Necessity is the mother of invention, and Capt. Mike Gallo was in desperate need of a solution.
Gallo, who owns and operates Angling Adventures of Louisiana from his lodge in Slidell’s Pirate’s Harbor, went through a period several years back when he kept losing his fishing net.
“I lost three nets in about three months and it was driving me crazy,” he said.
They vanished in varying ways, from getting caught up in customers’ casting accidents to being lost overboard, but it got him thinking about coming up with a solution.
He vividly remembers when the proverbial light bulb went off in his head with a nifty fix he still uses today.
“I was working on my lodge, sealing a drafty window with spray foam insulation and I looked at it and went, ‘You know, I got an idea for this,’” Gallo said. “So I went over to my net, pulled the little rubber handle off the back of it, and I stuck the skinny tube in there and sprayed it full of foam and just let it dry.
“It comes out the end of the net when it hardens up, but then you can just cut off the hardened foam and replace the handle.”
Ever since then, his nets are buoyant enough to remain afloat if they go overboard, and the foam provides an extra, unintended benefit, as well.
“I’m big on noise, and I try to fish as quietly as possible,” he said. “The foam inside makes the net more quiet when it falls.”
He likes to keep his net centrally located net-side down near his steering wheel when clients are fishing so they can grab it to help land a nice fish if he’s setting or pulling up the anchor, for instance.
But having it easily accessible in the middle of the boat means it’s easier to knock over when speckled trout or redfish are biting fast and furious.
“People will walk past it and bump it, and it will slide and fall and hit the gunnels on the side of the boat and make an awful racket,” Gallo said. “Well, it still makes a racket, but it’s not quite as loud with the foam insulation in there.
“It’s more of a thud instead of a clang.”