I’ve been a professional catfish guide for fifteen years and spend a lot of time throwing a cast net. This covers exactly what I do as well as tips for success throwing a cast net.
There are a number of ways to throw a cast net and there is no right or wrong way. The ultimate goal is that you can throw the net, get it to fully open up, and can get shad inside of it. It really doesn’t matter how you throw the net as long as these things happen.
This covers two tutorials on how to throw a cast net. One involves using your teeth and the other places the net over your hand instead of using your teeth. I’ve been throwing cast nets using my teeth for years and it’s an old habit. I can throw without using my teeth just as well but still prefer the other method of throwing a cast net.
Below is the step-by-step instructions on how to throw a cast net. Watch the videos included with this tutorial several times and get a good understanding of this process and then print this step-by-step guide and go out and practice.
I am a firm believer that anyone can throw a cast net with some practice. Most people that tell me they cannot throw a net either have not paid attention to how to correctly throw or have not devoted enough effort to practice.
I taught my son how to throw a 7 foot, 1.5 lb per foot cast net when he was 9 years old. He was throwing perfect circles within 15 minutes. I’ve also never met anyone that when shown proper technique couldn’t learn how to throw a cast net in a short amount of time.
Why would you want to learn to throw a cast net? Because you’ll have an endless supply of bait and shad is one of the best catfish baits you can use for blue catfish and can be for some of the other catfish species as well.
Tips On How To Throw a Cast Net
I see tutorials and videos online often that show how to throw a cast net but they all fail to cover the basics. Learning how to throw a cast net is about technique and learning what causes the net to open properly.
If you’ll follow these tips you’ll have much more success throwing your net and will catch more bait also.
- 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 prior to 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 totally 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
These instructions are for throwing right-handed. If you’re left-handed you will need to reverse the hands that you use.
1. Hold the yoke of the cast net in your left hand and hold the cast net up in the air, fully extended. Shake the net out and make sure the lead line around the bottom is not tangled or caught on itself.
Tip: If this is not done the net will not throw correctly and will not open up completely.
2. With your right hand grab the net in the middle of the net about halfway between the yoke and the lead line.
Tip: This is critical. If you grab the net too low the net will not allow itself to open with its own weight. Experiment with grabbing the net higher or lower and get a good feel for what is more comfortable for you and how easily it is for you to get the net to open. Find the “sweet spot”.
3. Roll the net over your left hand. When doing this you are rolling the net under your left hand and back over it so it back towards you.
Tip: If you roll the net in the wrong direction it will not open.
4. Split the lead line at the bottom of the net in half. You want about half of the net to be in your left hand and about half of it hanging down. Check again as you are doing this and make sure the lead line is not tangled. If the lead line is tangled, untangle it. Now, roll this portion of the net over the top of your left hand, going away from you.
Tip: Again, making sure the lead line is not tangled is critical. Splitting the weights in the right area is critical also. Doing this correctly makes it much easier to throw.
5. When you look at the lead line facing away from you the weights and lead line on your left should be almost level and the weights and lead line on your right should be almost level also. There will be a noticeable drop in the lead line and it should be near the middle of the net facing away from you. Grab the lead line in the middle of where it drops. This will be the middle of the net.
6.Put the lead line in your teeth, not the weights, just the rope. If you prefer to throw without using your teeth then you would lay this portion of the lead line over the top of your left hand.
7. Reach down with your right and grab the lead line facing away from you as far down as you can grab it without bending over (note my right hand).
With the lead line in your right hand, roll the portion of the net laying over your left hand into the palm of your right hand and hold it firmly.
Now you are set up to throw. Remember your using the weight of the net to open itself and the motion of your upper body. It is not about how hard you throw it is about the motion and proper technique. Your lower body is relatively still. I make a slight step with my right foot but it’s very short and only to compensate for the motion of my upper body so I don’t lose balance.
Tip: One of the best things you can do while holding the net like this is practice rotating your upper body and watching what the net does. As you rotate your upper body the net should swing open (out away from you. Practice this by holding these parts of the net in your hand and getting a feel for what is taking place.
6. Rotate your upper body and throw. As the net opens up I am letting go with my left and first. I still have the net in my right hand but am holding it very loosely allowing the net to come out of my hand but still following through with my right arm helping the net to open. Open your mouth to release the lead line (if you are using your teeth).
Tip: Where most people go wrong here is they rotate their body and just try to lob the net out there. Rotate your body, allow the net to open, and follow through with your right hand helping to carry the net open while allowing it to slide out of your hand.
Also, don’t forget to open your mouth and release the net from your teeth.
Here’s The Video
Catching Shad For Catfish Bait
Learning how to throw a cast net and being successful in locating and catching shad is essential to being a successful catfish angler. Learning to pattern and catch shad also helps you become a better angler because you’ll know the basics of locating blue catfish.
To get on the fast track locating and catching shad and catching blue catfish check out the Catching Shad book, one of the Catfish Edge premium products. Catching Shad covers everything you need to know to be successful in locating and catching shad all year long with simple, easy-to-follow instructions.