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Types of Nets for Catching Live Bait

Updated on August 14, 2015

Nets and Traps for Catching Bait

A variety of nets and other devices are used for catching bait. Among the most common types of gear are cast nets, seines, dip nets, minnow traps, fish traps, crab rings, and umbrella nets.

Anglers use nets and traps to catch shrimp, crabs, squid, silversides, glass minnows, mummichugs, spot, pinfish, pigfish, perch, ballyhoo, menhaden, herring, shad, eels, and other aquatic life.

After baits are harvested, they can be used immediately, stored in bait tanks, or preserved for later use.

Cast Nets

Cast nets are popular for catching bait. They are used along shorelines, or casted from boats, piers, bridges, or other structures. Bait or chum is sometimes used in conjunction with cast nets. Fishermen scatter bait in shallow areas, then cast nets to catch shrimp and fish that have been attracted.


Seines are fine mesh nets with a pole on each end. Fishermen working in pairs, pull seines through shallow areas and up onto shore. Seines catch practically anything in their path, including fish, crabs, shrimp, and other baits. They are effective for catching bait but are bulky, expensive and require a large amount of effort.

Dip Nets

Dip nets can used around bulkheads, pilings, aquatic vegetation, or floating debris. Dip nets can also effective at night around lights.

Dip nets can be used randomly, or an area can be sprinkled with chum and dip netted after a baits appear.

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Umbrella Nets

Umbrella nets are another type of net for catching bait. These devices have a 4 armed frame which holds the net open. A line is attached to the center of the frame for lifting. Harvesters usually suspend a small amount of bait from the frame and then lower the net to the bottom. When crabs, shrimp or baitfish move in and begin feeding, the umbrella net is rapidly lifted out of the water.


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