Pros and Cons of Keepnets?

peterjg

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I am considering whether or not to use a keepnet for roach fishing? I have not used one for many, many years and would appreciate your input: my main reason is - does using a keepnet stop returned roach from up setting the rest of the shoal?

Pros/ does using a keepnet stop a returned roach from scaring off the other roach?
Does using a keepnet stop pike from attacking returned roach? Useful for temporarily retaining a roach while setting up camera? No need to get up and return roach in another swim?

Cons/ disturbs swim? Taking home wet smelly net? Deters angler from moving swims? Harms roach? Definitely not to be used in hot weather or for barbel or carp.

Maybe I should just carry on not using one? Your thoughts?
 

ian g

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I've not used one for years for most of the reasons you mention . I'm not to sure about the shoal spooking ,a mate of mine caught the same decent size perch twice in a session even after returning it a reasonable distance away after catching it the first time . I also remember getting a net wrecked by a pike after a packed lunch when I was dace fishing.
 

tigger

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Imo and experience releasing fish straight back into your peg does not spook the other fish at all. Fish will simply rejoin the shoal (if there is one) and possibly sulk for a bit before starting to feed again, hence the frequency of re-captures.
Keepnets can and do cause quite a lot of damage to fish in the way of split fins, scales being knocked off etc. It's the after effects of these injuries that can cause other issues, such as infections, fungal growths growing from scrapes, split fins and such like. There are lots of reasons not to use an keepnet and only a couple of weak reasons to use one.
To use a keepnet in the present conditions which is warm low oxygenated water isn't good practice at all....common sense tells me to catch a fish and release it asap.
I did use one when I was kid and knew no better, it was the done thing back then.
 
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Paste paul

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funny one this
I've used keep nets all of my fishing life (45 years) mainly for matches but we used to use them in Ireland when pleasure fishing.
in the last 12 months or so maybe last couple of years I've fallen out with match fishing and one of the biggest reasons is the way the fish are been treated on matches, this is aimed mainly at commercial waters where 4 or more keep nets are required which I can't get my head around.
the state of some of the fish you catch is beyond poor not I hasten to add not all to do with keep nets but I don't think overfilling nets with big carp is good practice.
having said this you mention catching roach and I get where you are coming from its nice to see a few pound of roach put together after a few hours and can make a nice catch shot.
my thoughts are putting fish straight back doesn't scare the shoal so if that's your main reason for using one don't worry.
as for pike in my experience pike usually try and take roach off the hook as you play them and probably have more success doing that if you think about a roach when you put it back they shoot off and make a dash for freedom so probably as safe as usual.
yes nets are smelly but you can buy a stink bag and they do work.
harms the roach ? I suppose It could to some degree but if you are careful I don't think it would be critical, my local pond allows nets but they say try to use common sense so no big carp/tench in the net or bream but small roach hybrids skimmers they allow, the nets must be dried in the sunlight for 1 hour this kills most diseases (apparently) and try not to use the nets for too long most people only visit the pond for a few hours anyway.
the pond is a natural water and well looked after its also an association only water so it doesn't get hammered.none of the big hitters would even bother getting out of the car to fish it and that's a good thing !!!!!!!
when I was a kid I walked up to my local canal rod in hand it was about 9am when I arrived a guy was fishing, I asked him had he caught anything with that he pulled out his net and showed me 3 or 4 pound of little roach and Rudd he then tipped them back and packed up. he'd been there since 6 o'clock had a few hours of fun before the sun came out smart guy, ill never forget that catch and the lesson I learned about times of day and fishing.
as said using a net in hot weather in shallow water is probably a bad idea too, I guess I'm saying have a net but be wise how you use one and don't if in doubt, if you get it out and put a few bits in it then land your pb best roach or tench or whatever weigh it photograph it admire it then return it safely to where it belongs.
one last thing most commercial waters say no nets allowed if pleasure fishing to help protect there fish which are living in there overstocked man made puddle and on match days are all too willing to allow hundreds of pounds of fish roll down nets into a weigh sling and usually just get tossed back ..... they sure do know how to preserve there fish don't you think ?
 

Philip

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I am considering whether or not to use a keepnet for roach fishing? I have not used one for many, many years and would appreciate your input: my main reason is - does using a keepnet stop returned roach from up setting the rest of the shoal?

