Hauling in a fish with a landing net sounds like child’s play, doesn’t it? Not quite. You’d be surprised to know how often things go wrong in those heated moments of excitement.
When your biggest catch makes it into view after a wreslting match, your natural instinct tells you to yank it out of the water as quickly as you can. Unfortunately, that can, and regularly does, end badly.

Before getting your net wet, remember that using a net to secure a fish is nothing like catching butterflies. No amount of swooping, swooshing, dipping or scooping will get you anywhere.

Now we have that out of the way, here are the three basic steps to landing a fish with a net successfully:

  1. Put the net in the water, fully submerged so that the back of the hoop (where the handle connects) is sitting flush with the surface.
  2. Using your rod, bring your fish to the net and swim it in head-first. It is possible to do it yourself, but ideally you would have someone to hold the net or the rod for you. (Hint: If you need to reel in more line, hold the net under your arm.)
  3. Relax pressure on the line as soon as the head of the fish and half of its body is over the front of the net hoop. This should cause the fish to swim deeper into the net, allowing you to smoothly lift the net out of the water – with the fish in it!

Here are a few netting tips:

  1. Never chase a fish with a net, and never attemp to net a fish tail-first.
    • Fish can swim much faster than we can move a net through the water, so this will almost always end in misery.
  2. A larger net with a wider hoop can be easier to use.
    • For fish over 20kg, no net is going to be any use. Always carry a gaff just in case you get lucky with that fish of a lifetime.
  3. When shopping for a net, make sure you find one that is well made and has a study handle.
    • As discussed above, a larger net can be easier to use, so try and find one on the larger side.
    • Also consider a knotless net as they are nicer to fish and also less likely to tange with loose hooks.
A good net can be a significant investment for your tackle collection, but it can and will prove worth it if used correctly.
Franklin Marine stocks quality fishing nets and gaffs.
Please share this with any people you know that may benefit from these tips!

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We’re sure you’ve been here – at the boat ramp, ready to launch… Stuck behind someone who is taking their sweet, sweet time to get their boat in the water!

Southport Boat Ramp

It’s a frustrating situation, but it doesn’t have to end in tears – or ‘ramp rage’.

The most common cause of ‘ramp rage’ comes about when people back their trailer onto the launching ramp and then stop to load their gear, untie their tie-down straps, screw in the bungs, prep the engine and more. This all happens while there are people, waiting to launch or retrieve their own boats, more than likely with their patience wearing thin.

This issue is easily avoidable if you go through your ‘pre-launch checklist’ before hitting the launching ramp!

Pre-Launch Checklist

You want to be spending as little time as possible on the launching ramp. This pre-launch checklist should give you a good starting point, but build on it if you need to.
  • Make sure all of your gear is stowed securely in the boat.
  • Undo your travel tie-downs
  • Screw in your bungs
  • Tilt the motor off its travelling rest
  • If your boat hasn’t been run in a while, fire up the engine for a few seconds to ensure all systems are operational. A few seconds of dry running won’t hurt the engine, and it’s better to know if you have a flat battery or have lost the kill switch lanyard before you launch!
  • Make sure you have a line tied to the bow cleat
  • Leave the winch cable and any other bow fastenings attached, but ensure they are able to be undone quickly and with your fingers. If they’re too tight, loosen them now
  • Have a final check and make sure you have everything covered
  • NOW you are ready to hit the launch ramp!

If you’re new to launching a trailer boat, don’t stress! We all had to learn the ropes once.
Here are a few “Boat Ramp Etiquette” tips…

  • Devise a ‘procedure’ as to how you launch and retrieve.
  • Head to the ramp on a quiet day and just practise launching and retrieving your boat.
  • It may sound silly, but how did we all learn to park? Practise, (hopefully) somewhere quiet!
  • Once you are comfortable doing this, it’s time for the real thing!
  • Don’t get overwhelmed. A busy boat ramp can be stressful, boat don’t let it get the better of you. Remember your practise and how comfortable you were by the end of that. The only thing that has changed is that there are more people around now. Stick to your procedure and you’ll be fine!
  • You’re bound to hit some snags when you’re still getting used to it, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you get stuck and there are other people around. They’ll usually be delighted to speed things up so they can get their boat in or out quicker!

