Published On: Mon, Dec 1st, 2014

Casting Nets are a great way of quickly catching baitfish like mullet and piper

Casting nets for baitfish. It is important to make sure there are no tangles in the net before you fold it for casting.

It is important to make sure there are no tangles in the net before you fold it for casting.

Casting Nets

Once you have seen a casting net being used to land mullet, or garfish to be used as bait, you will probably decide to get one for yourself. Catching bait with one of these is just so quick and easy. I have often cast mine at a river mouth and caught ten mullet in just one cast. The limit on mullet is 30 and there is no size restriction. However I let the small ones go and just keep a dozen or so larger fish.

I mostly use the mullet for surfcasting bait. Yellow-eyed mullet freeze well and are a top bait staying on the hook well after thawing without the need to use bait elastic.

I first got mine about 15 years ago. They come in several sizes. Mine has a diameter of 12 feet However I don’t use it very often. I usually have little trouble catching a dozen or so mullet on small baited hooks which is always a lot of fun.

The casting net about half way to fully open.

The casting net about half way to fully open.

The casting net takes a bit of practice to master initially to get your casting technique just right. I find that if I don’t use it for a year or two I forget how to do it. Fortunately nowadays there are several good video clips on YouTube that demonstrate how to cast a casting net. Watching one of these videos is by far the easiest way to learn how to do it. I advice you to practice on your back lawn until you properly master casting your net.

It is actually quite easy once you get the hang of it. I’m sure that if you used one every day you would be able to cast the net without thinking about it. I also advice you to practice say each evening for a week to be sure you have got your technique correct. I find the smallest error in folding and preparation before casting and the net won’t fully open out when cast.

It is important to make sure there are no tangles in the net before you fold it for casting.

It is important to make sure there are no tangles in the net before you fold it for casting.

You can cast a bait net from the end of a jetty, off the back of a launch, into the surf, and into the tidal reaches of a river.

You have to be careful where you are casting it in order to avoid snagging the fine monofilament mesh on rocks or drift wood and the like. One wayward cast into the rocks could easily result in your casting net becoming a complete loss.

An effective technique is to toss berley (ground up fish, bread crumbs, offal and the like) on the surface of the water to bring the mullet around before making a cast.

If you have the patience to learn to cast it then one of these nets is a great asset.

You might like to wear a rain coat when casting the net so as to avoid becoming soaking wet. I drape the net over my shoulder to cast so can quickly get wet through. In the summer-time it isn’t a problem. Casting the net is good fun if you have children to help you pick up the mullet.

A few casts can catch plenty of yellow-eyed mullet for surfcasting bait.

A few casts can catch plenty of yellow-eyed mullet for surfcasting bait.

I find that when casting the net at the Waimakariri River mouth, in Canterbury, that you often cannot see the baitfish and are casting blind. Whilst in the clear water of the Marlborough Sounds a cup of berley tossed across the water before casting the net improves you catch considerably.

About the Author

- Fishingmag.co.nz website editor.