How Do Cast Nets Work? All You Need to Know…

how do cast net work
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Fishing is one of the favorite activities that people engage in and it is fun-filled as well.

But before you start fishing, you must have the basic fishing equipment and understand how they are used to get the best out of your fishing experience.

One of those accessories is the cast net.

Many professional anglers use cast nets when fishing.

It is a prevalent method of fishing and can be used in different kinds of water, either saltwater or freshwater.

This method of fishing is very popular and known in almost all parts of the world.

You might be familiar with the standard fishing net: a large, rectangular net cast out into the water, which is then pulled back in, hopefully with a few fish captured in its mesh.

The cast net is different – it’s thrown over the fish to catch it.

It is an old way of catching fish and bait without having to wait patiently for a bite.

Casting nets on water is among the oldest forms of fishing.

Today, we use it because of how effective and reliable it is.

However, skill is critical when using this method to catch fish without using more bait.

So, in this article, we will discuss in detail what cast nets are about, how it works, and how to effectively use them.

All You Should Know About Cast Nets

Cast Nets Explained

casting net

A cast net, also known as a throw net, is an effective tool that catches the fish by surrounding it.

In addition, they are the most economical tool for catching your baits.

Cast nets with small meshes are used for small baits, while the larger mesh is for large baits; their radius varies from four ft. up to twelve ft.

Because of the weight of the larger nets, only muscular men can pull them out once it’s filled up with fish.

So, getting lighter cast nets is better for beginners because they need something lighter that’ll be easy on the body.

Weight is important when getting a cast net, but heavy weights are not necessary for shallow areas because the net only has a little distance to travel before hitting the water’s bottom.

Cast nets work better in water depth that is not deeper than their radius foot.

It is also important to throw your net in waters free of snags when you want to cast.

It might end up tangled or torn if not cast in snags-free water. Most cast nets have a 4-foot Standard ring-hoop.

The net weights are mostly spread around the edge at approximately a pound at a foot. The net also has a headline attached to it.

The angler holds one end of this line as the net is thrown on the water.

When casting the net, the angler can decide to stand with one hand holding the hand line and with the net wrapped over the other hand so that the weight droops.

The line is now thrown out to the water, using both hands, in a circle-like movement.

When the net gets filled up, a retrieval clamp does its job.

The retrieval clamp acts as a wringer on a mop and seals the net around the fish.

Then the net is drawn out by pulling on the hand line. After pulling the net into the boat, you will release the clamp.

Casting a net can be done from the shore or on the boat.

How Do Cast Nets Work?

1) The Mesh

mesh sizes

The first thing to know about cast net is the mesh size (This is a thread or wire with the intersections of which are looped or knotted).

First, you have to know what kind of bait you are targeting. This is because the size of the net’s mesh is based on your targeted bait fish.

Let’s say you are targeting small minnows; you can use a mesh net size of about 1/4 inches, whereas if you want to catch bigger baits, you can use mesh sizes of 1/2 to 1 inch.

I like to use the 1-inch mesh because using the ¾-inch mesh, which is quite small, tends to catch a lot of rubbish and clogs your net up with juvenile fish you don’t need.

Choosing the right mesh size is essential because combined with the weight, the mesh size plays a crucial role in defining your net’s sink rate, and the sink rate determines the size of the baits you will catch.

Cast netting with the largest mesh possible provides the fastest sinking speed without damaging your bait.

Check the regulations in your local area because size restrictions vary from place to place, and you are not allowed to use them in some places. But, unlike the seine nets, cast nets are legal.

So, it is very important to check your area regulations regarding size and usage.

2) The Weight

The next thing to consider is the cast net’s weight. How big or heavy is it, and can you throw it? You must be sure how much a particular cast net weighed and if it suits you.

Although, if you want a fast-sinking net for the maximum catch when targeting the water bottom, you should consider your net’s weight.

The weight of your cast net becomes essential when trying to catch specific bait fish such as panfish.

Panfish are one of those fish species that hang near the water bottom and attempt to get out of the net.

You must have a tight bottom seal to control them and prevent them from fleeing out the net.

A good high-performance 8-footer cast net should weigh at least 12 pounds.

It is ideal that when attaching your lead weights, they should be about 3 inches apart.

Another thing to note is that the more lead, the tighter it’s spaced and it fastens the sinking rate, which allows you to catch more bait with each throw.

But remember that the heavier it gets, the harder it becomes to pull out.

3) The Size

Many recreational cast nets come in radius sizes ranging from three to ten feet, while most commercial nets can run to 15 feet in radius.

Let me explain, a little 3-foot radius net has a diameter of 6 feet if opened, and a 6-foot radius net, when opened, should extend to 12 feet in diameter.

