are many different techniques used to throw cast nets and you may find that one
way works better than another for you. Some of the tech. are better for larger
nets or for longer throws while others will let you "load" the net
quicker and thus get more throws in. Loading a net is the necessary
preparations you must go through to prep the net to throw and each tech. has a
different procedure for loading.
The way I throw a net is described on this page along with some pictures to help you understand what I am talking about. I will add links to other pages with different techniques as I find them, this will allow you to try different ways to find what you like. With all of the different tech. your success will depend largely practice. Find a good flat area without snags, preferable on grass to minimize the wear on the net, and practice until it feels natural. A few things to remember though, on a hard surface like this the net will have a tendance to bounce and contract some when it lands, this is normal. Also, when you throw in the water and pull the net in- the braille lines will pull the leadline up and bunch the net. On a hard surface this will not happen as there is no drag on the webbing, this may lead the swivel to go through the horn. This is no big deal, just make sure you pull it back through the horn before loading for another throw.
In all of the various techniques the net will need to be prepped first. Make sure the net is not tangled and that the swivel is not pulled inside the net. Check to make sure the leadline is not tangled over any of the braille lines. This happens more often on larger nets and will lead to a poor throw. It also happens more often when throwing in deeper water, in a faster current or letting the net sit on the bottom after it is done sinking.
I learned to throw a net one way and have never been very successful with other techniques, I guess my muscles are just to used to one way of throwing a net. The tech. I show below is an excellent way to throw from a boat, pier or bridge when you don't need alot of distance but want to throw as fast and often as possible and is the way most of the commercial shrimp castnetters I have seen throw a net.. The loading procedure is much faster than other tech. and will let you throw more often. This tech. also spreads the net more fully than most of the others which leads to more shrimp or fish being caught. The disadvantages to this tech. are that it is more difficult to throw the net out longer distances from where you are standing and it is more tiring to load the net and then hold it while moving in towards a school than other techniques. You can throw the net out some distance, but not as easily as with other methods.
I am right handed but throw with my left, most likely due to
a bad right shoulder I guess. Everyone I have taught has learned this way with
no problem but you can switch hands if you like, just reverse the hands in the
directions below. Attach the handline to your left
(throwing) hand. Make sure the net is not tangled and the leadline is straight.
Loosely coil the handline and hold it in your left hand. Grasp the horn in your
right hand and hold the net up so the webbing is straight and the leadline is
on the ground. Grab the body of the net slightly below the level of your waist
with your left hand (which is still holding the hand line), your palm should be
facing in when you grab it. Turn you left hand so that the palm is facing up.
Now take the right hand, with the horn, and loop it around and place the
netting right below the horn into your throwing hand as well with the horn on
the opposite side of your hand from you body, the palm is still up. What this
has done is to let you grasp the net with enough left hanging down to throw the
net but keeps the rest of the net and the handline from hanging down below the
leadline. If this were to happen it would tangle on the throw. Reach down and
grab the leadline with your right hand. This should put you in the position
shown in Image 1.
Place the leadline you have in your right hand into your teeth, just bite down on the leadline, not the leads- obviously! I have never had a problem using my teeth like this as during the throw you will be letting go with your teeth before you let go with your right hand. Next grab the leadline with your right hand again and "toss" the leadline up and onto your forearm about 5 or 6 times and end by grabbing the leadline in your right hand and holding it. Now the net is loaded and you should look like Image 2. The larger the net the more you need to do this, you want to end up with about 1/4 or the net on your forearm. You can play with this amount later when practicing to see what works best for you and your net.
You will now throw the net by twisting your upper body to the rear and when the leadline reaches the back of the swing rotate to the right. If you miss the back swing of leadline just swing it back again and start to twist as it starts forward. You want to swing your left arm up and away from you body so the net swings out and away from you. This starts the momentum that opens the net on release. This process is show in Images 3 and 4.
Image 5 shows the proper release of the net. The first to be released is the left hand, with the teeth released immediately after. This lets the netting on your right arm fall/get pulled out by the net as it spins around. In the picture you can see that the leadline that was on my arm is the part that is extending from my right hand out to the left. As the net opens you use your right hand to pull the net to the right some and "spin" it to the left to give it some more momentum.
And that is what you want to see, a nice round net that covers alot of area!! Hopefully this has helped. If not you might want to check out links below to directions for other techniques for throwing those perfect "pancake" spreads.
© 2001-2009 by T. Currie
All Rights Reserved