How to Throw a Cast Net

Saltwater fishing is a little more complex than casual freshwater fishing. It requires more preparation, equipment, and knowledge. One tool that is particularly handy when it comes to saltwater fishing is a cast net. Learning how to throw a cast net is an instrumental piece of knowledge for your saltwater fishing trip.

What is a Cast Net?

A cast net is a weighted net tossed into the water to bring in a large amount of baitfish. A fisherman might find a cast net helpful if they run out of bait in the middle of a long day of fishing or prefer the use of live bait.

How to Throw a Cast Net Step-By-Step

Throwing a cast net may seem like a menial task, but it requires skill, practice, and preparation. When you learn how to throw a cast net, you are learning one of the most crucial saltwater fishing tips.

Step 1: Purchase Your Net

Before you learn how to throw a cast net, you'll want to invest in a high-quality cast net to ensure it lasts a long time and effectively catches the baitfish you need. Choose a net made of strong material from a reputable brand. Avoid cheap, budget brands, as they may be more challenging to use correctly.

Step 2: Hold Your Net Correctly

At the end of the hand line, there should be an adjustable loop. Place the loop around your non-dominant wrist and secure it tightly to avoid losing grip and tossing your net overboard. Loosely coil the rest of the hand line and hold it in the same hand you placed the loop.

Step 3: Grip the "Horn"

The "horn" or "yoke" is the net's top part where the hand line and the metal ring connect. The yoke should also be gripped by your non-dominant hand. Make sure to align the horn with the coiled line.

Step 4: Set Up the Throw

Grab a few more feet of net from the horn with your dominant hand. This should be done about halfway to the "skirt" of the net where the weights are attached. Transfer this section to your non-dominant hand, creating another loop. The weights should either lightly touch the ground or hover above it.

Step 5: Position the Lead Line

With your right hand, grab a clean, unweighted part of the line and place it between your teeth. With your free hand, open the skirt by resting the right side of the line between your fingers. With the lead resting in the crease of your fingers, typically your thumb and pointer finger, grab the net from about 2-3 feet below your left hand.

Step 6: Cast the Net

Twist towards your non-dominant hand approximately 90-180 degrees, then slowly back forward, using your momentum to toss the net. Decrease the likelihood of losing balance by bending your knees, which lowers your center of gravity. The net should fan out and sink to the bottom of the water. Avoid tugging on it until it has settled.

Step 7: Reel it in!

Once the net has settled to the bottom of the water, begin reeling it in, hand over hand. As you pull the net up, the weights will close, trapping a swarm of baitfish. Avoid going too quickly; this can trip you up and free your catch.

Now that you've learned one of the most important saltwater fishing tips, you're ready for your big adventure on the open water!

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