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I agree with most everything - except that tailing is preferred.

On my only opportunity to fish for Atlantics, I observed that in every case I hooked a fish, the fish would be fought until exhausted enough to net, but took several more minutes of thrashing about and short runs before the fish was exhausted enough for the very experienced guide (40 years plus) to tail it. Then, of course, several minutes were taken to "revive" the fish.

My objective is to defeat the fish quickly, not exhaust it to the point that it takes several minutes to "revive" it. If the fish is not active enough to bolt out of my hand after removing the hook, I have not been successful. Using a good quality rubber net would have allowed me to do just that. The Atlantic Salmon Federation's video explains proper use of nets. Sadly, every Labrador or Quebec lodge that I have visited was using old knotted cotton cord nets, and most were in horrendous condition - nary a modern rubber net to be found - last trip was 3 years ago.

Jim
 

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''Speydo-masochist''
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I agree with most everything - except that tailing is preferred.

On my only opportunity to fish for Atlantics, I observed that in every case I hooked a fish, the fish would be fought until exhausted enough to net, but took several more minutes of thrashing about and short runs before the fish was exhausted enough for the very experienced guide (40 years plus) to tail it. Then, of course, several minutes were taken to "revive" the fish.

My objective is to defeat the fish quickly, not exhaust it to the point that it takes several minutes to "revive" it. If the fish is not active enough to bolt out of my hand after removing the hook, I have not been successful. Using a good quality rubber net would have allowed me to do just that. The Atlantic Salmon Federation's video explains proper use of nets. Sadly, every Labrador or Quebec lodge that I have visited was using old knotted cotton cord nets, and most were in horrendous condition - nary a modern rubber net to be found - last trip was 3 years ago.

Jim
I agree, the correct use of a large appropriate net means you can land & release the fish much earlier - doubly so in difficult to reach places; also it contains the fish safely away from rocks & prevents it from banging its' head into these should it thrash whilst you unhook it. Also much better if solo - particularly with a long rod as the extra reach makes landing easier.

Regards, Tyke.
 

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I have tailed 99%+ of the salmon and steelhead I have hooked. Seems every fish is ready to go the second the hook is removed. You don't need a net. Not saying not to use a good rubber net but it's completely false to say (or insinuate) the job isn't done right if you don't use one.
 

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''Speydo-masochist''
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I wasn't claiming that hand tailing wouldn't do a safe job, merely refuting the claims in the subject article that a net would result in damage to the fish & was inferior to hand tailing. Maybe with a guide who can wait for the opportune moment to tail a fish whilst it is still out in the flow it is pretty optimal; but on a steeply sloping rocky bank in a fast flow where you have to bring the fish onto the rocks to reach it when fishing solo I will pick a net every single time - as long as it's a decent sized gye net etc with a deep soft knotless net & not some short handled tea-strainer.

Fishing from a boat the net is useful too.

Regards, Tyke.
 

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I think those tips go for any fish you are planning to release- Salmon, Steelhead, Trout, Bass, Stripers…… all down the line.
 
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