Pros/ does using a keepnet stop a returned roach from scaring off the other roach?
Does using a keepnet stop pike from attacking returned roach? Useful for temporarily retaining a roach while setting up camera? No need to get up and return roach in another swim?

Cons/ disturbs swim? Taking home wet smelly net? Deters angler from moving swims? Harms roach? Definitely not to be used in hot weather or for barbel or carp.

Maybe I should just carry on not using one? Your thoughts?
I had the same concerns Peter. I am not a fan of putting fish back in the swim I am fishing but I dont want the hassle of a large keep net either so its a compromise for me. Allot depends on the swim & situation. If I am fishing far out I will be ok to return fish in the edge. However if I am fishing close in or if I want to retain a fish for a Photo then I got myself a couple of mini keepnets almost like Pike or Barbel tunnels which do the job.

That said as allot of my fishing is very short sessions of an hour or two what I find myself doing quite often nowadays is just to keep fish in my landing net. I got myself a large deep pan net with an extending handle that’s ideal for this as the net mesh hangs open rather than folds in on itself giving the fish an open area to move around in. Even though there is maybe only a couple of inches left above the surface I have not had a Roach jump out yet. …I wouldn’t try it with Chub ! I just net any new fish into the same net, slide it to the edge and pick out the new fish to unhook it.

Obviously this is only practical for small numbers of fish for a short time but it does avoid having to carry & manage a second net.
 

rayner

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I don't now own any keepnets, I haven't needed one after I stopped fishing with my club.
Of course, all my fishing is on commercial venues where nets aren't allowed when not fishing matches.
The only benefits to my mind not using nets is the smell, anytime I've emptied my nets back never once has a fish complained I'll go so for to say fish enjoy being left to recover in a net :D
I would have no issues in using a keepnet if they were allowed where I fish, OK some people will find reasons why not to use keepnets I can understand their reasons. Personally I don't suffer from the same conscience they do and wouldn't let the thought that some are against keepnets put me off using one if rules were different. I'll go as far as to say there's no reason to prevent keepnets for none matchmen. Fishery owners should allow all to use keepnets. 😨 if customers want to ;)
I'm not advocating the use of nets without care for anglers quarry, total care should be a major factor, we should take all the care necessary when handling fish, nets are not evil poor fish care could be.
Either way, I'll not buy another keepnet I'm used to not having one.
 

Mark Wintle

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I used keepnets for many years, obviously as a match angler but for much of my pleasure fishing, too. As long ago as the late 70s I realised that keepnets don't really do big roach any good and the early micromesh nets (those make by Polynets) were far better than most that followed and the ones on sale today.

I found that if you put a big net of big roach together that whilst on the day you will probably catch more, your catches in the longer term will diminish because the imprinted experience of being caught is greater so the fish are harder to catch, certainly for about a month, whereas not using a net made the catches repeatable on almost a daily basis. Furthermore, roach use growing energy to replace lost scales and split fins so growth is reduced. And the added bonus is that the roach you catch are in far better condition. I notice this especially on the Stour in that some stretches are match-fished, others are not, and it's easy to tell just from the condition of the fish.
 

markcw

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I have 4 keepnets, all with pull through handles, this makes weighing in easier in a match, or on the odd time I have used one pleasure fishing releasing the fish back into the water, instead of "walking " them down the net.
I rarely take one with me unless in a match, or if taking grandkids fishing where nets are allowed.
I have had pike attack them, but a smack with a landing net handle cures that.
I have had good sport fishing at the side of my keepnet, I think the fish see/detect their mates in the net and shoal up at side of it.
If you fish a place that is regularly match fished and is permanently pegged, plumb up either side of the peg ,this may vary by a couple of inches, then plumb up in front of the peg using a top two kit, you will find there could be a foot difference in depth, and the fish will sometimes be in this hollowed out part.
The difference in depth is caused by keepnets being continually pulled out ,and this causes the hollow.
 

steve2

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My clubs allow keep nets but because most fish for carp not many use them in fact some members think keep nets are banned.
They are banned in hot weather like we are having now but can be used at other times. All types of other fish retainers are banned no sacks, tubes etc.
I do use sacks to retain fish for photos where allowed. I also still use keep nets I have never had a problem with myself or anyone else using them.
The bans I see on their use on commercial fisheries for fish welfare I think is a joke when seeing how match anglers treat fish.
 

