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Nothing but Nets
By Daniel Vinovich

The phrase, “FISH ON” broke the morning silence.  My partner, Rick Parrott, had a good one on.  I quickly scrambled to free the net from the holder as Rick moved to the back of the boat to avoid fouling the other rods we were trolling.  The big sauger came to the surface 10 feet out behind the 225 Mercury Outboard Motors The Water Calls.  Just 5 more feet and the fish would be in the live well.  As I dipped the net into the water, the front hooks of the crankbait became entangled in the front mesh.  I quickly flipped the net to force the sauger into it when the fish came unbuttoned.  Rick and I just stared at the boil as the 4 pound sauger returned to the bottom of the river instead of in the live well.  “We really needed that fish,” Rick said as I threw the net into the bottom of the boat.  The ride back to the weigh-in was a long and painful one.  We both knew we had one 16 inch fish in the live well that should have been culled out and our chances of  cashing a check that weekend swam away just an hour before.  Our hunch was correct.  We finished a few ounces out of the money. 

When I got back home, I put my Targa to bed and went straight to the computer.  I was on a mission to find a net that was suited to our style of fishing.  It didn’t take long ‘til I found what I was looking for.  The next day, I put in a call to Mark Gostisha of Frabill Nets.  I talked with him for at least an hour about the problems I had been having getting fish into the standard hoop nets while trolling.  He said he had the perfect net for my unique situation and would get me one a.s.a.p.  A few days later, my new net arrived.  It was a peculiar looking fellow.  The front of the hoop curved down 9 inches, and it had what looked to be a 10’’ x 20’’ piece of tarp material with the name trolling shovel printed on it.  The net also came equipped with a rubber gasket on the handle to hold the mesh out of the way until the fish was in the net.  The handle extended out to 10 feet to get those walleye that come to the surface a little too soon. 

That following Saturday was a good day to test the new net.  I had a couple of clients I was going to meet me at Clinton Lake for a little walleye and striper fishing.  We started pulling crawler harnesses on the flats with no luck.  I moved the boat to a few humps with no luck.  We then moved to the gravel pits and started trolling the edges with the new Walleye Minnow crankbait from Cotton Cordell.  It wasn’t long ‘til one of the Offshore Planer Boards started bobbing like a cork.  We pulled the board from the line.  A Striper came to the surface 7 feet from the boat.  I said to myself, “Not this time.” as he slid over the lip and into the net.  So the question of, “Are the new specialty nets worth the money?” you can probably guess my answer.  You can look at all the new nets Frabill has to offer at www.frabill.com.

See ‘ya on the water!

For guided trips call Dan Vinovich at Predator Guide Service, 309-347-1728 
e-mail - trolling@mtco.co

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