How To Throw A Cast Net: Fishing Technique Mastery

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Being adept at throwing a cast net is valuable for situations where you’ve overlooked packing baitfish or require additional during an extended fishing day on a lake, river, or ocean. The crucial aspect of a successful throw lies in the setup and technique. Ensure an even distribution of the net’s weight between both hands and let its weight propel it once released.

With some practice, you’ll master casting nets proficiently, ensuring a readily available supply of baitfish as a result of your efforts. Keep reading to find out how to throw a cast net that’ll catch fish.

Tips On How To Throw a Cast Net 

Learning how to throw a cast net is about technique and learning what causes the net to open properly. Follow these tips to experience great success in throwing a cast net:

  • It’s not about how hard you throw, it is about how you throw.
  • Prep your cast net, it will make it easier to throw and easier to set up.
  • The “setup” is just as important as the throw (how you hold the net before throwing)
  • You need to move in a fluid motion (be smooth) when throwing.
  • You’re not trying to open the net as you throw it. The net opens itself.
  • The motion you make with your body forces the net open.
  • Your lower body stays in the same place
  • You twist your upper body and lean into the throw.
  • As you throw, lead the net with your dominant arm and follow the throw all the way through
  • Go outside and practice.
  • Throw over and over again until the net opens every time
  • Practice some more
  • If you fish from a boat, once you have the throwing process down on dry land, stand on the deck of your boat and practice some more, on dry land. The process of throwing from a boat is different from throwing on the ground.
  • Once you learn to throw, you can throw any size net. The only difference is how much net you cinch up in your hand before you throw.
  • Make sure you choose the right cast net, you’ll catch more bait.

How To Throw A Cast Net?

Here are the steps to take if you wish to throw a cast net:

1. Hold the yoke of the cast net

If this is not done the net will not throw correctly and will not open up completely.

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2. Gather The First Third

Gather a third of the lead line in your right hand.

3. Place It Under Arm

Pinch the first third under your left arm.

4. Split The Remainder Between Both Hands

Gather the second third in your left hand and the final third in your right hand. Now you have one-third of the lead line under your arm, one-third in your right hand and one-third in your left hand.

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5. Release All Three In Sequence

Keep your shoulders pointing in the direction you want the net to fly. Swing the net like a sack of potatoes. Unload the lead in your right hand first, followed by the left hand, and finally release the net bunched up under your arm.

6. Open Wide And Admire Your Throw

Open your arms to make the lead line spin into a perfect circle. Since this method starts with the net low and the angler never turns his shoulders, it’s possible to throw the net from a kayak.

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How To Choose The Best Cast Net

Cast nets are assessed based on their radius, weight, and mesh size. A compact, three-foot net is more manageable for throwing but has a limited coverage area, making bait capture more challenging. Weight is specified as pounds per foot of the net’s circumference.

A net with 3/4-pound lead per square foot is lightweight and easy to throw, suitable for shallow water where it sinks slowly. In contrast, deep water necessitates a pound or more of lead per foot. Mesh size refers to the diagonal measurement of each opening in the net.

The quarter-inch mesh will snare small baits like minnows or anchovies. For larger bait and a faster sink rate, a wider mesh is better in deep water. Cast nets constructed with multiple panels open faster and fly farther. Rinse the net after each use.

Never hang the net so the weights are off the ground. Every few months, soak the net in fabric softener to prevent dry rot. Avoid storing the net wet and balled up in a bucket.

FAQs On How To Throw A Cast Net

How do I choose the right cast net size?

The size of your cast net depends on your fishing needs. Smaller nets are easier to handle but cover less area, while larger nets have a broader reach. Consider factors like the size of the baitfish and the fishing environment.

How do I throw a cast net without it getting tangled?

Practice proper technique by ensuring the net is properly spread before casting. Hold the lead line, rotate your body, and release the net smoothly to prevent tangles.

What is the correct technique for holding a cast net?

Hold the horn (the center of the net) in your teeth or hand, with the lead line along your forearm. Gather the net in your other hand, making sure it’s evenly distributed.

What is the best way to open a cast net underwater?

To open a cast net underwater, hold the lead line and let the net sink. Then, pull the lead line up, allowing the net to spread and trap the baitfish.


Once the net is laying at the bottom of the body of water you’re fishing, proceed to pull it towards you hand-over-hand using the hand line which should still be attached to your left wrist via the hand loop. As you do, the weighted end will close up. The reward for your patience and dexterity will be a whole mess of baitfish


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