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Best netting practice for darters


21 replies to this topic

#1 rcb

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 03:32 PM

So Saturday was our first excursion to collect fish. I was using a small hand net, which was obviously not suited to the darters I hoped to catch. When I was young, I had found extremely vibrant darters that I caught by hand with relative ease. Not so with these! (I "think" they are either greenside darters or johnny darters. Pictures online are hard to divine). It took probably two hours to catch two. What is the most reliable way to catch darters?



#2 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 04:17 PM

Three people is ideal. Two manning the seine(4x6 or 4x8 typical) Two people set seine in riffle, third person kicks substrate aggressively about 6 feet above net and works way towards net. Two manning net kick near net edges to encourage fish into net, then lift net in unison. Can be done without third person, and skilled individuals can run a net solo with decent results. Youtube "kick seining" maybe.

 

Why don't we have some easy to find seining demonstration videos around? We should fix that.


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#3 rcb

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 04:37 PM

Thank you, I will look up videos to see what can be found. We are just beginning on this adventure. It's amazing how many new fish I saw this past weekend after kicking around in the same creeks for 30+ years! My kids are very excited about this. I hope it kindles their interest in our own back yards.


Edited by rcb, 01 October 2018 - 04:39 PM.


#4 JasonL

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Posted 01 October 2018 - 09:30 PM

Don't give up on dipnets either. They can be a lot of fun for adults and kids but the key is to get the right one that can hold up to the rigors of collecting. I've been quite pleased with the "Perfect Dipnet" I bought online from Jonahs Aquarium and have had it for several years now. Before this I was going through the cheaper store bought dipnets every couple months.

One you have one then scrape it along the bottom of a creek, in riffles, along the banks, in vegetation or any other structure you find in the water. If you aren't getting gravel and debris in the net then you aren't getting where the fish are hiding. Using these tactics you should be able to find a nice mix of micro species, not just limited to darters.

Good luck!

#5 rcb

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Posted 02 October 2018 - 09:00 AM

Thanks! The Perfect Dip Net was just recommended to me. I think I had read about that before, but didn't realize that was a unique product, not a desciption. Hahaha.



#6 El Todd

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Posted 03 October 2018 - 09:49 PM

Three people is ideal. Two manning the seine(4x6 or 4x8 typical) Two people set seine in riffle, third person kicks substrate aggressively about 6 feet above net and works way towards net. Two manning net kick near net edges to encourage fish into net, then lift net in unison. Can be done without third person, and skilled individuals can run a net solo with decent results. Youtube "kick seining" maybe.

 

Why don't we have some easy to find seining demonstration videos around? We should fix that.

 

 

 

I'm not from the OP's state, but in my state kicking/disturbing substrate upstream is illegal although everything else you described is legal as long as the sein is the right size. It might be good to double check. It's probably not a big deal, I just thought I'd mention it.


Edited by El Todd, 03 October 2018 - 09:49 PM.


#7 littlen

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 06:32 AM

Habitat type and the species being targeted plays a big factor in your success rate.  It also determines which method of capture you may want to try.  FWIW, Greensides are very weary of large bodies in the water and flee much sooner than many others I come across.  Fortunately Greensides are usually always abundant and I get a lot of them as by-catch. 

 

Although it can be more difficult to maneuver yourself and your net, I've noticed that in swiftly flowing water you can use a hand-held with good success.  Why?  I feel that most species in this type of habitat stay hunkered down and only move in little 'darts' from one rock to the next.  Essentially you'll be able to use larger rocks to corral the fish and place your net just behind/downstream of them.  Then a simple poke in front of them makes them literally flow right into your net.  This works because lateral movement across the stream is difficult for them when the water is moving quickly.  Moving forward [against the current] also requires a good amount of energy.  So it is easiest just to let the flow drift them backwards.  You'll need to be slow and patient. But it is fun and very rewarding.  What I've described works best for a lot of the bottom dwelling species (Redlines, Rainbows, Snubnose, Bluebreast, to name a few that I catch).

 

The more open water species, Gilts, logperch, Tangerines, can be caught similarly but with a modification of your approach.  With a larger hand held or dipnet, I point my rear end upstream and bend over at the waist.  Initially keeping the net out of the water, I'll insert it as far as I can reach behind the fish, which usually hovers in place, mid water.  I'll slowly move the net closer to me--and me closer to the net/fish.  At some point, the only way they have to 'escape' is to swim downstream and into the net.

In calmer waters, it's a whole new ballgame since the fish can flee in any direction they wish.  Sometime in those environments I'll walk straight across the stream from one bank to the other.  I will shuffle my feet and keep the dipnet close to and in front of my foot that is downstream.  The same method can work moving upstream--keeping the net close to your heels, all depends on the substrate really.  Aka, rock size.  You'll not want larger stones going into your net and potentially crushing your catch.

