish. Often the problems source arises from the fact that there is air resistance and water surface resistance when the net hits. Here is a successfully tested method I have used that allows me to net a fish with one hand from the boat using a large net.
1. Buy a can of insulating foam from your hardware store (Menards, Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, Etc.) Undo the cap on the net handle on both sides and spray this in. Use safety precautions, i.e. gloves, full face mask, old clothes etc. Put a piece of tape over the ends and poke a hole in it. This will allow air in to complete the curing. Also if your handle has a lock button be sure not to freeze it in place. After you take the tape off in a few days it may gooey out so be careful then too, it still needs more curing time. What this process does is gives the handle mass without significantly sacrificing buoyancy.
2. I also unscrewed the loop and ran a cable TV cable through it up to the screw holes. This allows you to have weight in the loop which helps break the surface and dive in deeper. But we are not finished yet because it is oddly weighted. We need something that works like using a Winchester rifle on a horse. And that’s the most important step 3.
3. Weight the handle pole by the back end tip. This allows you to use a balanced lever approach and makes it more maneuverable. To do this I duck taped a metal chisel or two (got from Harbor Freight) to the back of the handle. You can also use any heavy pipe scrap metal you can find. I had initially planned on fixing it inside the handle but never got that far. The secret to this step is to use just the right amount of weight at the back end of the net, an iterative decision process.
This makes for safer fishing also, and a quicker release. PS I cut the net to get a small musky out quicker and you should do this also. Net repair line and instructions are available for sale at Netcraft Inc. website. It’s not too hard to do and you can also weave a new net basket once you learn this also. If you make a net you will feel a sense of nostalgia or a connection to ancient fisherman. I guarantee it. With the latter suggestion you might make your misses jealous of your manly knitting craft.
Copyright 2010 Thomas Paul Murphy