Lake trout are amazing game fish! They are big, compact, and powerfully built fish that can give you the fight of a lifetime.
Because of their enormous size and raw strength, bringing a landing net with you is essential when fishing for lakers. Not only will it help you land your trophy catch, but it’s also beneficial for the fish, which is especially important if you want to release it.
So, if you are looking for the perfect landing net for your next lake trout adventure, make sure to keep reading!
QUICK SUMMARY: In this article, I’m reviewing three high-quality, reliable, and affordable salmon fishing nets that you can find on Amazon. These are the Frabill Power Catch Net, the Drifter Marine Predator Net, and the Ranger Flat Bottom Net.
What Is the Best Fishing Net for Lake Trout?
What makes a good lake trout net? That’s a question a lot of anglers out there ask.
Well, there are few super important features when it comes to landing nets for lakers!
The most crucial one of them all is size! If you’re fishing a lake with a healthy lake trout population and can produce really big fish, you’ll need an appropriately sized net to get them into your boat.
I cannot stress this enough: big lake trout are massive fish! They are long, deep, compact, heavy, and often really fat-bellied, making it difficult to land them with a too-small net and virtually impossible to land with your hands.
Landing smaller specimens is often relatively easy, but to safely land a monster lake trout, you will need a big enough net!
A deep net is also essential because it will prevent the fish from getting out and allow you to safely keep your catch in the water while handling it (or while you’re getting ready for that photo session).
If you’re fishing solo, you will also want a relatively light landing net because if you have to hold your rod with one hand, you will only have one hand to handle your net and get it under the fish.
And finally, the price can play a crucial role as well. Not all of us can afford super-expensive high-end gear, which is why I included nets with three different budget levels in this article.
Hopefully, you’ll find what you’re looking for: a net that fits both your wallet and your target fish.
Top Pick: Frabill Power Catch Teardrop Landing Net
The Frabill Power Catch Teardrop is the perfect big-game net. You won’t find a better or bigger landing net anywhere!
The Power Catch is a super sturdy, well-made, lightweight net with a deep bag and a round hoop. Perfect for giant lakers, in other words.
A 100-lb fish could easily fit into it; it’s that large! That’s why it’s such a popular choice among both musky, salmon, and lake trout anglers.
No matter how big the fish, this net will get it into your boat. No questions asked!
Here are a few of the Frabill Power Catch’s most important features:
- Hoop size: 32×41″ (huge!!!)
- net depth: 42″
- handle length: 48″
- extremely sturdy, wide, and deep
- knotless 1 3/4″ mesh (100% tangle-free)
- made of corrosion-proof stainless steel
- ergonomically designed comfort-fit handle
- made in the USA
Once again, this is the ultimate lake trout net. It has everything you need to land your trophy catch successfully.
Additionally, thanks to its big, knotless mesh, the Power Catch is really gentle on the fish, which is especially important for big lake trout, as you almost always want to release these fish back into the water again.
Fish care and safety; check!
This is definitely a high-end fishing net! But it’s also an extremely durable and high-quality net that will last you a lifetime.
So, it’s well worth the investment.
Runner-Up: Drifter Marine Predator Series XL Net
Up next is another popular big game net: the Drifter Marine Predator Series XL Net.
This net was designed for giant game fish, and both musky and lake trout guys love it!
It’s huge, sturdy, and has an ultra-strong design that can pick up fish of up to 70 lbs without bending or breaking.
Its innovative handle design lets you control the net with one hand without any problem, even though the hoop and net are gigantic!
In other words, this is a great lake trout net that can handle any big old trophy fish.
Now, the Drifter Marine Predator Net is a little on the expensive side, and some anglers find its handle a tad too short, which is why it comes in second after the Frabill Power Catch.
Still, virtually all anglers who use this net for their musky, catfish, or lake trout adventures swear by it.
Here are some of the Drifter Marine Predator Series Net’s most essential features:
- Hoop size: 37×35″
- net depth: 36”
- handle length: 48″
- heavy-duty reinforced hoop
- rubber-coated mesh for excellent fish care
- innovative T-grip handle for extra net control (won’t ever slip into the water)
- made in USA
The two biggest pros of the Drifter Marine are undoubtedly its large size, which is essential when fishing for giant lakers, and its clever T-grip handle design.
The latter prevents the net from slipping into the water if handled with just one hand, which is especially important when fishing solo or in rough weather conditions.
All in all, a very advanced landing net that will be of great assistance when you’re out chasing monster lake trout!
Budget Pick: Ranger Flat Bottom Net
The budget pick is a popular choice for bank and kayak anglers, beginners, and anglers with a limited budget who target smaller to medium-sized lake trout.
The Ranger Flat Bottom Net is a popular choice that won’t break the bank.
It’s not the biggest and most sturdy of landing nets, but it’ll manage fish up to 10-15 lbs without a problem!
Not everyone can afford a fishing boat, and not every angler out there has access to waters that hold really huge lakers!
Going for an over-sized net makes little sense then, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
So if you’re just starting out or fish waters with a population of smaller lake trout, this Ranger net is a solid choice.
Here are some of its most essential features:
- Hoop size: 25×25″
- handle length: 54-84″
- telescopic handle
- heavy-duty hoop
- easy storage (handle slides into hoop)
- knotless coated rubber net (100% tangle-free)
- made in USA
A fine budget alternative that won’t cost you a fortune and will last you for many years (until you’re ready to gear up and catch bigger fish).
How Big of a Net Do You Need for Lake Trout Fishing?
As I’ve already mentioned, lakers can get insanely big, but only some anglers out there will catch trophy-sized lake trout.
The vast majority of anglers out there will catch fish up to 10 or maybe 20 lbs, and for sizes like that, a net of about 25×25 inches is definitely enough.
If we’re talking lakers of 20 to 40 lbs, which is pretty big, you should use a net dimension of around 30×30 inches to ensure a smooth and safe landing.
And if you’re after monster-sized lakers, meaning fish of 50 or more pounds, your landing net should absolutely be in the 35 to 40 inches range!
Again, those fish are gigantic, and I’ve heard so many stories of anglers with nets that were too little for these tanks.
Don’t be one of them, and get a large enough net if you’re expecting to catch large-sized lake trout!
Do You Really Need a Net for Lake Trout?
So now that you know how big and heavy these fish can get, are you still wondering whether you should take a net with you on the water?
It’s basically impossible to haul in a 50+ pound laker without an appropriately sized landing net!
These fish are both too large, too heavy, and too strong and wild to let themselves get hand-landed by you.
So, yes, please always bring a net with you when fishing for lake trout!
But what if you only catch small specimens, you ask? Well, even smaller lake trout are very strong and often give you one hell of a fight on the rod.
Without a net, you still might end up losing that fish. And that’s always a shame if you ask me! So, why risk it, right?
- Best Rods for Lake Trout Fishing?
- What Is the Maximum Size of Lake Trout?
- What Time of Year Is the Lake Trout Spawn?
Featured image courtesy of Kris Gaune