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Cast net for shad? #14519623 10/29/22 02:26 PM
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fishrdude Online Content OP
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I would like to start catching shad for striper fishing on texoma. Does anyone have a recommendation of a cast net to use? I would like to know what brand, size, and mesh size that works for you guys. Thanks for any info!

Re: Cast net for shad? [Re: fishrdude] #14519793 10/29/22 04:08 PM
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I use and recommend the FILTEC GS 1500 ULTRA SPREADER DEEPWATER TAPE NET.It comes with a 50' hand line that does come in handy during the winter when those shad are holding on bottom in lakes deeper than 20-25'.Depending on your bait preference it comes in 5/16" to 1" mesh.I use the 5/8" mesh since I may be after 3-4" shad one day for hybrid/striper fishing and giant 8-12" shad the next for big blues.The tape on these nets truly works......I was a skeptic.After throwing a 7' taped vs a 7' untaped I am convinced the tape does keep the net open while in descent.I also think because of this it is important to go with the heavier net,1.5 lb vs 1 lb.


Hope this helps

Ron


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Re: Cast net for shad? [Re: fishrdude] #14519911 10/29/22 06:53 PM
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Old salt by betts. 3/8. Good net


Phill's Guide Service - Lake Lewisville and Lake Ray Roberts
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Re: Cast net for shad? [Re: fishrdude] #14519951 10/29/22 08:37 PM
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If you have never thrown one, just do some youtube videos.. They refreshed my mind after about 10 years of not using one. I use a 12 foot, and a 16ft net.. When you learn to throw them off a boat in deep water, the bigger ones work well. But I found the ones I have, i have given several away on the forum. I have a 6 ft net which my son used for a while, if I still have it your welcome to it for free.. I need to check the garage, it was his learning net and worked when he was a little one. But realistically, a 6ft (diameter) net is just a toy if your hunting for bait. I don't know what brand I have, but the weights are heavy and the net near the weights is blue mono. the smaller diameter in the holes of the net the higher priced the net is.

Re: Cast net for shad? [Re: prosise] #14519993 10/29/22 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by prosise
If you have never thrown one, just do some youtube videos.. They refreshed my mind after about 10 years of not using one. I use a 12 foot, and a 16ft net.. When you learn to throw them off a boat in deep water, the bigger ones work well. But I found the ones I have, i have given several away on the forum. I have a 6 ft net which my son used for a while, if I still have it your welcome to it for free.. I need to check the garage, it was his learning net and worked when he was a little one. But realistically, a 6ft (diameter) net is just a toy if your hunting for bait. I don't know what brand I have, but the weights are heavy and the net near the weights is blue mono. the smaller diameter in the holes of the net the higher priced the net is.


You must be using those 12' and 16' nets somewhere other than Texas...........7' (14' in diameter) is as large as TP&W allows in Texas waters.Pointed out just to keep our new friend out of trouble.


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Re: Cast net for shad? [Re: fishrdude] #14520031 10/29/22 10:42 PM
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That is good to know.. I will have to check it, I really think its a 16ft cast net. But if that's the law, i will either modify it down or recycle the weights.. It has some large weights on it. Much appreciated, and thanks for the info. I snagged this one on the edge of a dock in my local lake with a 3xd. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember what you said..


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Re: Cast net for shad? [Re: prosise] #14520080 10/29/22 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by prosise

That is good to know.. I will have to check it, I really think its a 16ft cast net. But if that's the law, i will either modify it down or recycle the weights.. It has some large weights on it. Much appreciated, and thanks for the info. I snagged this one on the edge of a dock in my local lake with a 3xd. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember what you said.


https://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/...regulations/legal-devices-for-fish/#cast

Cast Net
A cast net is a net that can be hand-thrown over an area.

