Angler’s Guide to Cast Net Fishing
The age-old debate of live vs artificial bait still endures, but there’s even some dissension in the live bait camp: buy from a bait shop or catch it yourself. Many factors influence this decision including cost and legality, but many anglers are passionate about using cast nets to catch their own bait and fish. If this is you, or you’re ready to get started, just keep reading!
What is Cast Net Fishing?
A cast net is a large, round net that anglers cast and then pull back to retrieve fish. The nets include small weights, or lead lines, around their edges to help them sink and enclose any fish in their path.
While some fishermen use cast net fishing as their primary fishing method, most anglers use the technique to catch small baitfish that they can then use to target larger fish. Cast net fishing is one of the oldest and most effective ways to catch a large amount of fish in one go which is why the method has remained popular to this day.
Tips for Cast Net Fishing
If you’re looking to catch a wealth of live bait for your fishing trip, or even hoping to catch some decent sized fish with a net, these tips are for you.
The most important tip when it comes to cast net fishing is to learn how to throw the net so it opens fully and correctly before you start fishing. This means you might want to get out on your front lawn and start casting! This skill can take quite a bit of time to master, so don’t get discouraged.
It’s important to ensure the net is opened fully because as the net sinks, the weight around the edges will cause it to start closing. A fully opened net will maximize the surface area covered when it reaches the bottom. Intimidated? Don’t be! Check out this tutorial on how to throw a cast net the “easy way” to ensure you won’t miss a single fish!
2. Use the largest net you can
Because the net will start to close as it sinks deeper into the water, you’ll get the best results if you’re using the largest net possible. Look into what sized nets are legal in your area before you choose.
This is particularly important when fishing in deep water. The deeper the water, the larger your net should be. Deep water cast fishing is also the perfect time to practice opening your net fully as this will further increase your fish-catching surface area.
3. Pay attention to when it hits the bottom
The moment the net hits the bottom is the ideal time to pull the net shut and start retrieving, giving little opportunity for fish to escape. This moment can be difficult to recognize, though, particularly in deeper waters.
Try keeping a slight tension on the line in order to feel the net hit the bottom. If you can act fast and pull the net closed right away, you’ll catch baitfish galore!
4. Never tie the line on your hand
Safety always comes first, which is why you should never tie the line around your hand. A secure knot around your wrist is dangerous as nets can become extremely heavy when they’re full of fish. If the net gets caught or snagged, you can easily be pulled overboard or injured if it is attached to your wrist.
Instead, simply wrap the line around your wrist loosely so you have a solid hold but are not secured to the net. This will keep you safe and flexible when cast net fishing!
5. Choose the right casting net
Probably the most important tip of them all is choosing the best net for your situation.
One of the main factors you’ll want to consider is mesh size. This may be obvious, but the smaller the bait you’re catching, the smaller mesh size you’ll need to avoid escape. You typically want to use the largest mesh size that will catch the bait you want, as larger mesh sinks easier and faster. Here is a chart to help you determine the right size for you:
When it comes to net size, the bigger the better. Unless you’re a beginner or if a child is trying out cast net fishing! In these cases, smaller nets are beneficial for casting practice and are much easier to use, even if they might not retrieve quite as many fish.
The weight of the lead line around the net is another key factor. Heavier weighted nets are best suited for deep waters as they will sink faster, allowing less time for the net to close before it reaches the bottom. Lighter nights are ideal for shallow waters and beginners. Remember to consider your strength before purchasing a net and select one that you know you can cast safely.
Choosing the Best Fishing Apparel
People forget about the importance of performance fishing shirts. When you spend hours on the water in the heat, rain, or cold, the apparel you choose ultimately affects your performance. You need men’s fishing shirts that have UV protection, moisture-wicking, anti-odor, quick-dry, and ventilated features. You should also have fishing shorts with multiple deep pockets, 4-way stretch, moisture-wicking, and stain-resistant fabrics. Skin cancer is very dangerous, and wearing 50+ UV sun protection clothing for fishing shields skin from harmful rays.