Gill net question

Discussion in 'VIRGINIA RIVERS TALK' started by muzkrat, Dec 23, 2007.

  1. muzkrat

    muzkrat New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    va.
    i know nothing about gill nets .just read a couple posts on here about them and i am a little curious. i am guessing that they are really good when the bait is deep? also do you have to have a permit to use one . thanks in advance for any info.
     
  2. blacksheep

    blacksheep New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    NC
    I may not be a gill net expert but I have only seen them put in shallow water.
    The top line floats. Most are 5 to 6 ft deep. The license are $9.
     

  3. muzkrat

    muzkrat New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    va.
    thanks alan. i use a throw net and was just curious to see what if any the advantage would be for a gill net. i fish mostly around the dan and the staunton rivers and hope to be making some james river trips soon. looking for any bait catching improvements i can add to my bag.
     
  4. cobysdad06

    cobysdad06 New Member

    Messages:
    67
    State:
    Sutherlin VA.
    I''m going up sat. hope the old 8ft throw net works. Does pretty good down here in the Dan.
     
  5. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    A gill net is really the way to go if you're coming to the James.

    It's great in certain parts of the river where bait hang out all year and it's shallow (ie Deep Bottom). :wink: Also good when bait is scattered.

    If you can find a thick school of shad, then a cast net thrown over them will yield outstanding results. But when that situation is not present, a gill net wins hands down. I've seen guys throw their nets all morning and I'm in and out in 20 minutes.

    I wouldn't trade mine. But if your trips to the James are pretty infrequent, then just stick with your cast net. Not worth the extra expense.
     
  6. justlearning

    justlearning New Member

    Messages:
    202
    State:
    VA

    Josh...well I'm going to have to disagree with you..."if your trips to the James are pretty infrequent, then just stick with your cast net. Not worth the extra expense."

    Including the net, floats, weights, license, shipping, less than a $100. To me it would be worth that if I came to the James only once a year. Nothing to me is more frustrating to spend 2-3 hrs trying to get bait and then a good possibility to end up with just a few candy shad. Now I used a Betts Super ProNET X 8 FT with 1.5 lbs of weight per foot which will kick your butt after throwing it for a couple of hours......heavy, heavy, heavy.....did I say that net is heavy. I consider myself pretty good with a cast and the first time on my own at Deep Bottom the results were not what I had anticipated . You even hear at times where the bait is so scattered so much the gill net is slow catching the shad especially when the tide is high.

    I haven't seen much info on this board about gill nets so here is some info I've gathered from other people:
    I would think you would be better off with sticking with a 50ft net. If you go out a lot by yourself a 100' net would be hard to pull in your self. As far as your license go's you can get it at Dances Sporting Good Store, they are $9.00 for the year. From January to December.

    Exit 53 off 95
    Dance's Sporting Goods
    570 Southpark Blvd
    Colonial Heights, VA
    (804) 526-8399
    Directions to Dance's

    Or get the Recreational License For Commercial Gear (Gill Net) through mail:
    You can mail to the below address and include the following:

    a check for $9
    a photocopy of drivers license
    include height, weight, hair color, eye color, Date of Birth

    Virginia Marine Resources Commission
    30 Jefferson Ave
    Newport News, Va 23607

    VMRC's email: mrcsa@visi.net

    If you need further assistance from VMRC, contact them at 757-247-2265 and they
    will be happy to assist you.

    Most everyone one on the JAMES has a Mono 6' X 50' 2" Mesh 4" Stretch 3/8" Float Rope Leaded Core Bottom Rope. Here is the Item # LGM-6620. The company name is The Fish Net company Phone# 1-800-256-5256, website: www.fishnetco.com Now you will have to call and ask for a 50' length, when you compare the above item # on line you will see a price of around $200, but that's for a 300 foot net.....you have to ask for the 50" length. Also you have to order your floats separate. Virginia regulations require that you use at least a 3.5 diameter float on each end and painted a florescent/reflective orange. I ordered ....(2) 3.5 and (2) 4" floats just to see which I like better and ended up putting all 4 floats on my net. The last 4 numbers of his/her social security number or driver's license number (at least 1"high), preceded by the letter "R"

    Most use 5 lb weights on the bottom of each end of the net to hold it in place....while looking for eyebolts and hardware to make the weights for each end at Walmart....I run across 5 lb Neoprene incased hand weights for I'm thinking $5 ea which worked great
    [​IMG]
    Just wrapped a rope around the middle section about 4 times and tied a knot with about 2 feet left over....then tied a a looped knot on the other end
    [​IMG].....tied a looped knot in the weighted net line and ran the shackle through both loops. So now if I need to take the weight off.....no problem.

