View Full Version : how to transfer fish from net to hodling bag while diving

08/03/2014, 03:54 PM

So I picked up a 11" x 12" vinyl net and a 6" x 6" holding bag,
How does one transfer a small 2" fish from the net into the holding bag while in the water?

08/03/2014, 05:11 PM
Very carefully :D

The fish typically want to bolt to the bottom. So keep the net above the holding bag, lower a corner of the net into the mouth of the bag such that the corner of the net will be the low point and quickest path of escape from the net...right into the holding bag ;) Got to be fast to close of the holding bag, before the fish hits the bottom of the bag and makes the mad dash back up. Going to take a few tries, and you'll loose a few until you get the hang of it. But once you do, it'll seem easy ;)

08/03/2014, 06:01 PM
I use a Deli cat container. They are a good solid plastic. A handle to tie a rope so you can hook it to your belt and they have a nice big opening with a screw on cap.

08/03/2014, 08:20 PM
hmm, I'm thinking my 6" holding net is not going to be very helpful, since the opening is not even ridged, the deli cat looks like a two gallon container, of which the opening seems to be around 4" diameter. I have some of those, but the opening is still much smaller then my 1 foot net.
Looking at my net and holding net right now, I see that at 6" x 6", the opening of the holding net is only 1/4 the area of the 12" x 11" vinyl net...
I think I need to carry a small 4" mesh net, to scoop out the fish once its in the big vinyl net, then move it into the holding container. Hmm, this is going to be tough.
Or maybe I have to construct a 12" x 11" ridged lid for the net, with a 6 x 6" hole in it and have it somehow connect? This doesn't seem practical.

08/04/2014, 04:36 PM
Its very easy to transfer the fish from the vinyl net to the container. I am assuming the vinyl net is a rectangle that you buy in a dive shop. Its easy to cover the openings so the fish would swim right into the container. I don’t know how big a fish you are trying to catch but the opening is good for any fish that is that big. Even a little bigger depending on the fish. I have put in a lot of different species into that container. Remember also to bring them up slowly if you are deep. Their air bladders need to adjust.

08/04/2014, 07:16 PM
@ Firedad,
I have the large vinyl net which is a foot wide, a foot across and a foot and a half deep. Is this too big? I'm trying to catch fish that are less than 3" in size. I see that the website, deepsixintl.com also sell a medium size net which is 6" x 8".
I assumed that the bigger the net, the less it would spook a fish, since it would swim away from the aluminum frame. Should I be using their medium size net which is 6" x 8"? That seems easier to manage.

08/04/2014, 08:40 PM
That should work just fine. I also use a tickle stick to “corral” the fish into the net. You wont really catch it by trying to wave it through the water. Works for a butterfly net but the water slows you down. Try to chase the fish into a small hole or somewhere you can trap it then hold the net over that area and use the stick to chase it out of that spot into the net. Hopefully that is. Depends on the fish. Some don’t like to hide and are just very fast. A sharp nose puffer, for instance, is almost impossible because they are very fast and wont go into a hole. Sometimes I would chase it away from its normal area which may only be about 5 feet away so to disorient it. You can see the fish looking for someplace to hide. When you have it in the vinyl net you might only need to keep your hand over it to keep the fish at the bottom of the net and it wont try to go past your hand. It will try to go through the vinyl since its transparent to it. Then just open the deli cat container and hold the vinyl net so it can only go into the container. For larger fish my buddy had a cast net, with the ropes cut off, and we would together chase to an area then drop the net over it and again us the tickle stick to chase it into the net. After doing it a few times you will find different techniques. Good Luck!

Sometimes you can just put the net near the fish and chase into the net but if possible put it under him so if he tries to escape it will be downward. If you can have it under him you can lift up on the net to get him.

08/04/2014, 09:56 PM
HAHA, I understand now!
Here I am thinking the vinyl is a ridged container but its not. I finally understand. The divers here are using the net I have.
I squeeze the net with my hand and trap the fish inside the bottom of the net. Once the fish is captured inside the net, I just need to hold any container next to the constricted opening and the fish swims right in.
The divers catch a fish about 8 minutes in. I also see that they have a clear holding bag clipped to their belt and it has a ridged cap, with a trap door of some sort. Much better than my floppy Velcro bag, which is probably useless.


This video also shows a capture but I guess he can't move the fish out in the water either. Looks like he holds onto the fish in the net till he gets to the boat.

08/06/2014, 08:20 AM
Those were good videos. The first one showed a bunch of guys working together which we didn’t have that luxury. Like I said, it depends on the species of fish. We would have caught that rock beauty, in the second video, by droping a 6’ cast net over him. My plastic nets are smaller so I can get into smaller areas. I also was catching smaller fish. Mostly juvenile angels. Those nets and using a tickle stick was a great combo. You will learn that it really depends on the species but these videos are a good idea how to do it.

