This new video shows you how to land a fish using a Rushton cradle net.
Lonny Brooks of Fishing Addicts Northwest has a special place in his heart for the reverence of wild steelhead. Handling these fish requires a little extra care to ensure lower release mortality rates. Dragging them up onto the bank puts them at risk for head trauma if they flop around on the rocks.
The protective slime coat often collects debris or is removed, making the fish more prone to infections. Anglers are encouraged to "keep em wet," in a growing campaign to trend safe handling practices and promote catch and release ethics.
There is a wealth of information online on how to safely handle wild steelhead. Using a net with soft mesh also helps to keep the slime coat and scales intact, although keeping the fish in the water with a swift current can bend the fish uncomfortably in the basket of the net, potentially causing further irreversible physical damage to the fish.
However, as Brooks demonstrates, the Rushton cradle net allows for a safe and secure landing, allowing the fish to remain straight and upright so it can face upstream and allow water to flow through it's gills while removing the hook and holding the fish up briefly for a "grip and grin" glory shot.
While fishing solo, Brooks filmed the landing, handling, and release of a wild steelhead from a Washington river to explain how to operate this sophisticated piece of fishing equipment that is sure to grow in popularity with steelhead anglers in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. You can find this net online at here. You can also subscribe to the Fishing Addicts Northwest YouTube channel for more instructional videos.