Cast nets for catching bait

Cast nets for catching bait


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.

catching herring for live bait with a draw string cast net

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.

For detailed instruction on HOW TO THROW A CAST NET off the wrist without getting wet and covered in muck, check out our previous post on the topic here.

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.

How to throw a cast net off the wrist.

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.

Removing box jellyfish caught in cast net

Box Jelly fish caught in cast net

My previous post covers stingers in northern Australian waters and how to remove the tentacles when you get a net full.

How to remove box jellyfish from your castnet.

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.

If you enjoyed this tip and want to see more that I only share by email, enter your name and email below to join our fishing community. You'll also go in the draw to win a barra charter with me every year, just by being a member.

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.


About The Author

Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody started his fishing career on the reef boats before catching bucket list marlin for the likes of champion heavy tackle angler Johnno Johnson, INXS and the King of Sweden. Branching out in the late 80's to guided barramundi fishing, Ryan has made a name for himself as a Big Barramundi specialist and to date has put clients onto over 2000 metre plus barra. That is over 2 kilometres of metre plus barra! With attitudes changing from 'keep all you can' towards catch and release, Ryan has decided to share his extensive knowledge and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get out from behind the computer screen/TV and into the fishing outdoors lifestyle he has spent his life perfecting.

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