Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Basket nets new this year; good luck sign?

Flat bottom and small rubber-coated mesh should make net easier to use, aid fish
About half of our landing nets this year will be this basket net model from Lucky Strike. It has a flat bottom rather than a V like a standard landing net. This is said to prevent the fish from bending into a V itself when landed, something that is purported to cause the fish harm.
I'm not sure of that fact. I've never netted and released a big pike that seemed injured from being bent in the net. However, the flat bottom should make it easier to extract the fish and therefore it can be returned to the lake quicker.
These nets also have a fine mesh that has been coated in rubber. The small mesh size is also expected to cause less harm to fish by preventing them from getting their mouths and fins entangled. I'm hoping that the rubber coating also prevents anglers' hooks from being ensnared in the fabric of the mesh. This is how most of our existing nets get ruined. Tiny hooks, like those on Rapalas, get stuck right through the fabric and out come the knives. I wish people would take more care with our nets. This model, for instance, costs $70.
We also have some rubber nets which are excellent for netting walleye of any size but can feel like a serving spoon when you are staring at a 44+inch northern pike.
This new basket net, I'm hoping, will do both. It looks deep enough that a small alligator will fit into it, at least if it curls just a bit but at the same time it offers the ease of extraction that comes with the rubber nets.
We'll run the new nets in half of our boats this summer and see what anglers think of them.
The bottom photo is something I don't believe I've ever seen before: a rainbow with snow on the ground and first thing in the morning too. This scene is looking west at about 7 a.m.
I'm hoping it is a sign of good luck for ice-out. We could use some right about now. Our daytime temperatures are above freezing but are pathetic compared to normal. It is going to take a miracle for ice to be gone from most lakes in Northwestern Ontario before May 17.
Brenda will be in Red Lake this coming weekend and will send a report on the spots we watch closely for a clue as to what is happening: Skookum Bay, Chukuni River, the little lakes south of town along the highway.
I think it is a foregone conclusion that there will be ice in Red Lake after May 17. Our only hope for the first week now is that water will open in the river and then in front of camp so we can fly in. Our guests that first week are used to this and, I think, even look forward to it. These are almost all dyed-in-the-wool northern pike fishermen who fish with dead bait. This system works the best in ice-cold water.
Unusual rainbow over snow in early morning

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