Hooking the 10-pound walleye of a lifetime is only half the battle.
Experience proves most trophy walleyes are lost at the boat.
The critical moments come when it’s time to grab the net. Unfortunately, net handling also is an aspect of fishing that gets little attention.
Wait years for a 31-inch walleye. Now when it’s thrashing on the surface is not the time to realize your net was made solely for 17-inch “eaters.”
Here are some suggestions from Wisconsin’s top walleye guide Greg Bohn, who has a reputation for catching the big ones.
Use A Muskie Net
The hoop on a muskie net is built for big fish, and there’s less chance you’ll knock one off. The larger net also means there’s less chance for a hook to hang up and let a fish pull free.
Use Reflective Tape
Trophies often come after dark. To make sure you can grab your net in a hurry, put several pieces of reflector tape around the hoop and on the handle.
Keep The Net Handy
Make sure the net always is handy. Don’t weigh it down under tackle boxes or let the net catch on cleats or under compartment lids.
Net The Water
Finally, as you lean to scoop up the walleye, imagine you’re netting the water around the fish, not the fish itself. There’s a tendency to bump the fish with the hoop if that’s where your attention is focused.
If you have more questions, you can reach Greg Bohn at www.gregbohn.com or phone 715-356-4633.
For a fine assortment of Fresh Water fishing gear including nets, click here.
Ted Takasaki and Scott Richardson write a weekly column for sportsmansguide.com. Ted has many fishing achievements, including a victory at the 1993 Mercury Nationals and the 1995 Professional Walleye Trail Top Gun award. He reached the pinnacle of both angling and business when he was named PWT Champion in 1998 and president of Lindy Little Joe, Inc., of Brainerd, Minn., a year later. (Ted’s sponsors include Ranger Boats, Mercury Outboards, Pinnacle Rods and Reels, Bottom Line Electronics, Minn Kota, Stren, Normark, Flambeau, Master Lock, Gamakatsu, Aqua Vu and Nautamatic TR 1.)