Often when you walk along the shores of a lake or impoundment, you may notice a number of coarse anglers practising their sport. When you get close you may also notice many large net tubes in the water. These tubes are keeper nets and are designed to keep caught fish in their natural environment, without damaging them. The principal purpose of the Keeper net is to retain fish for weighing so that they can be safely returned to the water at the completion of the fishing.
For portability, these nets are usually constructed by a series of hoops placed along the length of the net. This is to ensure that the net doesn't close around the fish and suffocate them. The hoops also allow good movement of water around the fish, whilst they are in the net as well as allowing the net to be folded up for ease of portability.
Keeper Nets are important tools for the modern catch and release angler. They keep the fish alive and well, until they can be counted or weighed and then they can be safely released.
Saltwater anglers often use smaller keeper nets to achieve the same result. These nets do not usually have the same hoop design, but still allow the fish to be retain and in fairly good health until they are either released or killed for the table. Many of these nets are usually hung from the stern or side of the boat, immersed in the water until the time comes to move or finish the fishing activities. This process has lost a little favour with the increase in availability of refrigeration and cooling techniques. There have also been a few instances where large white pointers have taken the opportunity for a free meal in one gulp, causing several anglers to change their routines.