Although landing the fish is a fairly straightforward operation some skill is required. Il is not just a matter of dipping the net into the water to scoop the fish into the air. Such hasty neiiing is always risky, especially with large fish; they react violently as they feel the rim of the net and may break free.

Landing nets are available in all sizes, and it is wise to buy one as large as you can afford, and of soft, knotless mesh. There are nets on the market that can accommodate the largest pike and carp. These need to be used with two hands – the rod can be pin down once the fish is truly played out. The wise angler assembles his landing net as soon as he is ready to commence fishing, and certainly does not wait until he has hooked a fish. It may bea big net. But it will be no use if it is not ready in time.

As you draw the fish in. sink the rim of the net quietly into the water before the fish is really close. When played out. A fish usually rolls on to its side: this is the time to draw it quietly over the sunken net. Once the fish is safely in. the net should be drawn well up so that the fish is right down and safe. Then lake the net away from the waterside to remove the fish, carefully unhooking it.

When netting a fish draw it quietly over the submerged net rim before raising the net to secure it.

Most coarse fish are returned alive to the water. They must always be handled with consideration, especially when disgorgers are used to extract hooks, and they should be put back as soon as possible. Take care when weighing a sizeable specimen to support it in a cradle of mesh, and always wet your hands before handling any fish, or you will damage it. A fish put back in such a state is vulnerable to disease, and may not survive for long. When putting it back hold it upright with its head upstream. Or facing away from the bank, and support it until it swims away.