For every fishing session, you definitely need a fishing net, in fact, without a net, you shouldn’t be fishing. If you are match fishing, you might get away with swinging the very small fish in, but there is every chance you could catch a bigger fish, such as a carp and you’ll need a net to get them out of the water.

A 42” net with an extending pole is ideal, I picked mine up from Amazon and it has proved to be a great buy, in fact, I bought a second one as a backup. I learned the hard way on a runs water, I had a double hookup and needed a second fishing net, luckily I had a friend nearby and he brought his net over from the next swim, but I’ve always had a second net set up nearby since then.

If you net a fish, be sure to lift it out by the actual net and not by the pole. As they are actually very fragile and can easily break, especially the thinner models.

Which Fishing Net For Which Situation?

Match Fishing

When it comes to match fishing, you will typically be catching silverfish. Because of this, you will only need a small (but quality) fishing net like this one on Amazon as the fish won’t be very heavy. You might also use a keepnet if you are in competition conditions.

36″ Fishing Nets

36″ nets are typically used when there might be a chance of picking up slightly bigger single figure fish such as carp, tench or bream. Most specimen lakes will request a 42″ inch net as a minimum, but if not, a 36″ net will be more than enough.

42″ Fishing Nets

42″ nets are necessary for double figure carp, tench or bream and most specimen lakes will state that you should have a 42″ net as a minimum where there is a possibility of catching the larger fish. The larger net, although a bit more tricky to handle, will make it easier for you to scoop up the fish when you are playing the fish. Having a deeper net allows the fish to have more space in the net once caught, allowing you to leave it to rest after being caught. Fishing nets such as this one with floats are a good starter net, but if you can afford a slightly more expensive net, then it is worth upgrading.

50″ Fishing Nets

50″ nets are usually a minimum requirement for any lakes you are fishing where there are catfish in the lake. Trust me when I say, you will need a 50″ net if you manage to hook at catfish. And remember there is every chance of catching one if they are in the lake you are fishing, even if you are targeting carp.

Fishing Net Floats

Some fishing nets come with a piece of buoyant foam called a float, on the pole by the net, this allows the angler to place the net into water whilst playing the fish and saves it from sinking (obviously you’d still need to hold onto the other end of the net – or put your foot on it at least).

My Mistake

So as you will read in the title, I made a huge mistake when buying my first fishing net.

I didn’t know how long I was going to carry on fishing for when I started, as I didn’t know whether I was going to like it or not.

So I bought the cheapest fishing net I could find.

The problem came when I caught my first fish. I got the fish into the net and started to lift the fish out of the water, but the net snapped! I really did get what I paid for! Luckily, my fishing buddy had a spare. But if he didn’t, the net snapping would have ended my session.

Don’t make the same mistake. Make sure you read the reviews before buying.



I have made a lot of mistakes during my fishing sessions and don’t want you to make the same mistakes. I’ve learned the hard way over 20 years of fishing most weekends, testing, tweaking, and testing again and now want to help you excel with your carp fishing.

If you need any help, you can reach me at Fishing Again’s Facebook page

Last Updated on February 9, 2024 by Shane