    When putting out the net a mouth of some creek right off of A flat can be a good place. Just start dropping it around 4 to 5 feet of water then back your boat up straght. This way it will be easy to pick back up. Plus if you have a lot of wind wont be so hard to pick it back up. When you drop off your other end hold the LEAD line & the float rope some what tight Then drop the LINE then pull tight the float rope to pull the rest of the slack out.
    THEN sit back & wait. If you see the float rope jumping then go pull it in.

    One thing the guys were telling me was don't be afraid to stretch the net and also if I use a fish pick it helps.
    [​IMG]

    http://www.fishnetco.com/pick.htm the same place you can buy the gill net.


    It may be a good idea to use gloves when handling shad in the gillnet while you are learning. The first time my hand's got pricked pretty bad. A fish pick helps BIG TIME in getting them out. fishnetco has 'em for about 3 bucks - they're really just a hook with a handle to help you get hold of the net and pull it off.

    It is a bit of a problem getting them out of a 4" net. On the smaller ones shad you can just grab them by the head (stick you thumb in the gill for grip) and pull the through the net head first. The bigger shad often have to be backed out which is where the pick helps.

    A note on the 4" net - there is a period of time early in the year where they are illegal to use on the river.

    Some have gone to a slightly smaller net (either 3 1/2" or 3 3/4" stretch ) which is legal year round. It's actually easier to get the shad out - BUT also occasionally lose a few because they often just fall out of the net. It's usually not a problem since bait's so plentiful.

    You would have to talk Fishnet into making a this a special order. One of the guys lined up a few guys to make orders to help them sell the netting they got on special order. The best you could do is give them a call and see what is available and try to get them to make an order if you wanted the smaller net.
     
  7. justlearning

    justlearning New Member

    Messages:
    202
    State:
    VA
    Thought I would mention this...we had a guy from this area that was fishing the James a couple of years ago. He was using a gill net and just had it laying on the deck of the boat as he let it out. His feet got tangled up in it and pulled him off the boat. He could not get his feet loose in the water and if his fishing buddy wasn't with him that day he would have drowned. This was in the winter and they were close to the truck to change clothes.

    With that in mind I would think using some type of a container to let the net out....would be a wise and safe thing to do...instead of having it loose.

    Below is something I copied from a board tried to find the source.....but didn't run across it. I usually have the link with the copied material...to give credit where credit is due...but it's a good reminder and also may give you some ideas to keep a cool head just incase:

    Guys please read this and follow the rules of cold weather, we lost an angler this past year from not doing what he needed to do and died from hypothermia.

    Cold weather Catfishing

    As the year comes to an end and the thoughts turn to the holidays, I find myself looking at the days off from work and working the family schedule to create time to go catfishing. As many of you know there are prime fish to be taken in the colder months. This is the prime big cat weather. They are stacked in their winter holes and laying there feeding and gearing up for the spawn that is only a few months away now.

    The first thing to look at when catfishing in these months is SAFETY!!!!! I can not stress this enough. The water, wind, and air temps all combine to make a very real danger of hypothermia and death if just one of the major rules of cold weather are ignored. I will talk a little about this but highly stress that you do your homework for your area and on your body and mind to condition your self for this endeavor. First, watch the weather and do not venture out during times of wet weather. The wetness will zap your energy and drop your core temp so fast you will not be able to help your self. Second, dress for the weather, layers and several of them, work best. Visit a military outlet store and ask about the "cold weather gear set up" this is a multi-layer clothing system that is designed to keep the wearer warm in the worst of weather. It starts with a silk layer close to the skin to help it breath and wick away moisture. Then two layers of insulating poly to make a barrier from the wind and cold. Then a layer of wool that prevents the body heat from getting out, all this is toped with a layer of water resistant Gore-tech to help stay dry. Seems like a lot but it isn’t and the cost is very little when weighted against your life. Third, feet and hands, keep them warm and dry, feet are the first to loose feeling in the cold and they are the most important in getting you out of a jam if something happens. Your hands need to be cared for with some lotion to keep them from drying and cracking, get a good pair of mitten gloves. The kind from Dick’s that have the mitten cover over the fingers are lined and warm. They also allow you to slide the mitten cover off to tie hooks and bait up. And best of all. They are machine washable. Fourth, your head. 90% of body heat is lost through your head. A simple ball cap is not enough in this weather. A good stocking hat with a ball cap over it is good but here again the military has the answer. It’s called a jeepers hat or watch hat. This style has a flap that will cover your ears and has velcro on the strap to cover your cheeks and chin. With this set up you can stay warm and dry. Always wear your PFD weather it be the vest or inflating type it will save your life in this weather. Just remember that on average you have only 2 minuets to get your self out the water and start the drying process. Which brings me to the next issue........... Survival tactics 101.........a small zip lock bag with a few items will save your life. In a gallon zip lock bag you will need 3 small hand flairs the 5 min type will do and can be picked up almost anywhere. A box of strike anywhere matches (preferably in a water proof case, also available at military outlet stores or wal-mart camping section), a whistle, and an easy open pocket knife. These items will save your life. First the rivers and lakes all over provide us with lots of good fire making material all pilled up close to the waters edge. A 5 min. flair dropped in one of these piles and you have instant camp fire. I give you this from having had to use this very thing while trapping the northen territories in Canada. I fell in a creek with the air temps at 17 deg and almost could not function. A quick rip of the bag and with in three min I had warmth and with in 5 min. I had a good fire going. The other items will help but the fire is the most important thing you will need. If you do fall in, the order of survival is simple. Out of the water, start fire, STRIP all wet clothes off ASAP. Wet clothes will hurt more than help when trying to dry out. Hang the wet clothes far from the fire, they will freeze, then shake the ice off and then warm by the fire. This is the quickest way to dry wet clothes in the winter. All the survival skills needed to live is a cool head and a few things in a pocket. Well worth your life to take along.
     