Hands down, the highest success rate will be with a seine--as Matt suggested.

I will say there is a lot of fun to be had [being in a wet suit] chasing down individual fish with a handheld net.

 

Good luck.


Nick L.

#8 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 04 October 2018 - 07:08 AM

https://youtu.be/ns-tVoDvAWk
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#9 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 03:48 PM

My daughter and I use a 4' X 4' seine in our local river and have good success catching darters and other fish. My tank right now has 15 darters in it. 11  of them are the banded green darters, 1 fantail and 4 rainbows. They are great fish and have now become accustomed to tank life and feeding them minnow fry and blood worms. Most of them take the blood worms from the end of the kabob skewer I use to put it into the water with.



#10 Matt DeLaVega

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 05:37 PM

Hardcore!


The member formerly known as Skipjack


#11 Michael Wolfe

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 07:34 AM

Hardcore!


Thats was from the first Missouri NANFAcon
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#12 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 03:15 PM

I went out today while it's cold and the river's high and used a 2-piece net I put together with a broom handle and a dip net I bought at the tackle shop. Today's catch from the shore of the river was 5 fantail darters, 2 rainbow darters and 3 johnny darters. I also caught 2- 4" long silver shiners. This is the net I use.

Attached Images

  • 1-DIP-NET.jpg


#13 Doug_Dame

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 06:05 PM

Where there's a will, there's a way.

 

But you might seriously want to put a Perfect Dipnet (tm?) on your xmas list. 

 

Waders are also very an extremely good thing to have, in cooler climes. 


Doug Dame

Floridian now back in Florida
 


#14 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 04 December 2018 - 09:21 PM

Thanks for the info. I looked at them online and as the name implies, they're the perfect dip net. Precisely what I am looking for. However, it's about time for me to stop catching fish. My tank is *full* now and I am at that point in time where I have to decide if I want to keep darters which I have 5 species of and lots of color, or do I keep the green sunfish which *eat* colorful darters? I've already lost 1 johnny darter to either the sunfish or the stonecat madtom I have. So I need to make a decision coming up soon.... the sunnies are 3" and 4" long now. About big enough to eat darters.



#15 JasonL

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Posted 05 December 2018 - 12:07 AM

These are the types of decisions that lead to a roomful of fish tanks. It will happen before you know it.

#16 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 03:58 PM

"These are the types of decisions that lead to a roomful of fish tanks."

 

They also lead to a divorce once that room of fish tanks has been achieved.  My wife is Japanese. Fish are for eating, not watching.... :biggrin: However, I beg to differ. When I am not on the PC, I am watching the fish "TV" sitting 3 feet away from my PC.



#17 Doug_Dame

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Posted 06 December 2018 - 08:30 PM

"These are the types of decisions that lead to a roomful of fish tanks."

 

They also lead to a divorce once that room of fish tanks has been achieved.  My wife is Japanese. Fish are for eating, not watching.... :biggrin: However, I beg to differ. When I am not on the PC, I am watching the fish "TV" sitting 3 feet away from my PC.

 

One of our buds has sent 100s of live crawfish to Japan ... you may need to add some more "lucky water crickets" to your mix. 

 

Also, Takashi Amano (who knew he had two names?) is probably the most famous fish person in the world still alive (so not counting Jacques Cousteau); he most definitely is Japanese, and brings an amazing Japanese aesthetic to what he does.

 

(I confess that Amano's book "Nature Aquarium World" has made three round trips to the family room THIS WEEK. I put it out, in hopes that the spousal unit will open it up and get excited about the idea of having a "show tank" in our new house, and then haul it back, in fear that she will open the book and get some expectations that I'm not likely to be able to meet.)


Doug Dame

Floridian now back in Florida
 


#18 Fleendar the Magnificent

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 01:07 PM

Thanks for the info Doug. I'll have to look for this book. I'd also like to get the Darters book but don't feel like parting with $80 right now. Once I looked it up online, there's some great photographs of his artwork in the tank. Some people are just unbelievably creative and without a doubt, he's a master.

 

What specie of craw did you send? The red swamp craw?



#19 damias

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 04:14 PM

Doug, if I remember correctly Amano died a few years ago. Around 2015-2016 sometime.

#20 Doug_Dame

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Posted 08 December 2018 - 06:04 PM

Well dangit, you are right, Amano is no longer with us. I somehow missed that. Not many people invent an entirely new art form.


Doug Dame

Floridian now back in Florida
 




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