Lee Fisher Cast Nets

Q: How to choose a cast net?

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

  1. 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.

    Type of Cast NetSquare Mesh (in)Bait SizeTarget Bait
    Minnow Nets
    (Small Baits)
    1" to 3"
    Bait Nets
    (Regular Size Baits)
    3" to 12"
    Mullet Nets
    (Large Baits)
    12" & over
  2. Next determine how much net can you throw.  Chart below will give you a good idea of how much each each cast net weighs. 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 usually takes 5-10?

    Net Size (Radius)
    3' n/a n/a 4.50 lb.
    3.5' n/a n/a 5.00 lb.
    4' n/a 6.50 lb. 5.50 lb.
    5' 9.00 lb. 7.75 lb. 6.50 lb.
    6' 10.50 lb. 9.00 lb. 7.5 lb.
    7' 12 lb. 10.25 lb. 8.5 lb.
    8' 13.5 lb. 11.5 lb. 9.5 lb.
    9' 15 lb. 12.75 lb. n/a
    10' 16.5 lb. 14 lb. n/a
    12' 19.5 lb. 16.5 lb. n/a
    14' 22.5 lb. n/a n/a

Q: What is a mesh?

Mesh measurements are in square mesh (the distance from knot to knot or one side of the mesh as show in diagram below). Stretched mesh is another way to measure mesh size and it is the distance from top knot of the mesh/diamond to 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 way of measuring the same thing.

Mesh size comparison