The number one question that we receive is most definitely associated with cast nets. Most people want to know how to throw one better and make sure that it opens every time.
For us, cast nets are a tool like a hammer is to a carpenter. There is no way around it, we use cast nets just about every day. It has been said that "Necessity is the mother of invention" and that is completely true when that is related to Florida Keys fishing guides and cast nets.
There is not one way to throw a cast net. I would not even say that there is a right or wrong way to throw a net...there is just the way it needs to be thrown to make sure it opens on the school of bait when it appears.
No one really cares how you get the net set up. No one is judged on their setup, but everyone is judged on the spread of the net and the harshest critics are the baitfish. Either you cover them or you don't. If you able to pancake the net every time, you will catch bait faster than the rest of the boats and you will be on the fishing spot sooner. This means that you have more time to fish and will likely catch a ton more fish. Guys who struggle to open the net get to the fishing spot late and may only have one chance to set up for the rest of the afternoon. Throw after throw, the net gets heavier and heavier and you get more and more tired. The chances of making the best throw of the day go down. Conversely get your bait in one throw and you are set and on your way to having a great day. You will have happy customers and that usually means big tips!
It would be great to be able to say that we have never thrown a net that looks like a banana, or worse...doesn't open at all, but that just wouldn't be honest. Everyone has bad throws and everyone has made a bad throw when bait is being tough and suffered the consequences described above. That is why everyone has a different way to throw the net. The guys who really know how to throw a net have practiced and come up with their own way to throw the net. It may be very similar to someone else, but chances are that there are subtleties that make each throw unique.
In this video, we go over the way that each of us sets up the net and prepares for a throw. It is interesting that we throw the net very differently from one another but it looks very similar when it hits the water. This is because we have had to learn how...trial by fire...when the bait is tough and every throw counts.
The second most asked question is regarding the size of the nets we choose and why. I think we answer that in this video as well.
Check out this video and let us know if it helps you throw the net better.
The two ways that we described in the video are by no means the only ways to throw a net. There are as many ways as there are fishermen. Those are just the ways that have worked for us.
As an example, of another way to set up and throw, Jake Perry who is right handed, throws the net left handed. We shot a quick slow motion video of him throwing as well. Notice the difference in the way that he throws.
Some people have thrown a net a certain way for years but may not want to put the net in their mouth any more, or some dont like the shoulder set up. Check out the 3 different ways that we throw the net and maybe try a different approach.
Shoot a video and send it to us. We may do another post with even more styles of throwing.