10 Best Kayak Fishing Net Sizes for Every Angler

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Discover the 10 best kayak fishing net sizes for every angler in our latest blog post. Find the perfect net to enhance your fishing experience. Read now!

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As you prepare for your next kayak fishing adventure, you’re likely thinking about the perfect lure, the ideal fishing spot, and the thrill of reeling in a trophy catch. But have you considered the importance of your kayak fishing net?

A net that’s too small can cost you the fish of a lifetime, while one that’s too large can be cumbersome and impractical.

In this guide, we’ll explore the 10 best kayak fishing net sizes for every angler, from novice to expert, to ensure you’re always prepared for that next big catch.

With the right net, you’ll be able to land your fish quickly and safely, while also protecting them for a successful catch and release.

Key Takeaways:

  • Finding the right kayak fishing net size is crucial to landing your catch successfully, and it depends on the type of fish you’re targeting. A net that’s too small can cause harm to the fish, while one that’s too large can be difficult to maneuver in a kayak.
  • Compact nets (12-14 inch hoop) are suitable for panfish or small trout, while larger nets (20-24 inch hoop) are better for targeting bigger species like pike or musky.
  • Net material and construction matter, especially for catch and release anglers. Look for nets with rubberized or soft mesh bags that are gentle on fish, and durable materials that can withstand regular use.
  • Kayak size and gear compatibility should be considered when choosing a net. Ensure your net doesn’t clutter your deck space or interfere with other gear like fish finders or rod holders.
  • Invest in a high-quality net that balances size, maneuverability, and fish-friendliness. While it may cost more, a good net can make all the difference in landing your personal best catch.

Compact Catcher

Angler using a medium-sized kayak fishing net

While searching for the perfect kayak fishing net, you’ve probably stumbled upon numerous guides and reviews, each touting their favorite nets. But, have you considered the importance of net size?

As Wired2Fish notes in their Best Fishing Nets for 2024, the right net size can make all the difference in landing your catch.

12-14 inch hoop

Some anglers swear by compact nets with 12-14 inch hoops, and for good reason. These nets are perfect for navigating tight spaces and scooping up smaller fish. They’re also incredibly lightweight, making them easy to maneuver in your kayak.

However, be cautious when using smaller nets, as they can be more challenging to handle larger fish. You’ll need to be precise in your netting technique to avoid losing your catch.

Ideal for panfish and small trout

Ideal for anglers targeting panfish and small trout, compact nets with 12-14-inch hoops offer the perfect balance between size and maneuverability. These nets are designed to scoop up smaller fish without causing undue stress or damage.

Hoop size is crucial when targeting smaller species. A net that’s too large can be cumbersome and may even harm your catch. A 12-14-inch hoop provides the perfect sweet spot, allowing you to land your fish quickly and humanely.

Mid-Length Master

Best kayak fishing nets laid out on a boat

The mid-length kayak fishing net is often the sweet spot for many anglers, offering a perfect balance between size and maneuverability.

In this range, you’ll find nets that can handle a wide variety of fish species, from medium-sized bass to larger trout and pike.

13×18 inch hoop

While many anglers swear by larger nets, the 13×18-inch hoop size has proven to be a versatile and effective choice for many kayak fishermen.

This size net provides ample room to scoop up larger fish without feeling unwieldy in the confines of your kayak.

With a net of this size, you’ll be able to handle fish up to 20-25 inches in length, making it an excellent choice for targeting species like bass, pike, and larger trout.

The slightly larger hoop size also provides more room for error, allowing you to scoop up fish that might be thrashing about or breaking the surface.

Suitable for a wide range of fish species

Fish of all shapes and sizes require careful handling, and a mid-length net is often the perfect tool for the job. Whether you’re targeting panfish, bass, trout, or even larger species like pike or musky, a net in this size range can adapt to your needs.

Any angler who’s spent time on the water knows that fish can be unpredictable, and a mid-length net provides the flexibility to handle unexpected catches.

With a net that can handle a wide range of fish species, you’ll be better equipped to handle whatever the day throws your way.

By choosing a mid-length net, you’ll be able to focus on the thrill of the catch, rather than worrying about whether your net is up to the task.

With a net that can handle everything from small panfish to larger game fish, you’ll be free to focus on what matters – landing that next big catch!

Budget Buddy

Your wallet doesn’t have to take a hit to land a great kayak fishing net. In this section, we’ll explore some fantastic options that won’t break the bank.

17×19 inch hoop

The Ego Kayak Fishing Net with its 17″x19″ hoop size is an excellent choice for those on a budget. Its lightweight aluminum handle extends to 6 feet, giving you extra reach when you need it most.

The nylon mesh might not be as fish-friendly as some of the more expensive options, so handle it with care if you’re planning to release your catch.

However, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. The large hoop size provides ample room to scoop up larger fish, while the extendable handle ensures you can reach those fish without having to lean over the side of your kayak.

And at a fraction of the cost of some of the premium nets, it’s an unbeatable value.

