Those are some nice croakers! Don't mess with a net on a kayak. I carry a little hand gaff. Just make sure it is legal size before you gaff it. Alot of guys use those lip grippers too. The way I see it, if I am going to release it anyway, I will live if it gets off before I get it in the boat. If I plan to keep it, I don't want to loose a good meal. That's where the gaff comes in handy.