Throwing a Cast Net

Learn how to throw a cast net to catch your own bait.
Hunter Ledbetter
Every angler should know how to throw a cast net. Catching your own bait before heading offshore is an economical and satisfying way to kick off a fishing trip. Throwing a large-diameter cast net with good results takes practice, however, and the journey from sad taco to perfect pancake can be a tough one for many beginners. Here are a few of the basics to get you started.
Before taking the cast net out of your bucket, wrap the looped end of the rope around your dominant wrist twice. If you are right handed, for example, you will want to place the loop on your right hand.
Loosely loop the remaining length of the rope in your dominant hand, then use that hand to grab just below the horn of the net. Pull the net tight with your other hand and straighten it out.
Stretch your other hand about halfway down the net and grip the net tightly.
Bring your dominant hand underneath your other hand to make a large loop in the net. Transfer the middle section of net to your dominant hand, which should now also be holding the top of the net and the rope.
With your other hand, gather up approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the bottom half of the net.
Take this section of net and toss it up and over your dominant shoulder. Keep this arm up and out to prevent the net and weights from slipping off of your shoulder.
Under your dominant hand, there will be two "strings" of weights formed by the bottom of the net. Grab the string closest to your body with your other hand.
Keeping this current position in mind, use your body to swing the net back slightly and then rock your body and net forward in one swift, fluid motion.
The momentum will launch the weights forward. As the net begins to swing forward, your dominant hand also whips forward. Your dominant arm should come across your body slightly as you throw the net.
Release the bottom with your non-dominant hand as the net begins to spread into a circle. Perfecting when to let go will take time and practice.
After the cast is completed, use the rope to pull the net back toward you. Lift the net up out of the water by grabbing the line just above the horn and release your bait by sliding the horn up after you have the net on deck. Swing the net back overboard to straighten it out for another cast.


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