Wherever you may fish, live bait is always the best lure. To save time and money, you need to keep live bait ready. Cast netting is the most efficient tool for catching your own bait. You can also use a cast net to catch shrimp, larger fish, mullet, etc.
Cast nets have been used for thousands of years. A good example of cast netting in antiquity is after His resurrection, Jesus tells his disciples to “’Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.’ When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.” (John 21:6 NIV).
Cast netting is very popular, either in fresh or salt water, and can be used in different applications from Sport to Commercial fishing. Many people use cast nets, from kids to experienced professional fishermen, almost everywhere in the world.
Tip for deciding on your cast net mesh size)… starting with the largest 1-1/4 inch square,(1-1/4 inch on each side, 2-1/2 inch stretch); this castnet mesh is made for larger baits or fish but smaller baits will be gilled. The 3/8 inch(square) cast net mesh is the most popular size for the average live bait cast net, catching just about every live bait there is escept the small glass minnows. Even though it does net just about every size of live bait, smaller baits such as the younger white bait tend to become gilled when throwing cast nets into large schools. The 1/4″(square) size cast net netting is not so much for the idea of netting smaller live bait but for the simple reason of eliminating aggravating gilled baits all throughout your net during the early part of the season. Any questions, please feel free to call. As you will notice, our cast net prices beat any of our competitors hands down in custom made castnets. Due to the large volume of cast nets that are sold, we’re able to offer you the best custom cast nets without paying the typical high price. Without a doubt, these are the finest custom live bait cast nets that any fisherman would be glad to throw! Most cast net orders will be filled in just 48 Hrs, so order your cast net today!
Depending on what kind of bait you are after, i.e. shrimp, pin fish, shiner, mullet, sardine, etc., having the correct mesh size will greatly improve your result. As with any fish netting, the bigger the targeted catch, the bigger size of mesh and stronger netting material needed.
- First thing on choosing a net is knowing what mesh size to use which means asking yourself what kind of bait are you targeting. The chart below is a good indicator of the type of cast nets required for which bait fish. Please keep in mind meshes used here are in square mesh.
Type of Cast Net Square Mesh (in) Bait Size Target BaitMinnow Nets
3/16″ ……………………..1/4″ 1″ to 3″MinnowShrimpBait Nets
(Regular Size Baits)
3/8″……….1/2″………..5/8″ 3″ to 12″Pin FishThreadfinScaled Sardine( White Bait/Green Backs)MenhadenBallyhooMullet Nets
1″………………………..1-1/4″ 12″ & overMullet
Next, determine how much net you can throw. most of our bait nets are 1-1/2 pounds per foot. So if you order a 10 foot Baitbuster 3/8″ mesh it will weigh appx. 15 pounds. You also need to consider how many times you will be throwing: are you done in 1-3 throws or will it usually take you 5-10? Many people think that to catch bait in deeper water, they need more weight. This does not usually work. The smaller mesh will slow the sinking of the net and the heavier lead line will close the net before it gets to the bottom in deeper water. Normally your net needs to hit the bottom in order to catch the most bait that you can. There are some cases in very deep water where you throw over a large school of bait and then close the net quickly so they don’t swim out from under it.
Mesh measurements are in square mesh (the distance from knot to knot or one side of the mesh as show in diagram below). Stretched mesh is another way to measure mesh size and it is the distance from top knot of the mesh/diamond to bottom knot of the mesh/diamond, essentially double the length of square mesh. For example a 3/16″ sq. mesh net is the same as a 3/8″ stretch mesh net. They are just different way of measuring the same thing.
Cast nets are measured from the horn(a round plastic piece at the top of the net where the netting is tied) to the lead line at the bottom of the net. A three foot net fully stretched will open to a diameter of 6 feet(good for very young children in very shallow water) and a 10 foot net will open, when thrown properly, to a 20 foot diameter. If you are brand new to cast netting, we generally recommend an 8-10 foot net for an adult. At 1-1/2 pounds of lead per foot a 10 foot net will weigh 15 pounds. You should always keep in mind your physical condition and whether you can throw a 15 pound net several times to catch bait in the early morning. I found that as my arthritis started kicking in a few years ago, I just don’t want to throw a 12 foot net any more; 10 is OK but sometimes 8 is better.