Keith M

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I used keepnets for many years, obviously as a match angler but for much of my pleasure fishing, too. As long ago as the late 70s I realised that keepnets don't really do big roach any good and the early micromesh nets (those make by Polynets) were far better than most that followed and the ones on sale today.

I found that if you put a big net of big roach together that whilst on the day you will probably catch more, your catches in the longer term will diminish because the imprinted experience of being caught is greater so the fish are harder to catch, certainly for about a month, whereas not using a net made the catches repeatable on almost a daily basis. Furthermore, roach use growing energy to replace lost scales and split fins so growth is reduced. And the added bonus is that the roach you catch are in far better condition. I notice this especially on the Stour in that some stretches are match-fished, others are not, and it's easy to tell just from the condition of the fish.
I still have three keepnets which I keep in a netbag from the days when I used to regularly fish matches but they haven’t seen daylight for about 15 years now.

I dont find any need to use a keepnet other than in matches and I think that what Mark W said about keepnets and large roach (and in my view other fish too) sounds spot on to me.

I can see why others like to use them as I used to get the same enjoyment of looking at what I had caught before returning them but I just don’t see the point any more.

Keith
 
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nottskev

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I grew up using a keepnet. I feel undressed without one - of course, I don't use them for barbel, chub that get restless if the net is in shallow water, big fish that show up unexpectedly and so on. For me, collecting what you've caught and briefly seeing it at the end became part of the enjoyment, and I avoid places where I can't use one.
You can argue that it's juvenile and unnecessary, but if it comes to that, the same could be said of bothering the poor fish at all. I've learnt to handle fish efficiently and safely so they're unhooked and back in the water asap - without being poked, stroked, weighed and drooled over.
I don't often come across signs of damage to fish attributable to keepnets; I do find a connection between popular, high-pressure fisheries and mouth damage, and it's not unusual to see fish with predator scars.
Most places I go are relatively lightly fished, so it's hard to imagine my use of a net having a damaging impact. I have heard that fish caught and held one day can be harder to catch the next, and I can believe it. But it would be unusual for me to want to fish a swim two days running. I can also believe that both capture and being held are stressful for fish, but it's rare that caught fish do anything other than settle down quietly in a well-positioned net.
I have one membership where the owners let me, having met me, use a net where it's generally not allowed, and for my part of the bargain I bought a net that I use only at that water to avoid importing disease.
I find the typical commercial rules - match anglers can stuff nets with big carp on hot summer days; pleasure anglers can't put 10lb of roach and skimmers in a net in winter - not worth commenting on.
It's not a topic I look to argue over; I just choose waters with rules about nets, baits, tackle etc that credit the angler with some experience and common sense.
 

mikench

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I have used one once and in fairness they are not allowed on all my waters and in truth I have never seen one in use. I read an article a few weeks ago in AT about a match in Ireland on the Sillees river amounting to 259lb of roach.

I cannot believe these fish benefitted from the experience.



I cannot believe that volume and quantity of fish.
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steve2

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942 roach from one swim I don't believe I have that many in my local river.
 

nottskev

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There's a reason for the huge amount , Mike. The Erne catchment, mostly in N.Ireland, but some in Eire, is a vast system of interconnected lakes and rivers. Roach from the lakes go up some of the rivers to spawn, with huge congregations in spring. That catch was made from a small river of canal-like proportions. I had a couple of fishing holidays in a cottage on the Belle Isle estate, not far from the Sillees river in Fermanagh - where the catch was made - and enormous catches were possible. Back in the pre-commercial days, the chance to make big catches was more of a novelty. We used to go out and pre-bait in the late evening - if you just turned up and fished, you could easily blank as the vast shoals were all somewhere else. One morning, we started to fish at 6am, and by 11 am I had counted 80 bream for - averaging 2.5 lb - around 200lb. South of the border, the bream on the Shannon were less prolific, but bigger, averaging 4lb, and in one of the big Shannon lakes - Lough Derg - we found shoals with fish averaging 6lb.
Fishing in Ireland was/is great - very different from the comfy, well-trodden waters here, with a peg every 15 yards, with a lot of access and logistical challenges, but with huge amounts of wild fish in almost unfished waters.
 

nottskev

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All the fish were dead at the weigh in,
Imagine that happening in today's fishing matches

I was shocked when I first saw the book, in 1970 - something. I can't imagine why the publishers went with this cover picture.
 
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