Best cast net diameter

Discussion in 'Castnet(s)' started by BigKahuna, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. BigKahuna

    BigKahuna New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    Charles Town West Virginia
    I need advice on cast net size. I currently use a 8 ft diameter cast net, but I am only 5'8. I spend 3/4 of my bait catching time throwing bad casts. I practice some, but seem to be just using the wrong size net. I want to downsize, but at the same time, maximize my net size for better results.
     
  2. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    An 8' net is tiresome for me to throw, too. I can throw it just fine, but I'm 5'10" or so, and when I dump it, it's unwieldy to handle. A 7' works really good for me. I have them from 5' up to 8', but probably use the 7' most of all.
    If I'm throwing in an area with many potential snags, I may use the 6', but it doesn't sink as fast as some of my others.
     

  3. BigKahuna

    BigKahuna New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    Charles Town West Virginia
    Thanks for the advice. Currently I use a BETTS Old Salt 3/8 x 8ft, but have been looking at the Excalibur's, Bait busters, and that new Fitec with the E-Z Throw Cast Net Ring (I can use all the help I can get). In the end, throwing a cast net is simply 80% on how your load your net and only 20% throwing ability. Any preferences amongst the BOC?
     
  4. spoonfish

    spoonfish New Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    State:
    Warsaw, Mo.
    I tryed one with the ring on it and it works fine as long as your throwing from level ground. We throw a lot off rip rap banks and it hangs down to far for me. I prefer the regular style nets. JMO
     
  5. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    Messages:
    5,723
    State:
    Ohio
    I like the Betts tyzac net from catfish connection, cheap, and it holds up to alot of abuse.
     
  6. BigKahuna

    BigKahuna New Member

    Messages:
    23
    State:
    Charles Town West Virginia
    That leads me to the next question..... Not wanting anyone to give up their secret spots (unless you REALLY want to). What is the best way to find the bait fish in the winter? I generally go to spots which were suggested by some guys out on the river that took pity on my friends and I. I try to key off the fish finder, and try to locate what looks like bait fish. I generally try to stay in water between 3 and 15 foot. Even then, most of the time my net comes up empty. By time I finally catch a couple of shad, half the morning is used up. I see other guys go out, cast 4 times, come up with 10 shad, and are off to their fishing holes.
     
  7. Desperado

    Desperado Active Member

    Messages:
    1,245
    State:
    Pataskala, Ohio
    Name:
    Clarence
    Here in Ohio you can only use a 5" net. But when I lived in Ga. I like the 7' nets better. The best way I know to find bait is using the fish finder for deep bait fish. Can do that for a while now and start freezing it.
     
  8. RamRod

    RamRod New Member

    Messages:
    2,047
    State:
    Ohio

    How much baitfish can you fit in a 5 inch net? :0a10: I personally use a 5 foot net that opens up to a radius of 10 feet which is the max in Ohio.
     
  9. davesoutfishing

    davesoutfishing New Member

    Messages:
    479
    State:
    Menominee Michigan
    when throwing a larger net you can take the net hold it at the top go down in your grip about 2 foot from the top and throw it try it like this will not where ya out and will open example if I have a net and I hold it from the top and it rest on the boat floor to my chest I reach down and grab it hip high to throw it same as I would like you do
     
  10. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Messages:
    4,644
    State:
    Wilmington, NC
    I use a 7 foot net, with 3/4 mesh on it. Works great for me here in NC.
    I fish in a lake, and catch my bait at night off a bridge with a bright street light on it. The bridge is on a creek that feeds into the lake, and its only about 5-7 ft deep where I get the shad. And alot of times theres alot of current in that creek because they run the dam alot. Alot of times I even get the shad there in the winter. Sometimes in the winter we will have a warm spell followed by a brutal cold front that causes a "shad kill" and the blue cats go crazy! See the warm spell warms the water up some and the shad go real shallow and then all the sudden bam! its freezing and the shad are up in like 5 foot of water and they dont have enough time to get out of there.

