How to use a cast net and to choose a cast net?

Today, we are going to talk to you about catching bait with cast nets and How to use a cast net and to choose a cast net?

How to choose a cast net?

 First, let me talk to a little bit about picking the right cast net. Theres a couple things to factor. 

The radius

About size measure or cast nets and feet, youll be a five-foot net, an 8-foot net, and a 10-foot net. 

This is the radius of the net when you spread it out in the big circle. Generally, if youre starting out, you want a net thats within about a foot or of your height, maybe even a little bit less. 

The bigger the net, the more unwieldy it is, and the harder it is to manage. Start off, go a little bit smaller. Im about 6,4 foot. So a six-foot net was a really good way for me to start out when I was first learning how to throw a cast net.

Now I use a 10-foot net. It sits right on the high end of whats wieldy with what I can manage. It gets a little cumbersome. You can go up to like 20-foot nets 40-foot nets, but those required completely different throwing techniques, and its hard.

Theyre hard to use, especially in freshwater. Unless youre out as a guide or something like that or really into cast nets, ten-foot is about the biggest youre going to want to mess around with. Thats only if youre a tall person, and you got a pretty good throwing arm. So, its about the radius of the net is important.

Mesh size

The other thing is the mesh size. What you do is the bigger the mesh, the faster the net will sink, the better it is for getting down there quickly and grabbing the fish. 

But the bigger the mesh size obviously, the bigger the fish need to be. If I with my 1-inch mesh, I cant catch one inch long fish.

The other thing is with the bigger mesh size; the fish tend to get their gills and fins tangled up in the mesh. When youre trying to get your fish out, its more of a hassle, more of the fish get mangled and wounded. 

If youre trying to use live bait, thats a problem. If you use smaller mesh, the net tends to envelop the fish rather than entangle the fish. When you pull the net out, you can just dump all the fish out, and it works out really nice. 


Youre kind of playing give-and-take, you want a mesh thats going to sink fast, but you want to mesh thats going to be the right size for the bait youre catching. 

The Pounds per Foot

The other thing youre looking at is how many pounds the net is, and they do it by pounds per foot. Therefore its a one-pound per foot. If its a five-foot net, thats a five-pound net, the total name is the net weighs five pounds.

The more weight you have, the harder it is to throw the net. I have a 10-foot net at 1,5 pounds per foot; thats 15 pounds that youre chucking. Not everybody is into doing that; you got to kind of balance weight versus how fast it lets the net sink. 

Obviously, the more lead in there, the faster the net will sink and thats a good thing. You want that net to sink quickly get the fish before they scatter when they hear the net rope. 

  • To sum up, youre looking at the mesh size, the radius of the net, and the pounds per foot. Those are all factors when buying a net. 

How to use a Cast net?

If youre in freshwater catfishing, another thing to think about is where youre throwing the net.

If youre throwing the net from a boat, you can get a really big net because youre throwing the net and open water. Its not going to snag in and stunt. 

If youre throwing the net from shore. Its hard to find a place where a 10-foot radius net can not snag up, so a smaller net becomes better because it gets tangled and snags a lot less. Bigger isnt always better, think about what youre doing.

  • Snags is the number one problem for freshwater cast net. I have a hard time getting a cast net to last more than a year, because I end up getting it so snagged and ripped up that its just garbage by the end of the year.  I use my net an awful lot. I use it a couple of times a week. Snags are a big deal.

If youre fishing from the shore, you got to kind of look at your location. Whats kind of net will fit in. 

 I have watched a video on how to do it. Its a really simple technique that doesnt involve putting the lead in your mouth. 

Its great for beginners. There are more consistent and precise techniques out there. But theyre more complicated. So, If youre just a casual recreational user, youre not a guide or something. Its a great technique. And its the one I use all the time. 

If you want to check out how to throw a cast net check out this video and theyll give you all the detailed explanation of how to throw a cast net, and this technique works on all the different sizes up to about 10 feet.

 If youre learning to throw a cast net, its really easy to get fixated on trying to throw a perfect circle every time. But its much more important to throw your cast net in the right location than it is to throw it perfectly what you want to do is throw it consistently.

It doesnt have to be perfect. It doesnt have to be a nice circle every time, it just has to open up a bit frankly, and if you get it in the right spot, youre going to catch fish.  If you dont put it in the right spot, it doesnt matter how perfectly you threw it.

 Youre not going to catch anything, so being able to find the shad and throw your cast net right on top of them is much more important than worrying about having the perfect technique. It was you, really want to do is just have it, so you can consistently get the net to open fifty percent or more. Then once youre to that spot, then its all about finding the right location. 

 If you dont have a boat, you could do it from the shore. But snags are a problem, so boat ramp, docks and bridges are really popular places to throw a cast net. Early morning at that night are the best times because thats when the shad come in shallow.

If you have a boat you can go and chase the shadow around. You can go find out where they are at, in the middle of the day. You can pretty much get them at any time.

 The best way to find them is to see them jumping. Theyll either come flying out of the water when you run over them or youll see little ripples.

 If you cant see them or if its in the wintertime when theyre down deep, you have to use a fish finder. Imaging Sonar is really good for it. So you can see some examples here of what a school of shad look like on a fish finder. They come off of these blobs.


 You know theres a big blob of fish right here you can see the white marks are the fish and then theres the shadow thats what they look on the side imaging and then thats what it looks like on the down imaging.

  What you want to do is, you want to set your own imaging beam as narrow as possible so that when you drive over a big school of shad, you know exactly when and at what point you drove over them as soon as you see that on the sonar.

 You go in a tight circle, as tight as you can, and you mark with your eyes where you saw that jet, where was the boat when you first saw that on the sonar, and you circle back to that same spot with your net ready to go in your hand. 

You got a cast right on top of that same spot, and this takes some practice because once again, its much more important to throw the net in the right place than it is to have it open up perfectly. But if you hit it, its awesome. 

I got a reasonably well open net, put it on the right spot, got over 20 shad, one hit, thats how it should go. And then you just put them all in and live well if youre gonna do live bait or throw them on ice if youre going to chop them up.

 Thats how it is and when it works well, its awesome.

Anyway, SAM AND MARY hope this sharing was helpful in getting it on the right track for picking out the right cast net for your situation, and figure out a little bit more about how to use it right cast nets are fabulous. If your local laws allow it, recommend trying out if nothing else. Its really fun, and its a great way to catch a lot of bait!

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