To everyone that has their launching procedure down pat…

Don’t forget we all started somewhere – if you’re watching someone take their time and they could clearly use a hand, offer your help rather than getting frustrated. A little can go a long way!

Don’t forget to share this article with your friends that could benefit from these tips!

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A successful submission from Franklin Marine – supported by the Franklin boating community – for funding to establish more navigation marks on the The Huon River, has been successful – and we’re happy to report that the new marks have now been installed!

The funding for this project came from the MAST Recreational Boating Fund, which puts your boat license fees to good use by investing in local boating safety projects such as these.

The aim was to establish more 5 new navigation marks on the formerly difficult Port Huon to Franklin route up The Huon River.

[read more…]

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With winter closing in on the Huon Valley, we are once again being met by chilly evenings and mornings.

Of course, no chilly evening or morning would be complete without a thick blanket of fog rolling down the river!

Fog burning off to reveal Franklin Marina#franklinmarina #hobartandbeyond #franklinmarine #huonriver #cartella

A post shared by Franklin Marine (@franklinmarineau) on

This makes for a good photo (if you can brave the cold!) – but what if you get caught out in your boat as it rolls through (and subsequently impairs your vision)?

Boating in the fog (or in any conditions that impair your vision) can be dangerous – but here are a few pointers to keeping safe on a cold morning or evening on the water:

  1. Anticipate if it will be foggy.
    • The BOM (Bureau of Meterology) publishes weather forecasts on their website. Keep an eye on your local forecast – the page usually explicitly states “morning fog & frost” on the right hand column. Click here to see the BOM website.
  2. Know your position.
  3. Use your senses.
    • No noise distractions – ask your crew to be quiet & TURN OFF THE STEREO.
    • Turn off the cabin lights – let your eyes adjust.
    • Use head torches with a red light option.
    • Get out of the cabin and listen to the shore.
  4. Fog horns!
    • Fog horns are great if you are in an area with traffic.
    • There are international sound signals – see the picture on the right.
  5. Light up the stage!
    • Keep your navigation lights on at all times – even during the day.
  6. Screens
    • A good plotter will help if the charts are up to date and accurate (see why we recommend Navionics Platinum Plus here).
    • Radar is obviously great if you’re lucky enough to have it.
    • Don’t get caught up in the screens! Use them to supplement your navigational skills – not as a replacement for them.




So that’s it – be careful and you will ghost out of the fog.
Did these tips help you? Please let us know in the comments – and please do share any of your tips for boating in the fog. We would love to hear them!

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This audio is an excerpt from our weekly “Fishing and Boating Show” – click here for more about the show.

Most boats should have at least a neutral buoyancy.

This means that a boat should continue to float, even when it is full of water and upside-down.

A boat must meet this requirement for it to comply with Australian standards and receive a HIN (hull identification number). [read more…]

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West System is the longest established epoxy resin system for boat building and is a favourite amongst professional boat builders and shipwrights.

West System Cans

Shipwrights prefer WEST System because it is always consistent and the mix always cures correctly. [read more…]

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Taking Your Pet Aboard

October 5, 2016

Many of us have at least one faithful companion with four legs. Going boating for the day, weekend or longer can be difficult if you haven’t got a babysitter for your little mate. Depending on the pet and boat, it can be very rewarding taking them along with you.

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No Second Chances in Tasmanian Waters – Wear and Use the Best Safety Gear

August 19, 2016

Imagine yourself on a windy late afternoon sailing or motoring down wind up the coast. Looking for that next headland which should have a light on it. The crew are below cooking. With the southerly and dark coming in, you think you had better go forward and secure a sail or gear. Autopilot is on and you don’t […]

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Passage Making at Night – Tips for Staying Safe

August 16, 2016

There are times when you need to make you way down channels at night. Long offshore passages inevitably mean traveling at night. Certain extra precautions need to be taken into account when on the water in the dark. Some gear is essential, like navigation lights and a good compass with light to steer by. A […]

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Wiring up an Auto Bilge Pump in 10 Simple Steps

July 2, 2016

Having an automatic bilge pump on your boat or tender is an easy way to keep water out – as long as it is installed correctly. Many people want to have an automatic pump but have trouble with the installation. If this sounds like you – you’re in luck! This article will run you through the […]

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