Throwing Cast Nets 6ft and Larger

We will be using cast net throwing instructions for being right handed, which is throwing from left to right in a clockwise fashion.
  1. Place the handline loop around your left wrist, coil your handline (approximately 20-30 ft in length) in your left hand, then grab the net at approx. 12" below the horn.
  2. Again, with your left hand, grab approximately the middle of the net so that you will have the net looping in a circle type shape and it being doubled in your hand. You should grab enough net so that when your left hand/arm are relaxed at your side and holding the net, the lead on the net remains on the ground but minimal slack in the netting is left hanging.
  3. Hold the cast net outward from your body and let the net come to a stop, most of the time it will twist around a half a turn before the cast net reaches its relaxed position. At this point, with your right hand, you will grab the rear leadline of the net which is the point closest to your stomach. Grab this leadline and put the rope portion in your teeth, not the lead.
  4. With your right hand, stick it inside of your cast net, palm up and fan portions of the net until you reach almost 50% of the net over to the right side of your hand.
  5. Slide your right palm up within 12" of your left hand while your hand remains inside of the net and grab all 50% of the net which is to the right of your right hand. You should now have half of the cast net in your left hand and the other right half of the net in your right hand.
  6. While your right hand is still palm up and holding this 50% of the cast net, you will need to use your pointer finger and thumb from your right hand, grab the leadline and squeeze it between these two fingers. The leadline should be just a few inches from your right hand and dangling next to it which you will be grabbing this leadline with your pointer finger and thumb. At this point you should have the leadline still in your mouth which runs to your left hand and also to your right hand fingers, both hands should have 50% of the net in each hand. Your right hand should be holding 50% of the net in the palm of your hand with 3 fingers squeezing this portion. The leadline should be between your remaining two fingers which are your pointer finger and thumb, palm up.
  7. You are now ready to throw your cast net. Only your right side of your shoulder should be facing your target and the front of your body should be facing left of your target approx. 1/4 of a turn, with your feet a shoulder width apart or slightly wider.
  8. With both of your arms fairly extended from your body, while keeping your feet stationary, rotate both portions of the net in both hands to your left until the cast nets' motion is stopped at your back. As the cast net starts to relax and come forward with natural momentum, start accelerating both hands forward in the direction of your target which should be directly to the side of your right shoulder. Even though both hands should now start accelerating forward, lead with your right hand and put much more energy and force into your right hand. Putting more energy in your right hand causes your lead hand to cast further and faster than your left side portion of the net, which in turn causes the net to spread and separate from each portion much better. When throwing cast nets' toward your target, lead your right hand slightly to the right of your target and your left hand should follow with it being slightly to the left of your target. This causes these two portions of the cast net to pull against each other for maximum spread and also centers your target between these two portions of netting being thrown.
  9. As you are leading with your right hand, the last piece of net that will leave your hand should be the leadline piece that is between your thumb and your pointer finger. You should hold on to this portion for approx. 1 second after you feel the rest of the cast net starting to pull against it. This pulls against the other two portions of the cast net which causes your net to spread out much more evenly. A cast net has 3 basic focus points for determining whether or not that a net will open correctly. Focus point 1 is the portion of net in your right hand that you're leading with, focus point 2 is the portion of net in your left hand which follows your leading hand and focus point 3 is the rear of the net which is held between your pointer finger and thumb. This gives the net a total of three evenly spread focus points in which the net should be pulling evenly on each other, causing a perfect and fully spread circle. If one of these focus points are missed, you'll most likely experience an oval or kidney shaped throw. This is due to one of these points not pulling evenly enough from any of the other focus points.

Note: You may substitute the mouth step by draping this portion over your left shoulder, approx 12"-18" will be required. You'll want just enough net to drap over your left shoulder in order for the cast net to remain hanging on your shoulder without falling off during your throwing motion. This is a great way for learning and throwing what we call a "Flop Cast" being that your distance will be limited due to the portion being on your shoulder but it causes a great pulling power focus point which naturally pulls on the remaining two focus points without you remembering to do so. After practiced a few times, it will probably become one of your favorite casts for short distances. This enables the net to spread fully in a much tighter spread when flopping the cast to its maximum size especially when live bait are directly next to the boat.

Thank you to Black Pearl Cast Nets) (formerly Excalibur Cast Nets) for contributing this article.