08/07/2014, 02:45 AM
I use plastic coke bottles and other sized bottles, two exact sized bottles, one near full size and the other just the end cut off that I then use the soldering iron to change its shape to fit over the end of the larger section. Then I use the soldering iron to put holes all over both sections then squash two small sinkers then silicon on both ends and completely cover each sinker as well so it doesn’t float away and wont corrode and become toxic as I use them in my tank as well.
I keep these in a landing net replacement as a bag that I make a tie out of a section of conduit to slide along the nylon cord tie that I heat and squeeze till cool with long nose pliers, make s a great pull tie.
Small containers with very small holes to keep in small life forms, larger containers with larger holes as with both to let oxygenated waters through.
If the soldering iron makes the holes, they do not become sharp edged, with a drill they become very sharp edge holes.
I have been using this method for over thirty years, I also catch some life forms in these containers with out the nets.
Take large section put over fish and close over with smaller section at the bottom of the net, fool proof!!
Then back in the bag and off to get more, plus I use stocking washing bags with my pull ties for things like tube worms and eels and more.

08/08/2014, 07:47 AM
@ liguidg
A picture is worth a thousand words. Lets see one of your bottles and pull tie combo.

08/08/2014, 04:01 PM
@ liguidg
A picture is worth a thousand words. Lets see one of your bottles and pull tie combo.

Okay mate I have been going to do up a thread on this for ages, now I will!
But I will put up a pic of my gear very soon and the actual thread I will link to it later on with "how to"

08/08/2014, 04:46 PM
This is my gear that I came up with in the mid eighties after trying all other options that are no where near as good and I have made buckets with slits in lids, with coolite under lids to keep them closed, those silly catch plastic hags, catch bags of small mesh with stainless wire frame to keep to shape with twist top, and so on and so on, nothing for minimal collection works simpler or better then this.

First up that white stocking washing bag has a pull tie made with a section of ink pen heated to be a pull tie over thin nylon cord, this is my coral bag as is the same type of bag for my eels and tube worm or what ever bags, but the one in he pic has pull over sleeve sections of old ones I cut up and put a stitch in one end so corals don’t fall through but are protected by the soft material sort of like individual bags once a stitch is put in with fishing line at one end and all can be stacked on each other in that bag.

The larger black mesh bag is for my nets to go in as I swim along and holding all containers and bags, it has a section of conduit as the pull tie and a stainless hook to clip onto either a deco line i take with my stuff in a container or I just hook onto the deco line hanging from the boat with the hook.
The containers are all there bar some variations I use for other life forms to keep them from each other and protected from swell surges but still oxygenated and what ever and when I get home I do not acclimatise! I put the containers in the water till the next day and open and separate.

The container on its own in my hand is a type I use that hangs onto the side of my tanks or tubs via the sinker hung over the out side edge and the container in the water with a weight in it like a non metal stone or coral chunk or a section of weed or coral for the life form to live amongst and this container is in a flow and that life form or life forms can be kept that way for many months and grow in them.
I also use this method for new fish or inverts in to tank left in one of these hung in the tank for a short time or days while fed in this container till I let it out into the tank once it and everyone in the tank has looked at each other through the plastic for some time and let it go just before lights out.

08/09/2014, 05:05 PM
generally speaking, you want two catch nets. Collecting with a single net is hard to do.

I'd ditch the 6 x 6 holding bag and get a hard plastic bait bucket (http://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/frabill-6-qt-flow-troll-bucket/pid-11999?N=870187862&Ntt=bait+bucket&Ntk=All), spring door and use a caribiner to clip it on your BC. One less thing to worry about. 7 bux.

Don't forget hypodermic needles if you collect below 60'. you'll need to decompress the fish.

27-25 gauge is a good size, not too big, not too small. always good to use a fresh one so you dont give the fish a bladder infection.

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The net you linked to will eventually break down and separate where the vinyl sides meets the mesh. make sure you fresh water rinse them often after using it. A net with a hole is useless.

It's expected you have to make repairs from time to time to your nets. you can use a thinner mono and a sewing needle.

If/when you manage to net a fish...you can do a whirling dervish spin move or a figure 8 with the nets underwater to keep them in the bottom of the net, as they'll try to swim out. Squeeze the top of the net. Reach in and firmly grasp the fish by its side. dont worry, they can take a pretty firm squeezing. if you dont hold the fish firmly, you'll be looking at the backside of the fish as it swims away.

Good Luck!!! not as easy as you may think it is.

08/10/2014, 01:03 AM
Cool, i use to use a burly/bait container i converted and made up a better lid that was spring loaded, the one with coolite under lid to float it closed worked fine, till it fell over, lol.
Here are how I would make my nets.

08/10/2014, 04:28 AM
Here are how I would make my nets.

great DIY writeup on the nets. I'm guessing the hoop weight offsets the buoyancy of the handle. My handles are 3/8" stainless and i find them hard to maneuver underwater due to drag created when im trying to position them. I wish the handles were larger.

My "borrowed design" is a only a little bit different from yours. I use thin wire to attach the mesh to verses a plastic cover to keep the net from getting too bashed.

I think we are giving away too many tips away for free.....im sure you've had a ton of trial and error along the way just as i did.

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08/10/2014, 05:42 AM
Yep on all points, but usually I use my hand net made from a telescopic brush handle from Bunning's. Its handy as in it's small but extends to quite long for in cave or down ledges stuff and its aluminium with holes in it so it fills with water quickly and doesn't float. I have three fence nets but I haven't used them for some years. It gets boring set up at one site and just herding into the net.