Mastering The Art of Cast Net Throwing A Comprehensive Guide

how to throw a cast net


Throwing a cast net is a skill as old as fishing itself, dating back to ancient civilizations. This artful technique remains essential for catching baitfish or even larger game fish. However, mastering the cast net throw can be a daunting task for beginners. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the steps to help you become proficient in casting a net with finesse, accuracy, and efficiency.

Selecting the Right Cast Net 

Before you can throw a cast net effectively, you need to choose the right one. Cast nets come in various sizes, mesh sizes, and weights. Select a net that suits your fishing needs, with mesh sizes that match the size of the baitfish you intend to catch.

Preparing the Net 

Start by inspecting your cast net for any damage or tangles. Make sure the lead line and the horn are properly connected. If there are any knots or tangles, untangle them carefully to ensure a smooth cast.

Finding the Ideal Location 

Selecting the right location is crucial. Look for areas with visible baitfish activity, such as schools of fish or signs of feeding birds. Keep in mind that casting a net in deeper water may require more skill and strength.

Mastering the Technique

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of throwing a cast net

   a. Holding the Net 

      Start by holding the net in your dominant hand, ensuring the lead line is hanging down.

   b. Coiling the Net 

      Begin coiling the net into your non-dominant hand, starting from the horn and working your way down to the lead line. Make neat, even loops to prevent tangles.

   c. Grip and Hand Placement 

      Grasp the coiled net firmly with your non-dominant hand, keeping your thumb on top and your fingers beneath. Your dominant hand should hold the lead line.

   d. Ready for the Throw 

      Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, facing your target area. Keep your body sideways to the water for better balance and control.

   e. The Throwing Motion 

     Swing the coiled net backward, allowing it to unravel as you simultaneously pivot your body and shift your weight forward. As you reach the apex of your throw, release the lead line and let it fly towards your target.

The Perfect Landing 

As the net descends, it should spread open in a circular shape, creating a wide area to trap baitfish. Ensure that the lead line sinks quickly to trap the fish effectively. It’s crucial to time your throw and spread the net evenly to maximise your catch.

Retrieving the Net 

Once the net has landed and sunk sufficiently, use a pulling motion to gather the lead line. Pull it toward you while simultaneously lifting the net to trap the captured baitfish securely.

Safely Handling the Catch

Carefully inspect the net to ensure all the bait fish are caught. If not, release any fish that may have escaped. Transfer the captured baitfish to a livewell or bait bucket to keep them fresh.

Practice Makes Perfect

Like any skill, casting a cast net takes practice. Spend time honing your technique in different fishing environments, and soon you’ll be able to throw with precision and confidence.


What is the easiest cast net to throw?

When you’re a beginner and first starting out, the 8 foot net is the easiest to throw. Throwing a 10 footer is very similar and you can throw both with this method. Best part is you don’t use your teeth or put a wet net on your shoulder!

Why is my cast net not opening?

A tangled cast net will not open properly, so check the net to make sure there are no twists or tangles. Pick the net up by the horn and shake it a few times to remove any tangles or debris.


Throwing a cast net is an essential skill for any angler. With the right equipment and technique, you can efficiently catch baitfish for your fishing adventures. Remember that practice is key, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempts are not perfect. Over time, you’ll become proficient, and casting a net will become second nature, enhancing your fishing experiences.

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