How to Effectively Cast a Fishing Net

Fishing nets are used for catching a variety of fish. Larger ones are used in commercial fishing to catch large numbers of oceanic life. Smaller ones are designed for the individual to use while standing shore side, or from a small boat. No matter the size of the net, it is designed with one purpose in mind; to catch fish. Although catching fish with a fishing net, usually requires one to know how to effectively throw the net. Knowing how to properly execute the throw, ensures a greater chance of fish being caught.

The knowledge of net throwing isn’t something that is simply known. It is a task that takes practice and a small amount of skill. There are several methods to throwing a fishing net. Some of those methods involve holding the net with your teeth. I personally don’t like the idea of placing an object in my mouth then throwing it overboard.

The ability to effectively throw a fishing net will vary with each user. Just like the time, it takes to learn. For me, I find it easier to think of it as a very large frisbee that takes its shape in the air. When thrown correctly it will open up and soar through the air in a perfect circle, just like a frisbee. As it spins and gravity takes hold of the material it will fall into the water trapping anything beneath it. The weights that are strategically placed around the edges will pull the net to the water’s floor. As you pull back on the end rope it keeps the weights together in a way that prevents the fish from swimming out of the trap, and toward you for inspection.

Before ever considering purchasing, or learning how to throw a fishing net, it is highly suggested that you check your local fishing laws. In many places using a net is illegal. In areas where a fishing net is allowed, they can be a fantastic tool for catching free fish bait. In most cases, the types of fish that are caught in an individual’s net will be chad, minnows, bluegill, and other smaller fish. These smaller fish are generally pooled together near the shore and don’t swim as fast to get away from the falling danger. Larger fish are possible to catch in a net, but will require a much larger net. For a beginner, begin with a smaller net approximately 4 feet or so. Practicing with a smaller net is easier to master than using a 12-foot net.


Before leaving the store, while purchasing your net, grab a bucket, or container of some sort to store the net in. A mesh laundry bag also works great for storing the net in. Just like many other items that you purchase it is difficult to return the item to the originally packaging. So, plan ahead and purchase a place to store it.

Inspect the net for any tears or tangles before each use. Using a torn net will not effectively capture the fish. Upon retrieval of the net, the fish could escape out the tear of the net.

Stretch the entire net from the hand line to the weights to ensure it is free from tangles. Wrap the strap of the hand line around the wrist of your dominant hand. Make a loop, the length of your arm span, with the hand line and hold it with your dominant hand. Repeat for the entire length of the hand line. Once you reach the yolk of the net you should have several un-tangled loops of hand line being held by your dominate hand.

Hold the yolk of the net with your non-dominate hand. With the dominant hand grab the net below the yolk, approximately half way down the length of the entire net. Grab a tight hold of the net at this point. Drop the yolk between you and the net. At this point, you should be standing behind the net with the weights away from you, and half the net and the hand line looped in your dominant hand.

Fan out the weights of the remaining portion of the net in front of you. The base of the net should resemble a skirt of a woman from the 1700’s. Split the net into two vertical sections by separating half of the “skirt” portion and grabbing hold of it with your non-dominant hand, midway between your dominant hand and the weights. Ensure that there are only two rows of weights between the two skirt sections. These layers of mesh material should be hanging freely, and not tangled.

Combine the portion of the fishing net material being held by your non-dominate hand with your dominant hand. At this point, you should have freed your non-dominant hand, and your dominant hand should be full with hand line, and two sections of the net.

Remember the two layers of the weights that you checked for earlier? Grab the section of weights from the layer that is furthest away from you with your non-dominant hand. Place it on top of the other layers of fishing net that you are already holding with your dominant hand. Follow the weights away from your dominant hand with your non-dominant hand and stop once you have reached your arm span distance.


In your dominant hand, you should be holding the hand line, half the fishing net, half the base of the skirt, and one line of weights. In your non-dominant hand, you should be holding the weights of the net at arm span distance away from the portion being held by your dominant hand.

You are now holding the fishing net in a way that should allow you to effectively throw it. Position yourself in front of the water with your dominant hand held up at chest height and extended toward the water. Position your dominant hand behind you just below chest height. Turn your body just slightly, with your non-dominant foot toward the water.

When you are ready to toss the net do so in a frisbee motion. The dominant hand will come from behind you and toss toward the water in a circular motion. The non-dominant hand will stay behind to guide the net in a circular motion as it is being tossed in the water. It will take some practice. The two key things to remember is less height and more spin. Don’t try to throw the net high in the air, it doesn’t need height to work effectively. In order to open fully, the net needs to have enough spin on it to fan out completely. Remember the Frisbee, it won’t fly if it isn’t spinning.

Don’t get discouraged if the first throw isn’t done correctly. Being able to effectively throw a fishing net will take time and practice. Be patient, and determined, you will master the art. Consider practicing to throw the net in your driveway to get the hang of it. Just be mindful of any rocks, or sticks that may snag and tear the net.

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