Best Pond Nets for Koi and Goldfish 2018 (Top Models)
Pond nets are a cost effective method of cleaning pond sludge, skimming debris from water, and also guiding pond fish so you can get a closer look. Here we recommend some of the best models, as well as provide tips on choosing the correct net for your pond.
Choosing the right Pond Net
Pond nets may not be complex like tools pumps or filters, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any factors to consider before purchasing!
For instance, if you have a small pond with a shallow depth, a pond net with shorter handle support and a narrower net may be more suitable. This will allow you more control over the cleaning process and make it much easier to guide your goldfish into the net itself. For larger or deeper ponds, a pond net with a long and sturdy handle and wider brim is more desirable, allow you to reach further into the water and give you an easier time with cleaning. If you just want to skim the waters surafce, a skimmer net would be best with an ultra fine mesh and a shallow depth to the basket for maximum debris removal.
If you have koi or goldfish in a large pond, the wider the net, the better! Fish will likely swim circles around you laughing as you try to catch them if you have a small net, so having a wide brim makes life a lot easier. As well as this, since koi are particular powerful fish, a pond net made from soft material with a strong handle bracket is essential. This will make sure the koi are not injured if they struggle inside the net, and also ensures the net will not break off into the pond.
Even though you can catch koi using a regular pond net, many koi keepers would recommend a sock net instead. These kind of nets are more gentle for fish handling, and make it much easier to safely guide and catch your koi. The koi can then be picked up or transferred as needed, with the net providing better and safer support in comparison to a regular net.
If you just intend to use the pond net for cleaning and skimming purposes, a regular telescoping pond net would be a fine choice. These are also fine for netting both goldfish and koi in most circumstances, although if you intend to catch koi more frequently, a sock net may be a better solution.
Catching your Pond Fish Safely
For the easiest time guiding fish into a net, just remember; bigger is usually better!
It is much easier to guide a fish into a pond net with a wide basket opening than a narrow one, so this needs to be taken into account. Having a big net also ensures your fish do not damage themselves when they’re caught, and allows for an easier release when you’re done checking them over.
If you’re just intending to check your fish occasionally, a normal telescoping net with a large brim should be fine for this purpose. You can use this net to catch and hold the fish close to the water surface while you give them a health check. They also double as good all-round pond cleaning, providing good debris skimming and pond liner cleaning when needed.
If you’ve already tried to get goldfish or koi into a basic pond net, you likely know just how difficult it can be. Pond fish will do their best to avoid being caught, and you should not try to force fish into a net as it can cause injury and stress. Using a net which is much too small for the fish will increase the amount of stress and may also damage the fishes fins as they struggle inside the material. Sometimes it’s better to give up and try again later, or invest in something less “frightening” to pond fish..
Sock Nets vs Regular Nets
If you intend to move fish between ponds, or handle your fish regularly, we strongly recommend investing in a quality sock net. These long nets are made from soft material and provide a less stressful catching experience for both koi or goldfish. The end is usually open, and when the fish enters the long netted tunnel, you need to grab and close the exit manually with your hand. After you’ve closed the exit, the sock net is simply lifted out of the water with the pond fish supported in the center on the soft material.
The benefit of this is that even if the fish struggle, there is no hard metal brim or handle to hurt themselves on. It also allows you a much safer release, as they can simply swim out of the soft exit opening when you decide it’s time to go. Sock nets are not designed for cleaning ponds or skimming the water, however, so we only recommend them for handling goldfish and koi. If you like to check up on your fish on a frequent basis, this is certainly the safest and most effective net option!
Tips for Netting Pond Fish
If your fish are being particularly stubborn, you can make use of both types of nets and have a friend help guide the fish to the sock net with a regular net. This is one of the easiest methods of catching both koi and goldfish, but would require more than one net to accomplish.
You can also try using food to entice fish to swim close to the net, but this would depend on how stressed the fish are and how hungry they are at the time. If you’ve been trying to catch your fish for an hour already, they’re unlikely to care about food and probably just want to relax. Using a little food as bait is better suited to the start of the process to ensure the fish are not already fed up!
