Cast Nets FAQs

Q: How to choose a cast net?

Depending on what kind of bait you are after, i.e. shrimp, pinfish, shiner, mullet, sardine, etc., having the correct mesh size will greatly improve your result. As with any fish netting, the larger the targeted species, the bigger size of mesh and stronger netting material needed.

  • First thing on choosing a net is knowing what mesh size to use which means asking yourself what kind of bait are you targeting. The chart below is a good indicator of the type of cast nets required for which bait fish. Please keep in mind meshes used here are in square mesh. You may click on sizes to purchase cast net.


Type of Cast Net Square Mesh (in) Bait Size Target Bait
Minnow Nets (Small Baits) Mesh Size 3/16 Mesh Size 1/4 1" to 3" Minnow
Bait Nets (Regular Size Baits) Mesh Size 3/8 Mesh Size 1/2 Mesh Size 5/8 3" to 12" Pin Fish
Scaled Sardine( White Bait/Green Backs)
Mullet Nets (Large Baits) Mesh Size 1 Mesh Size 1_1/4 12" & over Mullet


  • Next, determine how big and heavy of a net you can throw. The chart below will give you a good idea of how much each cast net weights. Keep in mind they are not exact but very close (a 0.52 mm mono for mullet nets weighs more than 0.23 mm mono used on minnow nets). Also, take into account how many times you'll be casting; are you done in 1-3 throws or does it take 5 -10 throws?



Hump Back Cast Net

Net Height



Lead Weight 1.6 lb/ft
3' N/A
3.5' N/A
4' N/A
5' 7.5 lb.
6' 9.0 lb.
7' 10.5 lb.
8' 12 lb.
9' 13.5 lb.
10' 15 lb.
12' 18 lb.
14' 21 lb.
cast net being thrown



Mesh measurements are in a square mesh (the distance from knot to knot or one side of the mesh as shown in the diagram below). Stretched mesh is another way to measure mesh size and it is the distance from the top knot of the mesh/diamond to the bottom knot of the mesh/diamond, essentially double the length of square mesh. For example a 3/16" sq. mesh net is the same as a 3/8" stretch mesh net. They are just different ways of measuring the same thing.

Cast Net Mesh Size Diagram


How to Throw a Cast Net

Whether for live bait or for live bait chumming, learning how to throw a cast net is one of the best means to fill the bait well before going fishing. Jose Wejebe demonstrates the best way to throw a cast net for distance and spread.

Cast Net Structure and How it Works

This is an underwater view of what the net looks like in action. This is a 5ft net.


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