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:
- Read my articles on choosing a cast net to catch catfish bait and the benefits of a cast net
- 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.
- 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.
- Prepare your cast net before you use it because it will make it much easier to throw.
- Don’t fall for gimmicks to help you throw, learn to throw the right way without gimmicks.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Loop the handline up evenly at a length about arms length and hole the hand line in your hand.
Grab the net by the yoke and shake it it ensuring there are no tangles in the lead line.
Again make sure the lead line is not tangled.
Grab the net in the middle wrapping your hand around the cast net.
Roll the cast net over into your left hand
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.
Roll the portion of the cast net that is in your right hand over the top of your left hand.
Grab the outside of the lead line closest to your right hand
Put the rope (not the lead) from the lead line in your teeth.
Roll the part of the net that is laying over your left hand down into your right palm.
When you have rolled the net into your right palm it should look something like this.
Turn your upper body back and prepare to throw the cast net.
Throw the cast net, releasing as you throw (remember, it’s not about how HARD you throw but how you throw)
And your cast net should look something like this except better because you have prepared your 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.
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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.