There are three major types of Drag Nets for recreational use:
• Piper - Bait 25mm to 75mm mesh
• Mullet - Kahawai 85mm mesh
• Mullet - Kahawai Flounder Snapper Trevally 100mm to 118mm mesh
Action Outdoors Ltd manufactures Drags Nets with stronger ropes, heavier leads on bottom ropes and more floats and the mesh is attached with stronger twine than other comparable length set nets.
Once again, the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) controls the mesh size used.
For dragnets, the maximum length is 40m and can be used in many areas where set nets cannot be used.
Check MPI Regulations for closed areas for Set Nets by clicking on the link below.
Use the smallest legal mesh size for target fish when utilizing drag nets, ensuring fish don't get gilled and unwanted catches can be safely released. According to MPI regulations, drag net mesh sizes for most species are smaller than set net sizes. Drag nets are eco-friendly, with minimal fish waste. There's no known record or anecdotal evidence of recreational dragnets causing harm to dolphins.
Regrettably, this doesn't apply to humans. A few careless errors and inadequate knowledge have led to preventable drownings.
Therefore safety points to remember include the following:
- Don't attach the fishing net to any body part.
- Avoid using a dragnet alone in any location.
- Use a setting stick for net setting in the surf to maintain distance.
- Utilize a safety rope between the angler and the on-shore person in heavy surf. Purchase suitable rope starting from $50.
- Ensure the net has 10m or longer bridles for secure dragging, keeping it away if you stumble.
- Remove rings, watches, bracelets, buttons, toggles, and buckles, and wear dive boots to prevent injuries. This applies to boat and shore fishing. Avoid becoming fish food instead of catching it.
- Establish an effective communication system for emergencies, like hand signals, whistles, or flags. Anticipate accidents and plan accordingly, since quick actions may be required. Use ref whistles for noisy environments.
- Wear cotton/polyester gardening gloves for better grip and hand protection when handling nets and fish.
- Consider using a flotation device, like the surf lifesavers' buoy, instead of life jackets. Standard life jackets may alter your balance, making you prone to falling. They may also trap you due to buckles and clips. Surfers and river mouth fishers might not have funds for life jackets.
- Choose a flotation device like the surf life-saving buoy for safety at sea.
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