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fishing around net areas.


sjk984

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We will be fishing out of whitehall this July. I was told there are quite a few nets around.

Is there anything I can do besides keep a good look out. The last thing I need is to tangle a DR or 2 in a net and loose a couple of coppers.

Thanks Steve

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There's GPS numbers for where the nets are, or better yet where the nets are supposed to be. I'd say keep a sharp lookout but if you ask locals they'll tell you most of it too. I'd love to tell you where they are but they seem to change every year. It's not that bad though, once you know their rough locations it's pretty easy to spot.

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The nets are set West to East, or East to West.....depending on how you want to look at it. Be carefull on a North to South/South to North troll until you know where all of the markers are on the nets.

One thing I liked to do when I had my boat in Muskegon was to run to all of the nets and save a way point on each of the marker buoys.

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Yeah, same way for Ludington, we post all "Net Alerts" on the LACA website, I would hope the local charterboat association also has such a place for locals/non-locals to achieve the same result. Trouble is, sometimes these alerts come late, like weeks late, and the best way to avoid them is be on the lookout, very intensively, cause it can make all the dif. between big money lost, and not, in the tackle dept.. Keep a sharp lookout for all obstacles in water, some may be broken off their anchors, and also be unknown to all, till after some poor fisherman has a bad experience.

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First of all, keep a pair of side cutters near your riggers and be ready to cut rigger cables if you get into a net. If you get your riggers tangled in a net, the forward motion of your boat and/or wind and waves can pull the stern down or at least hold it in place and allow a wave to come over. It doesn't take much to swamp a small boat.

The easiest way to stay out of the nets is to enter their coordinates in your GPS and pay attention to it. It also helps to understand how they are laid out, there is a drawing at the bottom of this page. http://www.ludingtoncharterboats.org/netalert.html

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Edited by Nailer
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Best bet is to use the alerts as a guide and then find them for yourself in the daylight plot them. Then you know exactly where they are and can navigate them safely. Id recommend you have a QUALITY pair of side cutters at easy grasp incase you got caught up in one. The force can pull the transom down and allow water to come in and sink your boat turning a bad scenerio into a horrible one.

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Best bet is to use the alerts as a guide and then find them for yourself in the daylight plot them. Then you know exactly where they are and can navigate them safely. Id recommend you have a QUALITY pair of side cutters at easy grasp incase you got caught up in one. The force can pull the transom down and allow water to come in and sink your boat turning a bad scenerio into a horrible one.

VG advice about plotting and the cutters. The side cutters should be standard equipment on any fishing boat especially running riggers. Even if you don't fish near nets hanging a rigger up can be fatal. I keep my cutters on the engine cover in a small plastic kitchen basket along with a few other frequently used tools. You need to have the cutters at the back of the boat and ready to go.

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Not sure about Michigan but in Wisconsin it is the law to have a set of cutters capable of cutting the downrigger cable. We lost 1 fisherman and almost 2 other fisherman in 2010 accident, when they tried to free their gear instead of cutting it loose. WI OUTDOOR NEWS article

Sea Grant states on their web site "IF you get tangled in the net cut the cable and attach a float marked with your name and phone number and they will return the gear to you." They also state that once the down rigger cable is cut loose, the gear will drop out of the net without issue. SEA GRANT

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I keep the side cutters in back. I also run my spool drags really loose. Some times wave action with creep out the wire. My biggest worry is the stern getting swamped.

Thanks guys I really appreciate the feedback

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Not sure about Michigan but in Wisconsin it is the law to have a set of cutters capable of cutting the downrigger cable. We lost 1 fisherman and almost 2 other fisherman in 2010 accident' date=' when they tried to free their gear instead of cutting it loose. WI OUTDOOR NEWS article

Sea Grant states on their web site "IF you get tangled in the net cut the cable and attach a float marked with your name and phone number and they will return the gear to you." They also state that once the down rigger cable is cut loose, the gear will drop out of the net without issue. SEA GRANT

LOL...Seems like a good idea, but i doubt anyone hung up with waves crashing is gonna take the time to cut the cable and attach a float to it. They wanna get the cable cut to save their lives and their boats. I guess i could see that under the right scenerio, but with most, i gotta say its bye bye. I cant even fathom trying to hold onto that and put a float on if it were rough out.

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We got caught in a loose net a few years ago. Since the net was not tied down we thought we could pull it enough to get 2 of our 3 riggers free. But when the waves started to alternately tighten and slacken the cables they started to spool cable of the side of the spools and then go tight. Whatever you do do not get hands or fingers anywhere where they could get pinched or caught. When the waves pull the boat it will take your hands ofr fingers off. We do have cutters on standby and ended up using them to cut the cables.

And there was no chance of trying to tie any kind of note onto a cable in that situation. Its cut it loose let it fall and be glad you are safe.

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