  8. justlearning

    justlearning New Member

    Messages:
    202
    State:
    VA
    Make sure to include your SS# also
     
  9. cobysdad06

    cobysdad06 New Member

    Messages:
    67
    State:
    Sutherlin VA.
    Thanks for the info JL. Don't know if I will be able to buy one before Sat. Do you have any luck with a gill net here at Buggs. Might try to catch some here to carry with me.
     
  10. justlearning

    justlearning New Member

    Messages:
    202
    State:
    VA
  11. muzkrat

    muzkrat New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    va.
    thanks for all the info. this is a great place to learn new stuff . sounds like i will be investing in a 50 ft gill net. it can be a real pain trying to catch bait at times and i would rather spend the extra 3 hrs or so fishing. i plan to start fishing more in the james and want to be prepared . thanks again for all the good info.merry christmas to all. james
     
  12. cobysdad06

    cobysdad06 New Member

    Messages:
    67
    State:
    Sutherlin VA.
    You're not the only one. I'm trying to get one before next wknd. It's about 4 of us going, we should be able to work it out, and again thanks for the info JL.
     
  13. fishhook

    fishhook New Member

    Messages:
    658
    State:
    Willow Woo
    good post JL, thanks.
     
  14. justlearning

    justlearning New Member

    Messages:
    202
    State:
    VA
    One other thing guys 15 to 20 minutes is the most you want to leave the gill net out even if you have to soak it again. I would say you don't need over 25 .....12-14" shad for 2 people all day. Just as the catfish we need to preserve our resources as in not wasting it. And of course I highly recommend catch-photograph and release the trophy size cats....that is so we can dance with them another day. We release all the cats on the James.

    Jerry
     
  15. muzkrat

    muzkrat New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    va.
    i never leep anything over 10 lbs. would rather let'em grow. thanks again for all the info
     
  16. cameron_krazie

    cameron_krazie New Member

    Messages:
    56
    State:
    virginia
    I have extra ropes to extend my floats and have set my net in 30foot of water... Just neeed to adjust your weight line length to have your net at the desired depth.....
     
  17. muzkrat

    muzkrat New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    va.
    thats a good idea too. always good to be able to get deep for bait when needed.do you guys have problems with the gars tearing up your net? thanks again guys for all the info.
     
  18. cameron_krazie

    cameron_krazie New Member

    Messages:
    56
    State:
    virginia
    Personally I have not had nothing but small cats, gizzard shad, carp, huge crappie, and one 22 inch stripper..... boy was he good. Like justlearning said we generally let the net soak for 15 to 30 min depending on how the first set went..:cool2:
     
  19. Deep Dunker

    Deep Dunker New Member

    Messages:
    3
    State:
    Virginia
    How deep are you setting the gill nets? Is there a particular feature on the river you are looking for - such as creek entrances etc?
     
  20. Paraguayguy

    Paraguayguy New Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    State:
    Virginia
    I have a floating gill net that I anchor stationary using old window weights. Most of the times I fish the net in 6 - 10 feet of water. I do put it in front of creeks but mainly look for shad on my fishfinder and watch for shad breaking the surface. I fish the James and use the Deep Bottom Ramp mostly. The pool at the ramp seems to have shad most of the time along the mud flats on the opposite side of the river from the ramp. When the weather turns cold,(Now!!) better shad catching is upstream near the Dutch Gap Power plant where the water is warmer. Take a right downstream from the Dutch Gap Ramp and go to the first creek you see coming in on the right and set your net there or go further and look for shad breaking the surface. I fished last Feb, cold as the dickens and shad were breaking surface all over up there. Good luck