Maximum sizes vary depending on your state. For other states, cast nets are prohibited.

For a beginner, the 8-foot net is the easiest to throw, and that is why many anglers who regularly use live bait start at 8-footers, and most experienced anglers prefer 10-footers.

Some fishing guides may use a custom-made twelve-foot net.

A seven-foot net is only a little larger than a five-footer but offers twice the coverage, allowing you to catch more with less struggle.

So, how do you know the size of cast net that suits you?

This method is how you check. Hold the top part of your net, hold your hand straight up, and measure down to the floor from the top of your fist. If it measures well, then that is your ideal net size.

The ideal cast net size will allow you to throw your net easily.

Setup Techniques or Throwing Techniques

inshore casting net

Step 1

To fix your cast net before throwing, you will attach the loop at the end of the hand line to your right wrist, but if you are left-handed, it should be on the left hand.

Next, lock the hand loop making sure it’s tight so that it doesn’t slip off your wrist when you throw.

It would be sad to see that you didn’t tightly lock it to your wrist and tossed it down the sea bottom without retrieving support.

Step 2

Next, you should grab the portion of the net where the small metal ring connects to the net’s hand line, raise your hand a little and shake a little.

Doing that will allow you to pack the net in before your throw.

Now bring it to your right hand. For me, this is the point I like spreading out my net with my left hand to check fore and make sure there are no loops or tears.

Step 3

Next, grab the net halfway between the horn and the wider part, and hold it to your right hand.

At this stage, your right-hand holds three things, the hand line tied to it, the nets horn, and then the net, halfway cut down.

Step 4

With your opposite hand, you should grab a portion of the net at the skirts-like part using your teeth and hold that line part.

Step 5

Take another part of the skirt line, about 1/2 meters from the one held with your teeth.

Move your left leg a little forward and throw in a 90-degree motion toward the left side and let go.

You can throw cast nets using different methods according to their usage areas.

If you are in a shallow area, you can hold the net securely with both hands. The free spot is tossed to the shoulder.

Then the net is given a slight 90 rotation and thrown into the water. When throwing, you should endeavor not to scare the fish.

What to Keep In Mind

Many Amateur anglers prefer the stern river mouths, shores, and shallow places when trying to throw a cast net.

Cast nets do very well in areas like that. They are generally used for baitfish hunting in shallow areas with a sandy bottom.

But in some cases, you can use it for fishing surface fish with the boat.

When fishing in shallow areas, the net tends to land on the bottom of the shallow water.

The fast-sinking rate when shallow fishing is the main reason you should target snags-free areas so as not to cause damage to your net.

However, it is essential to remember that when throwing a cast net in shallow areas, the net is expected to hit bottom a little soon as it is thrown and withdrawn quickly.

So, you don’t give room for the fish to escape.

The cast nets are very suitable for small fishes.

However, since a large cast net can scan the sea bottom, its use is prohibited in some areas so they can protect the fish species.

The cast nets have been in use for a long time and are well known.

Cast nets are thrown from boats, shore, or places where fish are detected.

Net casting provides fish containment, which is efficient because of the retrieval clamp that acts as a wringer on a mop and seals the net around the fish.

When shore fishing and you cast a net, deep into the sea bottom of a designated area, after waiting for a certain period, it is drawn out, but when thrown from a boat with the help of the headline, you draw it out quickly.

Although many anglers prefer using it on boats, it is also suitable for shore fishing.

You can easily use small and less weighted fishing nets in rivers, streamlets, and lakes.

If you want to get the best out of fishing, your cast nets should be used with the proper method, and look out for the best cast nets produced from quality materials.

When casting your net, the area where your fishing is carried out is crucial for the success of your fishing.

So follow the steps above to cast your net. Also, please choose the right water areas to throw it.

Different Types of Cast Nets and Where to Use Them

1) Bottom Pocket Cast fishing Net

The bottom pocket cast net is the most common cast net you will find around and is used by most fishermen.

They are versatile, and you can use them primarily for shallow waters.

However, you can still use them in waters two meters deep or thereabout if you don’t want to use a different net.

The nets description is simple. It has a sealed-up funnel at the top attached to a swivel, which helps to ensure nothing can get out of the net.

Then at the bottom (that is, the skirt-like part), it has a bottom pocket all sown into it.

They kind of lift the lead line up, take it inside the net and sew it up a little bit higher to form a pocket shape right through the bottom of the net.

The net pockets a catch trap so that when you throw your net on the water, the fish will end up sliding into the net and get stuck to the pockets.

So, this is how the standard bottom pocket cat nets work. It is excellent for chasing mullets, prawns, garfish, and the like.

2) Top Pocket Cast fishing Net

The top pocket cast net is one of the most common cast nets.

