What is a Cast Net and How to Use it

If you are a fisherman, it might sounds cruel when you having bad luck fishing and couldn’t catch one single fish. Things can be totally different with a cast net. Cast net is a recreational way of fishing. Unlike the traditional fishing with a fishing rod, fishing with a cast net is a much more effective way regarding catching fish.

The usual way to use a cast net is to throw it into the water and let it sink. The technique may seem very easy, but you should know its features very well before getting started, because throwing a casting net is not like using a fishing rod.

cast net

What is a Cast Net?

A cast net is a large rectangular bag that you put over your head and throw by hand. It is formed from a length of cord or fine line that is weighted at the ends and knotted in the middle. When it is thrown over water, a funnel-shaped bag effect is created by the weighted ends of the net as they sink and drag through the water.

It can be used to catch just about any type of fish, including large bull redfish, small trout, small bait fish, panfish, and even shrimps or crabs. Cast nets, also called throw nets, are particularly popular for catching bait on deep channels filled with shrimp or crabs as you drive along the coast. Choosing the right size of a cast net decides what kind of fish you can catch.

What’s the Material of Cast Net?

Cast nets are usually made out of cotton, nylon and mono-filament. Fabric like cotton absorbs water and degrades over time, making it less durable. The nylon cast net is more popular now, because it is softer, more quickly and easily to open. In a word, more user-friendly for beginners. Mono-filament net is popular as well for its excellent quality, but also more difficult to use. So, if you are a beginner who just starting out, a nylon cast net is what you need.


How to Choose the Right Cast Net?

When it comes to choose the right cast net, there are 2 aspects you should consider, one is the mesh size and the other is the net size. Mesh size refers to the the spacing of the mesh in the net. The smaller the mesh size is, the smaller fish the cast net can catch.

Overall, there are 4 common mesh size on the market, 1/4 inc mesh , 3/8 inch mesh, 1/2 inch mesh, and 5/8 inch mesh. The 1/4 inch is really used for very small fish like minnows, and it can’t sink quickly, not an ideal choice for deep water. The 3/8 inch mesh cast net is a proper size for catching most bait species. The 1/2 inch mesh and 5/8 inch mesh are the bigger sizes. Although they can sink quickly, the bait fish will swim through the net and they are chances you lost most of the fish.

Most cast nets today have a radius ranging from 4 to 12 feet. The smaller the net, the lighter and easier it is to throw and control. So, if you are just get started with cast net, do not choose a over size. However, the smaller size of the cast net also means it only covers a smaller area and catches less fish. The most common used cast nets are the sizes under 8 feet radius. The larger ones always require more experiences and techniques. If you are an experience net caster, you can always choose larger nets. For beginners, we recommend the ones under 8 feet, especially when decide to cast the net during your wading trip.


How to Use a Cast Net?

Cast net is used for throwing, that is why it is also called throw net. It seems easy, but there are several steps to follow.

1. Preparing the Net

Before throwing a cast net, you will need to get fully prepared. Firstly, attach the loop at the end of the trow-lie to left or right hand, your dominated handed recommended. Secondly, wrap the throw line into small coils across you palm, the same palm with the loop on. Do not make the coils too tight, or it can’t be released quickly. Lastly, take the yoke of the cast net with your other hand.

2. Organizing the Net

This step is to make sure there are no tangled lines and the sinker weight leaded line are not tangled either. Take the halfway of the net with your one hand and straighten the net to keep it from twisting. Grip the net at one-third with your occupied hand, the one with the loop on. Take hold of the sinker weight line with your both hands in order to spread the net fully. Or you can hold the sinker weight line with your teeth.

3. Casting

Rotate you upper body to the left, your hips, shoulders and chest; slightly bend your knees; and then turn back to the right, reverse the motion. Let go of the cast net when you are in the right place, facing the target. And wait till the cast net sinks to the bottom of the water. Last, reel in the cast net with you hand through the throw line and you are ready to see what you catch.

Now you know what is a cast net, how to choose the right cast net, and how to use it. It is time for you to get your own cast net and experience this extreme fun with the cast net.