Saltwater Periodicals

How to Throw a Cast Net 


A 4 foot (3/8 inch mesh) monofilament cast net is a good size net to learn on. If you hold this net at the top and let it hang down to the ground, it measures 48 inches in length. This is the radius of the net and also how nets are measured. The 4 foot radius produces an open diameter of 8 feet (large enough for a thick school of finger mullet). The advantages of a smaller net far outweigh it's disadvantages. The smaller net is lighter in weight and easier to control, therefor making it a good size to begin or learn with. This net has little wind resistance and can be thrown good distances easily. It seldom tangles and is easy to shake free of sea weed.

To throw this net, you simply fasten the rope to your right wrist and then gather the extra rope into large coils held in your right hand. You then grab the net tightly with your right hand about 1/3 of the way down and let the excess part fall back over your right hand. Then while holding your right arm out extended from your body, you pick up the forward most lead weight of the net with your left hand and place this lead weight in between your thumb and first finger of your right hand. Now reach back down to the bottom of this picked up section and grasp the lead weight closest to you and bring this part of the net up level with your right hand, pulling just enough to form a horizontal line across your chest in front of you. This is a 2 point throw (with lead weights held in your right (follow) and left (lead) hands). Now youre ready to throw the net.

Start by placing both your feet in line and pointing towards the direction of your throw. Now twist your body clockwise half a turn and hold that position momentarily. For your throw, you want to lead with your left hand, while untwisting your body counterclockwise during the throw. Follow your left hand with your right and about half way through your swing lower your left hand and pull in slightly while you raise and extend your right hand for the final release. At this point you are actually throwing the net with your right arm. The net will then start to pull slightly and begin to open. Give it a final quick spin/release with your right hand followed by a release with your left. Your net is now airborne and spinning open. See ... Nothing to it! If youve done this correctly, your net will lift slightly during the throw and remain fully open as it hits the water. When it does hit, allow a few seconds for it to sink before pulling the gathering rope back in. Thats all there is to it. Starting with a small 4 or 5 foot cast net is the key.