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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Cast Nets and Cuss Words #14491720 09/29/22 04:18 PM
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Catfish Tim Offline OP
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PSA: Deep, deep rabbit hole...

There is probably no more frustrating thing in the world of Catfishing than learning to throw a cast net. The second most frustrating thing is losing them to the floor of the river or lake that we throw them in. The third most frustrating this is finding one, the one you really want when you need a new one...

My pain in the second category, losing them to the lake or river bottom is chronicled in the number of white 3 gallon buckets I have in my garage. I don't even want to count how many I have but suffice it to say there are enough buckets out there to represent a couple thousand dollars in lost cast nets.

I know we all have our story about how we struggled to learn to throw a cast net. We had a friend show us their method, or we watched videos on YouTube or however we got the technique we ended up trying to emulate. Then, we went to the back yard, or in my case the backyard pool. There I would throw and cuss and throw and cuss. I would get tired and go back to the drawing board, in my case YouTube and start over. I watched several versions. The over the shoulder, the lead in the mouth, the gimmick with the little frisbee thing, and lots of others. Then one day I watched Luke Nichols who had the Catfish and Carp channel. He was one of the first bigtime catfishing YouTubers. I watched his channel religiously for a couple years and then you kind of faded out. His method of throwing the cast net seemed pretty simple, so I tried it...

Like all the other times, the first attempt was awful. But I knew if I was going to catch catfish, I needed to be able to consistently throw a good pancake. So I threw and I cussed and I threw and I cussed. And them something happened. I threw a pretty good circle. Not perfect but good enough that I paused and thought, "there's hope"... So I kept throwing and cussing and throwing and cussing. And over time, I would get some good throws and I was starting to cuss less.

Eventually I figured out the nuance of each part of the art of throwing pancakes. The load, the up and out, spin, the release, the second release, all the elements that have to come together like all the instruments in an orchestra playing together to make a beautiful sound.

Then I started to put my new skill to work and realized that it was only one small part of the bait catching equation. I thought I had mastered it but I soon found out that I was just beginning the long battle of learning to consistently catch bait. The story doesn't end there it begins there...

So now that I know how to throw the net I needed to learn the more important skills of knowing where to throw it. I saw some information that talked about how throwing a cast net in water over 25 feet deep was a waste of time because the net closes as it sinks. Then I learned that the shad can be deep in the winter when it's cold. Then I saw Carey Thorn catching massive nets gorged with big gizzards in small creeks in the winter in just a couple feet of water! I was thoroughly confused.

I now know that both the deep and the shallow can be true at the same time. I have learned that when I started out, catching shad in the summer was easy because they were scattered all over the lake. They are easy to catch because they are everywhere. Then as the water gets cold, they tended to disappear form the places I had relied on them being. in the Marina in the morning, up in the skinny water in the afternoon.

Sunning on the warm concrete of boat ramps that don't get much use. I had on an occasion or two netted a jackpot of bait on the boat ramp. I hit a boat ramp one morning before light and threw on it. Started pulling it in and saw a flash or two of the shad in the headlights of the truck and thought okay, looks good. And then when I got the net up I saw I had also managed a water moccasin.I laid the net out on the ramp and ran over it with the truck (true story). Ended up throwing that one away in the trash can next to the ramp...



Now trying to understand where they went in the winter was beginning to come into focus. I started looking deep around bridge piers. Learned that when you throw on those spots, you are risking the net snagging on the rubble down there and you will also get every type of fish in the lake along with shad. So again I started looking deeper but if the net closes what are you supposed to do in deep water.

Then... I had an epiphany. I saw a video that Chris Souders did with a taped cast net. I thought Taped, what's a taped cast net. I watched him throw in 35 feet of water and pull up a load of bait. He said the tape keeps the net open. I thought EUREKA! now I know how it's done. I looked at buying one. After I saw what they cost I thought, heck I'll just tape one and make my own. Honestly, it worked okay. I have made a couple of homemade taped nets over the years. But the ones you buy come with a 50 foot hand line.

