Fishing with Nets
Food fish are taken in nets and there are many kinds, each used in a different way. These are for the use of the commercial fisherman mostly, except that the gill net is sometimes used by northern hunters and woodsmen to provide whitefish and other fish for their own use, and set-nets or funnel nets are used in the East and South where it is allowed by law, for the same purpose. Gill nets are made of very fine linen twine, almost like thread, and are knit in a mesh of a suitable size to take the average run of fish. A net with 1-inch square mesh is the most useful for the general run of fresh water fish. The nets have floats at the top edge and weights at the bottom, and the ends are fastened with light rope or heavy cords to stakes. This keeps the net stretched and the fish run their heads through but cannot force their bodies through the mesh, and when they try to back out they get fast by the gills. White suckers may be taken this way when they go up stream in the spring to spawn. The gill net is very hard to handle as it soon gets badly tangled unless the fisherman is expert in its use, and the fish are hard to remove.
A set net is knit in a tapering cylindrical form, closed at the small end, and a funnel knitted in the large end, so that the fish are guided into the net through the small throat of the funnel. If the net is a large one two funnels may be made in it. Sometimes there are wings running out from the mouth. It is kept in shape by means of hoops, and is set by sinking to the bed of the stream, the wings and tail fastened to stakes. Sometimes the net is baited, but in small streams when fish are moving it is not.
Brooks, Lake. The Science of Fishing. Columbus, OH: A.R. Harding, 1912. Print.
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