    good luck :)
     
  11. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Messages:
    4,404
    State:
    Little Rock, AR
    The cast nets I'm familiar with are measured by the radius, not the diameter. I have a cast net with a 4' radius that I bought by mistake, thinking that it was a 5' radius net. The difference in effectiveness between a 4' net and a 5' net is very impressive, and the 5' net isn't really that much harder to throw. If you use your cast net out in deep, open water, an 8' or 10' radius net is nice to use because you aren't trying to cast it far, and it's large enough that it's hard for the shad to swim out from under it while it sinks. Using a large diameter net close to shore is just asking to get it hung up, unless you know that the bottom is clean and smooth.

    At any rate, using a cast net off a bridge is a totally different thing from using it from shore or from a boat. Grasp the net about 12"-18" above the leads. Lean over the side of the bridge, holding the net and rope over the side. Rotate your hand back and forth, getting the leads to swing back and forth; you will notice that as they spin, they cause the net to try to open up. The only thing keeping the net from opening way up is the fact that you have your hand around the net just above the leads. When you have a good powerful motion of the net going, and the bottom of the net is opening at its widest, let go of the net where you are holding it just above the leads. A split second later, open your other hand to let go of the top of the net and the rope. As the net falls, it will continue to open till it hits the water.
     
  12. Bluecathunter

    Bluecathunter New Member

    Messages:
    56
    State:
    Midlothian, Virginia
    I use a 8ft net with 1 1/4 mesh. The larger mesh makes it easier to handle. I have about six different nets for different purposes and i find the eight foot large mesh the easiest to throw. I have been throwing a net for so long that its second nature but when i go up to my ten ft net its still too heavy.


    Next, most of the nets with 3/8 mesh dont have enough weight to fall very fast. For big gizzard shad you need a net that will fall fast, so the mesh size also helps with that.

    As far as bait on the James its everywhere. Just because you dont catch it in your cast net doesnt mean a thing. Put a gill net out and in ten minutes you will have more shad than you can use.

    If you are fishing the James and want some locations to try send me an e-mail and i will respond with location for bait.


    David Willis
    dlwillis325@msn.com
     
  13. kayakgeek

    kayakgeek New Member

    Messages:
    50
    State:
    Fredericksburg, VA
    This is what I found in the Viginia Fisheries web site on gill nets and cast nets.
    http://www.mrc.state.va.us/regulations/fr670.shtm.
    Did I miss something? The way I read it is "we" need licenses.
    VAC 20-670-20. RECREATIONAL GEAR LICENSES.
    A. Any person desiring to take or catch finfish or shellfish for recreational purposes in the tidal waters of Virginia using commercial gear authorized under §28.2-226.1 of the Code of Virginia shall first pay the specified fee and obtain the license for the appropriate gear, as follows:
    1. Recreational gill net, $7.50;
    2. Recreational fish cast net, $8.00
    A. It shall be unlawful for any person to use any gill net greater than 300 feet in length when licensed for recreational purposes under this chapter. Any person licensed to use a recreational gill net shall stay within 100 yards of such net when it is overboard. Failure to attend such net in this fashion is a violation of this chapter.
     
  14. Bluecathunter

    Bluecathunter New Member

    Messages:
    56
    State:
    Midlothian, Virginia
    Yes you need a license for a gill net but i dont get one for the cast net.
     
  15. basstardo

    basstardo New Member

    Messages:
    52
    State:
    Williamsburg, VA
    Cast net licenses are required if you're using it to catch fish other than bait. It says you can catch baitfish with it that can't be sold, traded, or bartered. So under the normal fishing license you're allowed to have a cast net as long as you stick to those guidelines.
     
  16. jwfish

    jwfish New Member

    Messages:
    398
    State:
    columbus ohio
    Thanks for the info I am going to the james in april and did not know weather I needed a license or not.I use a 8ft old salt took me about three days before I found the best way for me to throw it.