Anyway, the first time I threw a taped net it was magical. I watched it continue to spread as it sank out of sight and I thought oh those shad don't have a chance anymore. Speaking of that, have you ever thought what it must be like to be a shad? Everything in the entire world wants to eat you. Everything in the water on the water and in the air above the water. Man that's tough life...

So after trying a few different nets, I became a fan of the Fitec nets. The Lee Fisher nets are good too. I think they are made of stronger mesh but the Fitec just seem to throw better for me. I have also learned that I throw the heavier nets better than the lighter ones. Not sure what it is but there is something about my technique that suits the heavier nets. I would throw them anyway even if they weren't easier because I like the rate at which they sink.

I have become pretty good at mending my nets. I use braid to mend holes in the mesh. Tying square knots over and over to pull it back closed when it tears. I also replace broken brail lines with 80 pound mono. the 11970 uses 100 pound mono for brail but when I bust a brail line and replace it with the 80 it seems to work fine.

I am to the point now that I keep a non-taped net for sketchy areas where I think I might catch a stump or a rock but I throw my 11970 99% of the time. I keep telling myself I need to keep a couple of them so if I snag one it doesn't put me out of commission but at $150 a copy or thereabouts, it's hard to keep a spare.

So, that is my cast net story.


Catfish Tim
๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ"If it doesn't have whiskers, it's just bait"๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ
Romans 8:1
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Re: Cast Nets and Cuss Words [Re: Catfish Tim] #14491750 09/29/22 05:00 PM
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Haven't made the step to a taped net yet... I need to though.


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Re: Cast Nets and Cuss Words [Re: Catfish Tim] #14491771 09/29/22 05:27 PM
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Reading this thread is like reliving a nightmare - lol!

I have finally mastered casting a smaller 6 foot net, but it took me a long time and my vocabulary expanded exponentially, and not in a good way. Throwing in my back yard worked for me, but it was tiring and a lot of work.

I finally invested in a big Fitec taped net last year and the things are amazing, but oh man are they HEAVY!! Throwing it just five times for this old geezer and I'm about ready for a nap.

On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being a master net thrower, I am probably a 2, maybe a 3 on good days, but for locating bait I don't even score. I'm pretty bad, but hey I am getting better.

Last year I lost 3 nets at around $50 to $60 each which sucked, but thankfully I didn't lose my tape net and they are over $150 a pop. I did fish with another gentleman up in Texoma once and he threw his brand spanking new $160 taped net and snagged it first throw. I would have cried and yes it was gone. One throw!

Tim forgot to mention the COLD. I have fished with Tim in the middle of winter and Tim has thrown his heavy net in freezing temperatures. Yeah the fishing was great it but his hands turned to ice blocks.

It certainly aint for sissies!


Retired from the grind and enjoying life and the great outdoors ### Formerly Texas Brit ###
Re: Cast Nets and Cuss Words [Re: Catfish Tim] #14491854 09/29/22 07:38 PM
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So.. what are you doing with all them empty buckets?? I might need 'em! lol

Re: Cast Nets and Cuss Words [Re: Catfish Tim] #14491858 09/29/22 07:43 PM
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Catfish Tim Offline OP
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I think I'm gonna sell 'em back to Fitec!


Catfish Tim
๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ"If it doesn't have whiskers, it's just bait"๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ
Romans 8:1
Re: Cast Nets and Cuss Words [Re: Catfish Tim] #14491874 09/29/22 08:00 PM
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Catfish Tim Offline OP
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Bob, you are right about the cold. There is nothing that will make your hands ache like cast netting in 20 degree weather. I remember pulling the net in and having it freeze to the deck while I was fumbling with frozen fingers trying to pull the dink shad out that got gilled in the mesh. I would have to pull it off the deck and dunk it in the water to thaw it and throw it quick before it froze again. You can imagine what happens to your hands when they are soaking wet in those temps.

I decided that this year, I am going to get one of those small propane heaters. Not to heat a space, but to hold my hands in front of between throws to get some feeling back in them!


