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How to Easily Throw a Cast Net

Updated on January 22, 2011

     Cast netting is an invaluable skill for any angler because it allows you to catch the best bait possible in the best possible way: for free. The first thing you'll need is obviously a cast net, but not one cast net fits all situations. Different mesh sizes, or holes in the net, allow you to target different types of bait in different depths of water. Smaller mesh can catch smaller fish but sink slower while larger mesh catches bigger fish and sinks faster. Here is a chart that will help you choose what mesh size is right for your application.

Cast Net Selection

Mesh Size
Bait Size
9" & Up

     The most common sizes are 1/4", 3/8", and 1/2". I prefer the 1/4" mesh size because it allows me to catch very small bait and the fish do not get stuck in the net. Also in net selection, you will want a net that has at least 1 lbs of lead per foot of radius and a net that is made in "panels". All this information should be available on the net packaging.

     Now, on to throwing the net. This can be a frustrating exercise and tiring depending on your net size and weight and it is best to practice throwing in your yard or a grassy field. I will be instructing based on someone who is right handed. If you're left handed simply reverse the hands.

  1. Gather up your cast nets line and coil it in your left hand in comfortable but large intervals.
  2. Grab the top of the net just before the plastic ring at the top in your left hand, this is called the horn.
  3. While still holding this part of the net, grab another section with the same hand of the net at waist height so that when you lift the net just barely off the ground, your holding hand is at belt height.
  4. Now spreading the net apart, separate it roughly into two equal sections. This is best done at the bottom on the net where the lead is.
  5. From here you want to gather one half of the net in your right hand and move it in a large semicircle counterclockwise essentially temporarily switching the positions of your left and right hands and resting this "half net" on top of your left hand.
  6. Now you will have two sections of the net, one lead pile will be high and one will be low. Grab a section in between the two and bring up to your mouth and hold it with your teeth.
  7. Next, using your pinky, grab another section of net from between the high and low stacks.
  8. Almost done, now "roll" the top half of the net that is currently on top of your left hand back into your right hand.
  9. Now your net is ready to be thrown. Simply swing it backward and bring it forward in an arcing manner.
  10. When you let go, let go of everything except your pinky and let the net pull the line from your pinky finger as it opens and travels forward
  11. Let the net sink and slowly pull it in with sharp jerks of the line until the net it closed

     You can now enjoy and reap the benefits of catching your own bait with ease and without having to shell out a dime to go fishing.


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    • reidrichardson profile image

      reidrichardson 7 years ago from St. Pete Beach

      Thanks! I'm glad they were easy to understand because they do get a little complicated but I tried to keep it as simple as possible.

    • rich_hayles profile image

      rich_hayles 7 years ago

      Brilliant hub.

      Well formatted, easy to read and clear directions. High priase and look forward to reading more of your hubs.