A landing net should be a part of every fishing outfit. More fish are lost just as they are about to be lifted from the water than at any other time. A gaff is used for this same purpose with fish too large to go into a landing net. A gaff is a large hook without a barb fastened into a short pole. If you have no net or gaff and have succeeded in bringing a large fish up alongside the boat, try to reach under him and get a firm grip in his gills before you lift him on board. If it is a pickerel, look out for his needle-like teeth.