Legal only for taking nongame fish and other aquatic animal life including crabs, crayfish, and shrimp. (See shrimp regulations)
May not be greater than 7' ,a total of no more than 14 feet in diameter.
In salt water, nongame fish may be taken for bait purposes only


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Re: Cast net for shad? [Re: Bassthumb: Phill's Guide Svc] #14520336 10/30/22 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bassthumb: Phill's Guide Svc
Old salt by betts. 3/8. Good net


Ditto, A net with tape 8 feet is perfect and will wear out your roller cuff quickly. Learning curve is bait locations !

Re: Cast net for shad? [Re: fishrdude] #14520732 10/30/22 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by fishrdude
I would like to start catching shad for striper fishing on texoma. Does anyone have a recommendation of a cast net to use? I would like to know what brand, size, and mesh size that works for you guys. Thanks for any info!


Sir, this is from an article I wrote last year right as the shad were beginning to spawn in the spring of 2021. There are quite a few cast net considerations addressed here if you care to read ...

[Linked Image]

CAPTION: This side-by-side comparison shows a Fitec 13070 tape-style cast net, right, fully expanded as it sinks downward, whereas the traditional, non-tape net of identical radius and weight, left, collapses as it falls, thus greatly reducing its ability to catch bait.

Courtesy | Holding the Line Guide Service



With all of the modern advancements in technology and electronics, it is easy to overlook the subtle clues nature provides us with as the change of seasons plays out year after year.

Although the things I observe for over the course of the year are too numerous to list, a few germane to this part of the spring season are how the appearance of mosquito hawks coincide with the first spawning white bass to show up in the spawning shallows of our local rivers, and how the arrival of laughing gulls coincides with the departure of the more helpful ring-billed gulls and Forster’s terns — birds which can be relied upon to help find cold-season fish.

This week, another significant clue was provided ... the return of the whippoorwill to cedar breaks around Central Texas. If you listen closely in the two hours or so before sunrise, you will hear this bird’s distinctive call from which its name is derived. It sounds like the phrase, “whip poor Will” spoken very quickly.

When the whippoorwills show up, the annual threadfin shad spawn is poised to begin. This annual rite takes place through about the last week of May or first week of June. On most mornings (excepting mornings with cold, north winds blowing), these protein-rich baitfish which make up the lion’s share of our two local reservoirs’ forage base, will make a short, intense migration from out of deeper water to the shoreline.

Once there, the shad will swim rapidly parallel to the shoreline in under 6 feet of water in incredible numbers. Sometimes the density of these spawning fish is so great that wave action or pursuit by predators will cause a few individuals to be thrown from the water and stranded upon the shore.

As these shad swim, the females broadcast their sticky eggs as the males release their milt (a fish’s version of semen) to fertilize the eggs. The eggs develop rather quickly until the fry sprout enough appendages to propel them and help them to break free from whatever their sticky coating anchored them to.

From that point on, they will wander open waters for the rest of their lives, always accompanied by other shad, feeding on zooplankton and phytoplankton. They will also serve as the primary food source for all manner of game and non-game species of fish.

During this roughly eight-week event, using live shad as bait is hard to beat.

Being ready to find, catch, and maintain shad takes preparation. The foundation of the collection of shad for bait is a quality, well-thrown cast net. I prefer threadfin shad over gizzard shad as bait because they tend to be more frisky, although they are also more fragile.

Some years ago, I worked with Fitec, one of the major cast net manufacturers, to develop a net just for catching threadfin shad and keeping them healthy. This seven-foot radius net (the largest allowed by regulation) features an atypical 5/16-inch mesh, heavy weighting around the perimeter (for a fast sink rate), and the addition of a tape webbing to make the net expand as it sinks versus collapsing as a standard, non-tape net will do.

This fine mesh prevents “gilling” which takes place on nets of a larger mesh size wherein a shad gets its gill plates caught in the mesh, thus typically killing the bait.

Locally, National Athletic Supply carries this net — Fitec item number 13070. Just ask for the “Bob Maindelle” net and the Thompson’s will know what you are after. They may be reached at 254-939-8789.