Excellent value for beginners

Beginners, rejoice! You don’t have to sacrifice quality for affordability. The Ego Kayak Fishing Net is an excellent starting point for those new to kayak fishing.

Its easy-to-use design and lightweight construction make it perfect for those still getting comfortable with the sport.

Hoop size is crucial for beginners, as it allows for a wider range of catch sizes. The 17″x19″ hoop on the Ego net provides ample room for smaller fish, while still being able to accommodate larger catches.

The rubberized grip on the handle ensures a secure hold, even when your hands are wet or slippery. And at a price point that won’t dent your wallet, it’s an excellent investment for those just starting kayak fishing.

Hoop size is crucial for beginners, as it allows for a wider range of catch sizes. The 17″x19″ hoop on the Ego net provides ample room for smaller fish, while still being able to accommodate larger catches.

Whether you’re targeting panfish or small bass, this net has got you covered.

Panfish Pro

Close-up of various kayak fishing net sizes

Despite the name, panfish aren’t always small, and you’ll want a net that can handle those occasional lunkers. As a panfish pro, you know that these fish can put up quite a fight, and you need a net that can keep up.

15×17 inch hoop

The 15×17-inch hoop size is a great all-around choice for panfish enthusiasts. It’s large enough to scoop up those bigger bluegill or crappie, but still compact enough to maneuver in tight spaces.

With a net this size, you’ll be able to land fish quickly and efficiently, reducing the risk of injury to both you and the fish.

When targeting panfish, you want a net that can handle their feisty nature. A 15×17-inch hoop provides the perfect balance between size and agility, allowing you to react quickly to those sudden bursts of energy.

Gentle on fish, perfect for catch and release

While catch and release is a crucial aspect of responsible fishing, it’s equally important to ensure your net is gentle on the fish. You want to minimize stress and injury to the fish, especially if you’re planning to release them back into the water.

Inch for inch, a net with a soft, rubberized mesh is imperative for catch-and-release anglers. This type of mesh reduces the risk of damaging the fish’s protective slime coat, allowing them to thrive after release.

When choosing a net, look for one with a mesh size that’s large enough to prevent scales from getting stuck, but small enough to prevent escape. A good rule of thumb is to opt for a mesh size between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch.

Trophy Tamer

Unlike the compact nets designed for smaller species, the Trophy Tamer is built for the big leagues. This behemoth of a net is designed to handle the largest, most powerful fish you’ll encounter.

20-24 inch hoop

Tamer of giants, this net size is perfect for anglers who regularly target larger species like pike, musky, and trophy bass. With a hoop size ranging from 20-24 inches, you’ll have the confidence to land even the most feisty catches.

Be mindful that, a net that’s too small can be catastrophic when dealing with powerful fish, so don’t skimp on size if you’re after the big ones.

When fishing for larger species, every second counts. A net with a larger hoop size gives you the extra room you need to scoop up your catch quickly and securely, reducing the risk of escape or injury to the fish.

Plus, the added size provides a sense of security, knowing you can handle even the most unexpected battles.

Ideal for larger species like pike and musky

Trophy hunters, rejoice! This net size is specifically designed with you in mind. Whether you’re targeting pike, musky, or other large predators, a net with a 20-24-inch hoop will give you the upper hand. These fish can put up quite a fight, so it’s vital to have a net that can keep up.

Hoop sizes in this range offer the perfect balance between size and maneuverability, allowing you to navigate tight spaces while still providing the capacity to land larger fish.

With a Trophy Tamer net, you’ll be well-equipped to handle even the most epic battles and emerge victorious with your prize catch.

Space Saver

After considering the importance of net size, it’s vital to think about the space constraints of your kayak.

You want a net that can efficiently scoop up your catch without taking up too much valuable real estate on your deck.

14×16 inch hoop

Saver of space and savior of fish, a 14×16 inch hoop net is an excellent choice for kayak anglers who need to conserve deck space. These compact nets are perfect for smaller kayaks or those with limited storage capacity.

With a smaller hoop size, you’ll have more room to maneuver and store your other gear, making them ideal for inshore fishing or targeting smaller species like panfish or trout.

When choosing a 14×16-inch hoop net, look for ones with lightweight yet durable materials, such as aluminum or fiberglass handles, to minimize weight and maximize storage space.

Additionally, consider nets with rubberized or soft-mesh bags to ensure a safe and gentle catch-and-release experience for your fish.

Compact design for smaller kayaks

Assuming you’re fishing from a smaller kayak, you’ll want a net that complements your vessel’s compact design.

A net with a smaller hoop size and collapsible or telescoping handle will allow you to easily stow it away when not in use, freeing up valuable deck space for other vital gear.

The compact design also enables you to quickly scoop up fish without having to navigate a bulky net around your kayak’s obstacles.

This feature is particularly useful when targeting aggressive species that require swift netting to avoid injury or escape.

The key benefit of compact nets lies in their ability to provide unobstructed deck space, allowing you to move freely around your kayak without tripping over your gear.

