Get free tips to catch more and bigger catfish

How To Throw A Cast Net

There are many different ways to throw a cast net and if you ask ten people you will probably get ten different variations on opinions of how to throw a cast net. One thing is true though, if you are going to be a blue catfish angler, YOU MUST LEARN HOW TO CATCH FRESH BAIT.

I have made many different tweaks and variations on how I throw a cast net when catching bait over the years, and for many years I threw my net with one hand without putting the lead line in my mouth and the wear and tear on my right shoulder eventually caught up with me and I just could throw the cast net that way any longer.  Typically I throw 7 foot cast nets with heavy weights on them like the Old Salt Series Cast Net (especially in the cooler months) and the heavier cast nets take an even worse toll on my shoulder.

Again, this is just one way and there are many others but this is what works for me day in and day out for catching shad for catfishing.

The best advice I can give on learning is:

  1. Read my articles on choosing a cast net to catch catfish bait and the benefits of a cast net
  2. Make sure you buy a good quality net like the Old Salt Series Cast Net or the Betts No Spook Camo Cast Nets because having a good quality net makes a world of difference in throwing.
  3. Get the largest net that you can legally throw in your state and learn to throw with that net. Throwing a 3 foot net to learn and then moving up to a larger cast net is a waste of time, money and makes it more difficult to learn.
  4. Prepare your cast net before you use it because it will make it much easier to throw.
  5. Don’t fall for gimmicks to help you throw, learn to throw the right way without gimmicks.
  6. Get out in the yard and start throwing using these steps that I have shown, if that doesn’t work for you then try some other methods for throwing. Practice, practice, practice. If you are having problems throwing, see if you can find someone that knows how to throw a cast net to help you.
  7. If you don’t have anyone available that knows how to throw a net to help you learn, shoot a video of your self, upload it to the internet and email it to me and I will see if I can help you with corrections.
  8. Once you have mastered throwing the net in your yard, get on the deck of your boat ON DRY LAND and practice throwing from there. Being on a boat changes the whole dynamic of throwing a cast net.
  9. Once you have mastered throwing from the deck of the boat on dry land, start going out and catching bait, and be prepared to throw some “tacos” in the process.

It might be helpful before going through these instructions to watch my parts of a cast net video.

How To Throw

These instructions are for right handed people. if you are left handed you need to use opposite hands. That may be obvious but I have to say it.

Loop the handline around your wrist and secure the handline.

How to throw a cast net

Loop the handline up evenly at a length about arms length and hole the hand line in your hand.

How to throw a cast net

Grab the net by the yoke and shake it it ensuring there are no tangles in the lead line.

How to throw a cast net

Again make sure the lead line is not tangled.

How to throw a cast net

Grab the net in the middle wrapping your hand around the cast net.

How to throw a cast net

Roll the cast net over into your left hand

How to throw a cast net

Split the net in half at the lead line, so half of the net is in your right hand, and the other half is hanging.

How to throw a cast net

Roll the portion of the cast net that is in your right hand over the top of your left hand.

How to throw a cast net

Grab the outside of the lead line closest to your right hand

How to throw a cast net

Put the rope (not the lead) from the lead line in your teeth.

How to throw a cast net

Roll the part of the net that is laying over your left hand down into your right palm.

How to throw a cast net

When you have rolled the net into your right palm it should look something like this.

How to throw a cast net

Turn your upper body back and prepare to throw the cast net.

How to throw a cast net

Throw the cast net, releasing as you throw (remember, it’s not about how HARD you throw but how you throw)

How to throw a cast net

And your cast net should look something like this except better because you have prepared your cast net.

How to throw a cast net

Now, as a super duper added bonus I have made a video throwing the cast net and am going to show you step by step on video. The audio quality is awful but it is the best I could come up with right now.

Make sure you are signed up for the daily feed and the newsletter now so you will be in line to win some of the great stuff we have here, and also make sure you stay tuned for more great catfishing information because we have some GREAT stuff in the works!


Update 3/6/2012

The first video in this post was one of the very first catfishing videos I filmed for Learn To Catch Catfish and the quality of the audio and video was horrible. I have learned a lot about video since then and constant get questions on how to throw a cast net so I wanted to provided a couple of update videos.

The first video (below) shows you have to throw a cast net by holding the lead line in your mouth. Now this freaks a lot of people out and they talk about how gross it is but honestly, it’s not a big deal.

The second video shows an alternative method for how to throw a cast net without holding the lead line in your mouth. Either way will work and there is no right or wrong way, what matters is you get the net open in the water and get bait in it.

Catching shad is an essential part of targeting blue catfish. Not only is fresh shad one of the best baits for blue catfish but learning to pattern shad will do wonders for you in your quest to catch blue catfish.

To get more information including an in depth guide on choosing a cast net, tips and tricks on finding and catching shad, detailed instructions on how to throw a cast net and everything else you ever need to know on catching bait, click here.

Top 7 Tools Trophy Blue Catfish


Enter your email address below and get FREE catfishing tips and tricks to increase your fishing success.

About Chad

Chad Ferguson is a professional catfish guide and founder of Learn To Catch Catfish. Click here to subscribe for more exclusive catfish fishing tips by email and then follow on Twitter or Google


  1. You mention in your video that you usually throw a 7 foot net which is the largest legal size here in Texas.

    According to TPWD the legal size is 14 ft. Can you clarify or do you have information I do not?

    • 7 Foot Net = a 14 Ft Net. TPW regs are written referring to diameter but everyone, including just about every manufacturer refers to them by radius.

      5 Ft Neet – 10 Foot Diamater etc.

      • Thanks Chad. I didn’t realize the manufacturer listed it by radius. I just bought my first one and haven’t opened it yet. So guess it’ll be a lot bigger than I expected it to be :)

  2. Thanks Chad for the video. I was wanting to learn how to throw a cast net & your video showed me how to do it. Now I can go practice!!

  3. you know i`ve fished for years & never thought about diameter or radius when you said 7 ft i thought huge-good to know i`ve always had trouble with it opening up(5 ft) i think i see a help for it thanks

  4. butterbean carpenter says:

    Howdy Chad,
    You make that seem so easy and it better be easy because you’re agonna throw a lot of times, catching 3 shad at a time!!! GO CATCH A CATFISH!!

  5. Dustin Smith says:

    Hey Chad…picked up my 7′ castnet from academy…couldn’t find 1.5 lbs but i did find a 1 lbs. Took me 20 minutes of watching the video and throwing it in the yard to get the process…i’m not throwing it like a pro…i’m still getting a few “tacos” but I get them pretty every now and then. but with only a few throws i had enough cut shad to bait my jugs last weekend

  6. Dave Holley says:

    Hey Chad. Thanks for all of the info on this site. I was watching your video on throwing a cast net and was interested in trying it for myself. Well I have access to a boathouse on Grapevine Lake and found a cast net in there. The guy with me tried throwing it but wasn’t very good at it so I asked if I could try. Using the knowledge from your video I threw it virtually perfect the first time and he started asking me to show him how to throw it even though he had been doing it for years (wrongly I guess) and this was my first time. It felt good ad I was proud. Thought you would like to know. Thanks again.

  7. Chad, good video, but how do you keep the weight line in the left hand after you roll the net off the wrist using the no teeth method. thanks.

Leave a Reply