How to Easily Throw a Cast Net Illustrated

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Throwing a cast net makes fishing easier. Catching your own bait makes sense not just from the financial aspect, but from letting you be more in control of your fishing destiny. There is also a sense of pride from being able to skillfully throw a cast net and being able to fill up your bait well with premium bait. The method described below does not require putting the lead line in your mouth, as holding the line in your mouth is not only unpleasant, it presents a safety hazard.

  • Take the cast net rope and tighten the slipknot over your left wrist. Coil the rope neatly in small loops in your left hand. While still holding the loops, grasp the net just under the top ring, so that the coiled rope and the top of the net are held in your left hand. Grasp the net again with your right hand, roughly a third to a half down the net. This distance will vary according to personal preference. Put that section of net in your left hand. When finished, your left hand will hold all of the rope and the net that is folded in half. See photo.

  • Grab the lead line with your right hand and toss the net over you left shoulder. Ensure that enough of the net drapes over your shoulder so the net remains in place when you assume a regular stance. See photo.

  • Grab the lead line again with your right hand and tuck the lead line under your thumb, so that the line is held firmly under your thumb, but the other fingers are free. Use your right hand to start flipping the net into your palm, until roughly half of the remaining net is held firmly between your fingers and palm. When finished, the lead line under your thumb must be separate from the net that is held by your four fingers. See photo.

  • Get ready to throw. Look at the photo to get an idea of how everything should look: coiled line and net in left hand, lead line thrown over left shoulder, right hand thumb holding lead line while half of remaining net is tucked under the four remaining fingers.

  • Spread your feet about shoulder width apart with your right leg pointing towards the area where you are looking and where you want the net to land. Twist your body back to the left, like you are winding up a spring. When you have wound up as far as you can go, unwind your body rapidly, while throwing the net up and out. Release everything in your left hand and the net in your right hand. The lead line under your right hand thumb should be the last thing out of both of your hands. While both of your arms are throwing the net, it is important that you use the unwinding motion of your body to help the net open fully.

  • Let the net sink and then pull in the rope, closing the net’s bottom and trapping any fish inside. Let the net extend open over a bucket and remove all of the bait. While holding the net upright, make sure all of the lines are clear and there are no tangles on the lead line. Repeat the above steps and throw the net again.

Tips & Warnings

  • Stand on a sturdy surface and be well balanced, as it is easy to lose your balance and fall while throwing a net.
  • Be aware of what is under the water where you are throwing. It is easy to get cast nets snagged on bottom structure.
  • Ensure the area around you is clear of obstacles and people.
  • Be informed about all rules and regulations pertaining to cast netting for your state.
  • Like most tasks, these steps are just an outline–adjust the details so that they work for you.
  • People have drowned while throwing a cast net. Use caution and be careful when cast netting.
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