Yes you can net for gills/perch. You should be able to find those guys everywhere. I find them most active in the evening time.
I disagree. Here's VDGIF regs say -
General Freshwater Fishing Regulations
Fishing in inland waters must be by angling with a hook and line or rod and reel. (See exceptions for nongame fish
Virginia Game Fish
"Game fish" as defined by the Code of Virginia means and includes trout, all of the sunfish family (including largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and spotted bass, rock bass, bream, bluegill and crappie), walleye, white bass, chain pickerel, muskellunge, northern pike and striped bass.
[So Game Fish includes bluegill, but not catfish. ]
Nongame Fish -
Methods to Capture or Take
Nets and Seines ....Seasons and local restrictions governing the use of nets and seines [for nongame fish] are complex. Persons deciding to try this type of fishing should consult with the conservation police officer stationed in the area to be fished.
- Except as provided for under "Other Methods" and except in any waters where the use of nets is prohibited, the species listed in the previous section (Native and Naturalized Species-Possession Limits) may only be taken by hand, hook and line, with a seine not exceeding 4 feet in depth by 10 feet in length, an umbrella type net not exceeding 5 by 5 feet square, small minnow traps with throat openings no larger than 1 inch in diameter, cast nets, and handheld bow nets with diameter not to exceed 20 inches and handle length not to exceed 8 feet.
- Gizzard shad and white perch may also be taken from below the fall line in all tidal rivers of the Chesapeake Bay using a gill net in accordance with Virginia Marine Resources Commission recreational fishing regulations.
End of quote.
So my take is that game fish (which oddly includes bluegill but not catfish) can only be taken by hook and line. Nongame fish can be taken by net, but you need to study the regs carefully.