This freedom of movement is crucial when fighting larger fish or navigating tight waterways.

Fish Friendly

Not all kayak fishing nets are created equal when it comes to handling fish gently.

As an angler, you want to ensure that your net is designed to minimize stress and damage to your catch, especially if you practice catch and release.

16×18 inch hoop

While a larger hoop size might seem like a good idea, it can be counterproductive when it comes to handling smaller fish.

A 16×18-inch hoop is a great compromise, providing enough room to scoop up larger fish without being too cumbersome for smaller ones. This site is particularly useful for targeting species like bass, walleye, or pike.

Additionally, a net with a 16×18-inch hoop is often more manageable in the confined space of a kayak, making it easier to maneuver and scoop up fish quickly. This can be a major advantage when you’re trying to land a fish in a hurry.

Rubberized net bag for gentle catch and release

Some kayak fishing nets take fish friendliness to the next level with rubberized net bags. These nets are designed to reduce the risk of damaging a fish’s protective slime coat or causing undue stress during catch and release.

Rubberized net bags are particularly useful for anglers targeting species that are sensitive to handling, such as trout or salmon. By using a net with a rubberized bag, you can minimize the risk of harming your catch and ensure a safe release.

It’s worth noting that rubberized net bags are often more expensive than traditional nylon mesh nets.

However, if you’re serious about catch-and-release fishing and want to do everything possible to protect your catch, the extra cost is well worth it.

A good rubberized net bag can make all the difference in ensuring the survival of your released fish.

Extended Reach

Keep in mind that having an extended reach can be a game-changer when it comes to landing fish, especially in tight spaces or when dealing with larger species.

18×20 inch hoop

With an 18×20-inch hoop, you’ll have ample room to scoop up even the largest fish without struggling to maneuver the net. This size is ideal for targeting bigger species like pike, musky, or even small sharks.

The larger hoop also provides a sense of security, knowing you can handle whatever comes your way.

Additionally, an 18×20-inch hoop allows for a more comfortable and controlled catch, reducing the risk of injury to both you and the fish. This is especially important when handling larger, more powerful fish that can put up quite a fight.

Lightweight aluminum handle for extra reach

Inch by inch, a lightweight aluminum handle can make all the difference in reaching those fish just out of grasp.

A longer handle provides extra leverage, allowing you to scoop up fish without having to lean over the side of your kayak or risk tipping.

Extended reach means you can stay farther away from the fish, reducing the risk of spooking them or causing them to thrash about, making the catch even more challenging.

Furthermore, a lightweight aluminum handle is durable, corrosion-resistant, and easy to maneuver, making it an excellent choice for kayak anglers who need a reliable net that can keep up with their fishing style.

Just be sure to consider the overall weight and balance of your kayak when choosing a net with an extended handle, as you’ll want to ensure it doesn’t compromise your stability on the water.

Ultimate Catcher

Once again, we’re entering into the world of kayak fishing nets, and this time, we’re exploring the Ultimate Catcher.

This net is designed for anglers who want to target bigger game fish, and its impressive size and capacity make it an ideal choice.

22×24 inch hoop

You’ll love the Ultimate Catcher’s massive 22×24-inch hoop, which provides ample space to scoop up even the largest fish. The net’s large diameter allows you to easily slide under the fish, reducing the risk of injury or escape.

With a net this size, you’ll be able to confidently target species like pike, musky, and even small sharks.

The Ultimate Catcher’s hoop is made from durable, rust-resistant aluminum, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of frequent use and harsh marine environments.

The net’s depth is also impressive, measuring 12 inches, which gives you plenty of room to corral your catch without worrying about it slipping out.

Large capacity for bigger game fish

Even if you’re targeting massive fish, the Ultimate Catcher’s got you covered. Its large capacity means you can scoop up fish weighing up to 20 pounds, giving you the confidence to go after the biggest trophies.

With the Ultimate Catcher, you’ll be able to land fish quickly and safely, reducing the risk of injury or escape. The net’s large size also makes it easier to handle fish in the water, allowing you to carefully release them without causing harm.

The Ultimate Catcher’s large capacity is particularly useful when targeting species like pike or musky, which can put up quite a fight. With this net, you’ll be able to wear them out quickly and safely, ensuring a successful catch.

Conclusion

On the whole, choosing the right kayak fishing net size is a crucial aspect of your overall fishing experience. It’s not just about landing the fish; it’s about protecting them too, especially if you practice catch and release.

By considering factors like the type of fish you’re targeting, your kayak’s size and layout, and your fishing style, you can find a net that complements your approach and helps you achieve success on the water.

So, take the time to research and experiment with different net sizes until you find the one that feels just right for you.

And if you’re still unsure, don’t be afraid to reach out to fellow anglers or online forums like Landing Nets – Fishing Tackle – Bass Fishing Forums for advice and guidance.

With the right net by your side, you’ll be well on your way to catching more fish and creating unforgettable memories on the water. Happy fishing!

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