Catfish Tim
๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ"If it doesn't have whiskers, it's just bait"๐ŸŸ๐ŸŸ
Romans 8:1
Re: Cast Nets and Cuss Words [Re: Catfish Tim] #14491896 09/29/22 08:19 PM
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1575 words X .09 ea per word read. You owe me $141.75 for reading that story. When you send money I think I will order a new net with the windfall.
PS I estimated total # of words.
PSS I guess if I was dumb enough to read it all I owe you a $150 bucks for the tale, wait for it.

Re: Cast Nets and Cuss Words [Re: Catfish Tim] #14491940 09/29/22 10:01 PM
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Losing cast nets is just a part of fishing. A good year I'll lose 5 a bad on takes a dozen. I order them 3 at a time from Fitec.


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Re: Cast Nets and Cuss Words [Re: Catfish Tim] #14492087 09/30/22 01:14 AM
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I can't believe that I didn't see this thread yesterday... Not sure what happened. Great read though, really good. I asked about some of the nets with the chains on the skirts of another thread Tim had early this morning. Not got back there yet lol...
The Fitec nets do seem to be on their game. One of theirs maybe what I get for a spare, I do know the lake I fish most often now has so much brush and rock, there is going to be those throws I won't get the net back. It would help my feelers if I have a nice brandy new one right there on the spot to replace it, and certainly, if it's a good net.

One other thing here that does need to be acknowledged by all here, which yes that does mean you all would have had to read all this, to get the point, let none of us drive through any of these lost cast nets and have them sucked up on the lower unit.
I have worked on the outboards for years and have never heard or seen where somebody has. Man what a mess that would be though.

Re: Cast Nets and Cuss Words [Re: Catfish Tim] #14492124 09/30/22 02:08 AM
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Tim, you've got a way with words. When i read that i was taken back to my cast net beginnings. True, true, and true. One thing i can say to anyone learning.... just don't give up! When you finally throw a couple of perfect throws you'll feel it. I had to start with a 5 footer and work my way up. Strange thing for me is, there are days that i have absolutely no trouble and then some days i just can't hardly throw it. I'm sure that's mental. I would tell anyone that the day you understand that you don't have to throw the net hard to get it to open right is the day you really start figuring it out.

Re: Cast Nets and Cuss Words [Re: Catfish Tim] #14492178 09/30/22 04:01 AM
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Neat post! thumb


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Re: Cast Nets and Cuss Words [Re: Catfish Tim] #14492557 09/30/22 05:21 PM
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Tim,

Love the story - and as usual, lot of learnings and lessons there.

Bob - I am with you on the good days and bad days. Almost hate to have a great day catching bait, knowing I will pay for it soon. Just not as simple to find as they should be...

Geno - comment about not throwing hard is very real... took me a while to learn that. And now, if I want to throw hard, seems like I always mess it up.

Mr. Jackie - they should give you a bulk discount!


tight lines soon eveyone.

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Re: Cast Nets and Cuss Words [Re: Catfish Tim] #14492759 09/30/22 09:44 PM
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You haven't lived until you throw a cast net into a ball of baby catfish and have Mr Game Warden sit in his truck watching you to make sure you get every one out of it.


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Re: Cast Nets and Cuss Words [Re: Catfish Tim] #14492854 09/30/22 11:48 PM
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Oh I bet those little thorny monsters are bad to pick out of a net period, let alone while the game warden is watching... I have seen them in huge balls with 1000's of them, I can't even imagine how bad those would be suck in the net. They are bad enough to just try and hold one without being stuck yourself.

Re: Cast Nets and Cuss Words [Re: Catfish Tim] #14492906 10/01/22 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Catfish Tim
Bob, you are right about the cold. There is nothing that will make your hands ache like cast netting in 20 degree weather. I remember pulling the net in and having it freeze to the deck while I was fumbling with frozen fingers trying to pull the dink shad out that got gilled in the mesh. I would have to pull it off the deck and dunk it in the water to thaw it and throw it quick before it froze again. You can imagine what happens to your hands when they are soaking wet in those temps.

I decided that this year, I am going to get one of those small propane heaters. Not to heat a space, but to hold my hands in front of between throws to get some feeling back in them!



And I thought I was crazy when I used to break ice to duck hunt. Where is the โ€œshaking my headโ€ emoji ! hammer

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