Another method, which works if you need to move fish between ponds or holding tanks, is to simply lower the ponds water level. The fish will have less area to work with then and this makes it much easier to guide them into the pond net. It is also easier to get fish into your net during the autumn and winter as both koi and goldfish start to become more sluggish. This makes it a good time to provide a pre-winter health check before the pond closes off for the season.
Best Fish Pond Net 2018 (Reviews)
Below are a selection of different types of fish pond nets which we recommend. Some are great as skimmer nets, others are good choices for koi, and some are just great all-rounders!
A flexible and sturdy pond skimmer net with extendable handle for hard to reach areas from Aquascape. This type of net is different from regular fish nets and is intended to effectively skim the ponds surface collecting floating debris. It does this by having a very shallow basket depth for minimal water disturbance, and very fine mesh holes to collect even the finest of debris.
The tiny mesh allows for all kinds of debris to be lifted up easily, and the material is soft enough not to damage fish if they manage to get caught. With that said, we do not recommend this type of net for catching pond fish, and it should just be used for skimming and cleaning purposes. The material is very fine and soft, and a struggling fish will easily break through with enough force.
This would be a great choice as a skimmer net for both small and large ponds, as it also features a 35″ extendable handle, allowing a good range of skimming distances. One of the best pond skimmer nets for fish ponds!
A good all-round pond net choice for cleaning, skimming, and retrieving fish. Tetra ponds telescoping pond net features a 5 foot extendable telescoping handle, making it great for larger or deeper ponds. The material is soft, but less fine in comparison to a skimmer net. The net is 16″ deep and the basket is 13″ wide, making it suitable for catching both koi and goldfish.
Even though it can be used safely for fish, we prefer this net as a heavy duty cleaning net. The material is strong and the mesh holes are fine enough for both small and large debris removal. The outer brim of the net basket also has a sturdy metal casing, making it a good choice for raking the pond liner of pond sludge. It is much more durable in comparison with a regular skimmer net, so would be useful if you suffer with heavy debris build up or algae.
In terms of netting pond fish, it is soft enough to not cause any damage but the opening may be a too little narrow for koi. It is much better suited for goldfish, but can be used for both with a little determination! A good all-round pond net choice, and recommended for heavy cleaning and goldfish retrieval.
Another heavy duty all-round pond net which works great for both cleaning and fish retrieval is TotalPonds Telescoping net. Similar to the net from Tetra, but with a slightly wider basket opening and larger mesh holes. The net, at its widest point, is around 15-16″ in width and around 16″ in depth. The fabric is soft but very strong, so would be suitable for a wide rage of debris and also for catching pond fish.
Due to the slightly wider basket opening, we recommend this net if you have larger pond fish you need to retrieve, but still want something for cleaning on the side. The mesh holes are of a medium size, and will allow for good water skimming and collection for all but the finest of debris. It would be great for skimming leaves from the surface, and also for raking string algae and sludge from the liner.
The net is able to extend to a maximum of 62″, and is 47″ when contracted and stored. It would be a good choice for both small or large ponds, and a versatile net for fish and general cleaning.
Sock nets are the best choice for frequent fish handling, and Nycon provide some great value options for fish keepers! This sock net is made from soft but durable material and features a tunnel measuring 42″ long. The opening to the net is 11″ wide, and the net comes with a 12″ wooden handle for maximum control.
Sock nets are a fantastic choice for pond owners who need to frequent check their fish or move their fish around, but are not suitable for pond cleaning. These kinds of nets make handling less stressful for both you and the fish, and are almost a necessity for large-scale koi keeping.
After you place the net in water, you carefully guide the koi into the long sock tunnel which is more inviting than a closed basket net. As it swims through the tunnel, you simply grab the other end to close the exit and lift the koi up as it rests on the soft material. This ensures no damage comes to the fish even if it struggles, and also allows for an easy release when needed. The small handle may look strange, but this provides more guiding control and better support for the fish when catching them.
Overall, a great choice of pond sock net which would work well for catching both goldfish and koi with minimal stress and hassle! Best combined with a regular net for all-round cleaning and fish handling.
Pond consultant and long-time hobbyist who enjoys writing in his spare time and sharing knowledge with other passionate pond owners.