I do not stand to gain from the sale of these nets — I am simply letting you know of an effective tool to consider if you are serious about using shad for bait. The net can be found online, as well, at www.castnets.com.

Most people will opt for a cheaper, smaller (5- or 6-foot radius), lightweight net with a larger (3/8- or ½-inch) mesh — and most people will get very frustrated at the lack of bait they obtain by going that route.

Next, regardless of the net you use, you need to throw your net well. By all means, do not go out, buy a net and throw it for the first time off the side of your boat or from the bank without ever having practiced with it previously. All nets throw a bit differently based on their weight and diameter. A half hour invested in the backyard throwing on grass will pay big dividends.

Further, be sure to practice throwing from an elevated platform. Think about it — your boat is raised up higher than the water level and so you want to recreate this scenario when you practice casting your net. That extra one or two feet of drop will make a difference on how much your net fans out.

There are many methods for throwing a net. Check out YouTube, find a method you like, stick with it and get good at it.

Once you actually capture bait, you need to handle it minimally and quickly to get it into the vessel you will be using to store that bait. Four things are an absolute must: aeration, filtration, circulation and insulation.

Aeration gives the shad the oxygen they need to breathe. Filtration removes the scales and feces which the shad give off as a stress response to capture. Circulation keeps ammonia from building up on the bottom of your container, and insulation prevents spikes in water temperature which are fatal to the fragile shad.

Using a shad-tank specifically designed to accomplish all of these functions is a shortcut to success.

Once again, National Athletic Supply in the Belton industrial park is the only place for many miles around to actually go and look at a variety of sizes and designs of well-built shad tanks.

Making sure the water in your bait storage vessel is about the same as the water temperature the fish were taken from is wise, as is the addition of about one cup of rock salt per 10 gallons of water. This softens the water and also prevents follow-on scale loss.

If you use tap water, you will also need to use a chemical which removes the chlorine and/or chloramine which is added by the drinking water treatment plant that water comes from.

There is a lot more to actually hooking and presenting shad as bait for gamefish, and I will address those things later in the season, but for now, getting your gear dusted off, soaking your net in warm water with liquid fabric softener to make it more throwable and to make it spread wider, mending any holes in your net, making sure your have your water-conditioning chemistry all ready to go and making sure you have your dip net handy are all things to hurry up and address now that the whippoorwills are calling.


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Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411
Holding The Line Guide Service
Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com
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Re: Cast net for shad? [Re: fishrdude] #14521272 10/31/22 04:48 PM
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I like Fitec 3/8, pound per foot for general stuff.

7' is the biggest by law in Texas, as stated. Never seen one get measured though.

Last edited by G Love; 10/31/22 04:50 PM.
Re: Cast net for shad? [Re: fishrdude] #14522552 11/02/22 12:43 AM
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fishrdude Online Content OP
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Thank you all for the great information! Mr Maindelle that is some report. You consistently offer a wealth of knowledge to this forum. Thank you.

Re: Cast net for shad? [Re: Holding The Line] #14522740 11/02/22 11:24 AM
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Great information Holding...! Thanks!

Re: Cast net for shad? [Re: Holding The Line] #14522741 11/02/22 11:26 AM
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I was just wondering...I got a taped cast net and still cannot throw circles just right...if you throw a taco will a taped net actually open up further as it goes down? Trying to catch shad on Sam Rayburn and not having that much luck. Thanks for any replys.

Re: Cast net for shad? [Re: Texas is great] #14522747 11/02/22 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Texas is great
I was just wondering...I got a taped cast net and still cannot throw circles just right...if you throw a taco will a taped net actually open up further as it goes down? Trying to catch shad on Sam Rayburn and not having that much luck. Thanks for any replys.


It will open , but not a pancake . Try you tube as there are a number of tutorials with regard to casting even the largest bait nets.

Re: Cast net for shad? [Re: fishrdude] #14523858 11/03/22 11:19 AM
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Hey thanks, I appreciate the advice.

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