Musky America Magazine January 2023 Edition

Nets…A Fresh Perspective By Craig Sandell © 2020 The 2019 Musky season was one of some tackle changes for me. These changes started with the use of VMS XHeavy hooks. Because of the inherent sharpness of these hooks and their penetrating power, I recognized that I would be tearing up the cloth fabric net bag that has been graced by a good number of Musky over the years. But which net to get?... Anyone who has read my articles on tackle and tactics knows that I am an advocate of getting first hand insight from other Musky anglers rather than relying upon the advertisements in catalogs or the sport shop spiel. That is exactly what I did. I talked with folks who are using the Frabill coated net and the Beckman Fin Saver coated net to get some informed perspective. Note: I did not consider a cradle because of the sharpness of the hooks and because a cradle is really a two man operation and, like most Musky anglers, I am fishing alone more often than not. Both of these nets fit the bill relative to resistance to penetration by the Owner Hook, so the decision came down to ease of use and fish and angler safety. The Frabill net has a traditional large mesh bag. The handle is lightweight, and the rim is reasonably sturdy. The Musky, when in the net, will have its body bent by the net by virtue of the fish’s weight pulling down on the lowest part of the bag. It is easier to remove tangled hooks from the larger mesh but the stress upon the fish is greater.