How to throw a cast net

Cast nets are a great way to catch bait, load freezer with shrimp.

There are various ways to throw a cast net, yet many anglers don’t know about the flip trick to help throw their cast net with tremendous ease and quickness. Yes, this way can let just about a person of any size or strength level throw a heavy 8-foot net with no problem.

And you’ll be able to throw your net for longer periods of time without having your shoulders feel like they are on fire.

I’m left handed, so use the opposite hands from that shown in the attached video if you are right handed.

To start, roll up your rope and place it in your non-dominate hand. Take your non-dominate hand and grab the neck or top of your net.

Then, re-grab the net about one third the way down from the top with the your non-dominate hand. Next, reach down and pull out about 1/3 of the weights, flipping the net portion attached to those weights over your non-dominate hand so that it’s resting upon your wrist. It will seem awkward if you’re not used to this, and everything is in one hand at this point.

Now, reach down and take the weight line where the weight line angles down about a third to two thirds of the way down, and put it in your teeth.

Next reach an arm’s length down along the outside weight line and grab the weight line with your dominate hand.

Now you are ready, but don’t throw you net like you think. Unlike other throwing methods, the 1/3 method does not require a hard whipping motion or tons of energy and arm strength.

Instead, just gently make a circle motion with your throwing hand and let the net do the rest of the work for you. You will be pleasantly surprised when just about every toss is perfect with little effort.

The quicker method is to not fold 1/3 part of the net over your net hand, but you’ll need to use a strong circular motion with your dominate hand to get the net to open, and that will tire you out quickly.

If you dislike putting the net in your teeth, my video shows also a double-flip option.

To do this, take the part that usually goes in your teeth and flip it over your non-dominate hand. All the other steps stay the same.

However, this method is the toughest because it takes the most arm effort to throw.

I’ve seen many other methods that which work, but most are time consuming and involve putting the weight over your shoulders or elbows and grabbing the net in many different places.

Using a method that’s quick means more bait or food you can catch.

In the attached video, I caught mullet to use as bait along Last Island out of Cocodrie.

However, my favorite reason to throw a cast net is for shrimp to eat.

The trick is finding a good spot and catching the tide right. You can easily fill up an ice chest of shrimp, and with the correct throwing method you won’t feel completely beat down in the process.

And it saves money that doesn’t have to be used to buy shrimp. I do this to keep my freezer stocked with shrimp because I no longer have the time to go trawling like I did when I was a kid.

I have a few favorite locations I go with by boat in the marsh behind LUMCON in Cocodrie. I look for thin cuts that big marsh bays dump into, thus concentrating the shrimp in the cut.

Finding culverts where canals cross a road works well, too.

Some locations in the Terrebonne area are by the Boudreaux and Robinson canal bridges. Shrimp leaving Lake Boudreaux and Lake Robinson pass through these canals in great numbers. You can access these spots by boat or from the bank.

Either outgoing or incoming tides can be effective, but the stronger the better. When hitting it at the right time it’s easy to catch 10 to 40 shrimp a throw.

The bigger the net the better, which is why using the low-effort method is more productive because you can throw longer and take fewer breaks.

When going to a new spot I use two nets. I have an older net with a few holes that I always throw first to check for debris or oysters.

After locating a clean bottom, I’ll throw my good net. This way your good net keeps from ever getting torn.

When the tide is moving fast, there is no need to toss all over the place: Just look for a good bend or drop-off where the moving shrimp get concentrated, and keep throwing until you fill your ice chest.

I’ll let the net settle on the bottom for a few seconds before tugging the net, and that lets the shrimp swim toward the center so you catch more.

Some people pull the net up, but I like to tug on the line with quick jerks to get the weights to close quickly.

The fall is my favorite time to cast net for shrimp because you can get large white shrimp leaving the marsh in massive numbers. Just wait for one of the first few cold fronts, and catch them migrating back to the Gulf on an outgoing tide as the north wind helps blow the water out.

Soon the big white shrimp will be running, and going cast netting is a good idea for a fun workout and a great way to catch plenty shrimp.

About Josh Chauvin 117 Articles
Joshua Chauvin is a health-focused ultra-marathon runner who goes on solo manual-powered public land adventures focusing on hunting big game and large fish by using challenging methods and weapons. He enjoys self-filming and sharing the tactics and details from his expeditions to help others learn from his unique techniques.