They are generally meant for pruning or for all the kinds of critters that might want to shoot up to the top of your net, and this is one of the common things that pawns do.

To describe this net better, it is like the standard bottom pocket cast net, but now the exiting funnel is not designed the same way as the bottom pocket.

The funnel is widely open and not sealed at the top at all. Instead, it is like a tie net funnel with two-piece attached to it, forming a pocket-like shape at the top.

When you throw your net in and catch prawns, and it tries to flick up to the top of the net, they go through the tie net funnel, which is held up by a few strands, and this results in them being stuck in all at the top net without getting out.

This top pocket cast net is designed in a way that allows you to open the top of the net wide and gives you room to dump your caught baits out. This net is excellent for catching prawns and the like.

3) The Drawstring Cast Net

The drawstring cast net is better when used in deep waters. It works well in deep water structures of jetties, snags, deep bends, and the like.

The drawstring cast net can be described this way.

At the top of the net is an open funnel, which has 12 strings of monofilament that run down from the top to the bottom of the net, attaching at equal measurements all-round the lead lines.

The drawstring is different from the pocket cast net because it has no pocket-like attachment.

Instead, you have all monofilament strands attaching themselves equally around the net’s bottom.

When you throw this net, the lines pull up the center, which falls down the bottom and forms a big pocket.

So it becomes easy to lift your line back up through the center when you retrieve your net because it becomes straight and allows you to pour out your catch.

These are ways you use the drawstring; it is simple and easy when catching fresh bait.

There are many natural fiber cast nets out there. You can choose the right cast net that best suit you and is effective.

If you’re looking for high-quality cast nets on the market, here are some of the best cast nets you can choose from.

Conclusion

Check the regulations in your local area before using a cast net because size restrictions vary from place to place, and in some places, you can’t even use them.

So, it is essential to know your area regulations regarding size and usage. But, unlike the seine nets, cast nets are legal. It would also help if you throw your net in the waters free of snags when you want to cast.

You might end up with a tangled or torn if care is not taken.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you know the suitable cast net size for you?

This method is how you check. Hold the top part of your net, hold your hand straight up, and measure from the top of your fist down to the floor. If it measures well, then that is your ideal net size. The ideal cast net size will allow you to throw your net easily.

How do you set up cast nets to throw?

Step 1

Tie the loop at the end of the handline to your right-hand wrist, but if you are left-handed, then you should tie it to your left hand. Lock the hand loop to ensure it's tight, so it doesn't slip off your wrist when you throw. It would be sad to see that you didn't tightly lock it to your wrist and tossed it down the sea bottom without retrieving support.

Step 2

Next, you should grab the portion of the net where the small metal ring connects to the net's hand line, raise your hand a little and shake a little. Doing that will allow you to pack the net in before your throw. Now bring it to your right hand. For me, this is the point I like spreading out my net with my left hand to check for and make sure there are no loops or tears.

Step 3

Next, grab the net halfway between the horn and the wider part, and hold it to your right hand. At this stage, your right hand holds three things, the handline tied to it, the nets horn, and then the net, halfway cut down.

Step 4

With your opposite hand, you should grab a portion of the net at the skirts-like part using your teeth and hold that line part.

Step 5

Take another part of the skirt line, about 1/2 meters from the one held with your teeth. Move your left leg a little forward, throw a 90-degree motion toward the left side, and let go.

how does cast net work?

A cast net is an effective tool that catches the fish by surrounding it. In addition, cast nets are the most economical tool for catching your baits.
The first thing to know about cast net is the mesh size to use (This is a thread or wire with the intersections of which are looped or knotted). First, you have to know what kind of bait you are targeting. This is because the size of the net's mesh is based on your targeted baitfish.

For example, let's say you are targeting small minnows; you can use a mesh size of about 1/4 inches, whereas if you are looking to catch bigger baits, you can use a mesh size of 1/2 to 1 inch.

The next thing to consider is the cast net's weight. The weight of your cast net becomes essential when trying to catch specific fish such as panfish.
Panfish are one of those fish species that hang near the water bottom and attempt to get out of the net. Therefore, you must have a tight bottom seal to control them and prevent them from fleeing out the net. A good high-performance 8-footer cast net should weigh at least 12 pounds.

Finally, the size, Many recreational cast nets come in radius sizes ranging from three to ten feet, while most commercial nets can run to 15 feet in radius. Let me explain, a little 3-foot radius net has a diameter of 6 feet if opened, and a 6-foot radius net, when opened, should extend to 12 feet in diameter. Maximum sizes vary depending on your state. For other states, cast nets are prohibited.

For a beginner, the 8-foot net is the easiest to throw, and that is why many anglers who regularly use live bait start at 8-footers, and most experienced anglers prefer 10-footers.