I have been using cast nets for catching bait for over 30 years now and they’re a quick and easy way to fill your live bait tank with livies.
Most people use the standard bottom pocket net and for sure, that’s my net of choice for most applications in north Queensland.
Shallow habitats such as beaches and behind mangroves for live baits such as poddy mullet, whiting and garfish are perfect for a bottom pocket cast net.
However there are two other cast nets I also use on occasion.
I use a drawstring cast net for deeper locations around structure for species like herring.
And the top pocket is my net of choice for prawns as they like to flick up the net.
In this video we examine the three main types of cast net for catching live bait and their different applications. We look at depth of water, mesh size, cast net size and the kinds of live bait to target.
This video has gone viral on YouTube with over One Million views so even if you use a cast net, check it out as it a method you can use to throw into the wind, under low hanging branches and best of all you don’t get covered in muck.
Please check the regulations for use in your state as there are several states in Australia where cast nets are banned.
One of the main reasons for this is the by-catch of small bait not required for fishing.
PLEASE practice responsible use of your cast net for catching bait and return any by-catch to the water as quickly as possible.
Clean out your net each cast right there and toss them back. Not only are many babies of the food and sport fish we later want to catch (when they grow up BIG) but there are also many prey species that are an important part of the ecosystem.
It really saddens me when I come across innumerable small dead fish on the beach left by someone using a cast net.
Another consideration we need to be aware of in north Queensland are stingers and crocodiles.
My previous post covers stingers in northern Australian waters and how to remove the tentacles when you get a net full.
We also cover how to fix your cast net here; Repairing your cast net.
And for a look at one of the many locations I frequent to catch my big barra baits, check out my post on catching live bait with a cast net at beach creek mouths.
If you are looking to purchase one of the nets I use in the video, they are Jarvis Walker Brands nets and can be bought at most tackle shops. You can find a store that stocks them by clicking here: Jarvis Walker Brands retailers.
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We’d love to hear your views and opinions on cast nets for catching bait in the comments below and if you have any questions, please fire away.