How Fishing Nets Work

How Fishing Nets Work

It could be the ferocious ocean, riverbanks, or a calm lake; there is a fishing net fit for all of these environments. Not only do they bring bulks of fish (on lucky days), a lot less harm is done to the fishes that you would be catching. That is the absolute beauty of how fishing nets work.


Below is a list of our favourite fishing gear that you check quickly if in hurry. Scroll down to read the rest of the article.

  1. Best Fishing Reel: Penn Squell Level
  2. Baits For Rainbow Trout: Berkley Power Bait 
  3. Best Indore Fishing Rod: Royale Legend
  4. Best Ultralight Fishing Rod: KastKing Perigee II
  5. Best Spinning Reel Under 100: Daiwa BG Spinning Reel
  6. Best Walleye Trolling Lure:  Original Floater Fishing Lure
  7. Best Pike Lure:  Jerk Bait Fishing Lure from Rapala
  8. Best Fishing Kayak under 1000: Intex Explorer K2 Kayak
  9. Best Fishing Kayak under 300: Sun Dolphin Journey 10
  11. Best Fishing Gloves: BERKLEY FISHING GLOVES
  12. Best Fishing Cooler: AO Coolers Sportsman Vinyl Soft Cooler
  13. Best Portable Fish Finder: Reel Sonar Wireless Bluetooth Smart Sonar
  14. Best Inflatable Fishing Boat: Sea Eagle Green
  15. Best Fluorocarbon Line: KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line

Types Of Fishing Nets

There are a lot of types of fishing nets in the world. Each net is suited to a specific task and environment. Learning how fishing nets work starts at knowing how to choose the perfect fishing net for your fishing spots. I realized this after a lot of experience. Here are some fishing techniques.

1. Cast Net 

This popular fishing net is easy to use and provides satisfactory results. This easy to use net could be used by beginners as well. There is a hand line attached to the mesh part of the net via a swivel, which allows for maximum movement. It is circular, like an umbrella. Along the margin are attached weights of lead or iron, this helps the net sink faster.

As fish are being entangled in the net, the net is withdrawn with the hand-lines help.

2. Dip Nets

Dip nets are relatively simple to use. The build of these nets is a simple frame that has a wooden or metallic handle. A net is attached to the frame. This net cannot go very deep in the water and is best suited to smaller fishes.

A scooping action would do the job nicely while using this net. The three different designs in which this net is available are triangular, square, and circular. Nets smaller in size are operated from hand while on a boat; however, the larger nets would be attached to the boat.

3. Purse Net 

Purse nets are very elongated and effective nets. These nets can be harder to set up, but these are incredibly useful. These types of nets are perfectly suited for catching fish that are migratory. This net targets a specific area and is not very mobile. However, this net makes up for its immobility with its size.  

This net is generally made from tanned cotton twine and bamboo sticks. It is attached to a boat, and the boat moves downstream. This enables anglers to capture fish that are migrating upstream.

This net can be set for any depth and is suited to a wide range of fishes. This can catch fishes in bulks very quickly.

4. Gill Net 

Gill nets are large stationary nets. They are mostly used to catch more giant species of fish. These nets traditionally consist of two ropes. One rope is tied to a floater. This helps in finding out the exact position of the net. The other rope has singers attached to it. 

This net is stationary and is mostly used in rivers. It is sunk into the bed of the river. There it acts as a large wall, entangling the fishes which try to pass through it. These types of nets are used to catch bigger fish species, so stronger and bigger nets are used for this. 

Materials such as nylon, cotton, or hemp are used are not visible to the fish. Nylon is preferred as it is transparent. These nets are popularly used for catching migrating fish.

5. Trawl net 

Trawl nets are an excellent match for you if you are going fishing on a boat. This net works by filtering the water for the fish. This net has a narrow cod-end and a wide mouth. This allows it to entangle the maximum amount of fishes.  

The upper lip of the mouth floats while the lower lip of the net has sinkers attached to it. The typical size of the trawl net decreases from the mouth to the end of the net. This net is mostly about 30 meters long, which has 100-meter wings. It is operated by about 1 or 2 boats.

These nets are very efficient in catching fish that are at the bottom or are suspended mid-water.  

6. Bag Nets

Bag nets are ideally used to catch bulks of fish along the coastline. These nets are large and conical in shape, which could be as large as 100 meters. These would feature a 9-meter long wing on each side of the mouth.

It is similar to purse nets as it is a large mesh that is kept open by poles; furthermore, there are wooden barrels attached to them, which act as buoys. These nets are best suited to catching large and strong fishes. Most anglers use this technique to fish prawns as well.

7. Drag Seine Nets 

Drag seine nets are suited to lakes or closed areas of water. These drag seine nets work peculiarly. One part of the net is attached to the shore; this acts as a wall. A boat is then used to spread the rest of the net in a semi-circle around water.

This becomes a net wall, which surrounds the target area from all sides. A group of fishermen clasp the part of the net suspended in the water and slowly drag it to shore. Entangling all the marine life between them.

8. Shore Seine Nets 

Shore seine nets do the job efficiently. As the name suggests, these nets are used on beaches. The design is an extensive net, about 40m, which consists of smaller nets inside it. It is an excellent net to catch fish witch travel in vast schools or are smaller in size.

These nets work with two fishers or two boats, which carry the net into the open water with one end of the net in each person’s hand. Then they go to the target area, and the fishes and other marine life get entangled in the net. Which is then pulled to the shore.

This net is suited for catches that are smaller in size, like crabs.

Harmful Effects OF Nets

Using nets for fishing provide many benefits to the fisherman. However, they also present some dangers to marine life. 

Ghost Nets 

Ghost nets are silent killers. Nets left unattended travel large distances and are deadly for any fishes that get entangled in them. They might be carried by currents for years or even decades, entangling and killing countless fishes.

Small entangled fish attract larger predators like sharks or turtles, entangling them as well. Until eventually, they die of either starvation or exhaustion.

Eventually, as the catch in the net increases, it sinks to the seafloor, where the sea dwellers at the bottom feed on the net, again causing it to lose weight and get afloat. Only to entangle more fishes, this is an endless cycle. As the quality and durability of modern fishing nets are increasing, the number of times this cycle gets repeated also is increasing.


Many fishing techniques are used with nets; each of them suited a specific environment and type of catch. This knowledge has been passed down to us from our forefathers, and with each generation, it has gotten more advanced, each generation adding new techniques to the mix. This is the story of how the knowledge of how fishing nets work has progressed and advanced. 

We must use this sacred knowledge with great caution to prevent devastation to marine life, as, without them, this knowledge would all be in vain. 

Steve Hudson

I have been an outdoor activities enthusiast from teenage. I have been going out with my parents on different outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. After moving to a town surrounded by three well known fishing spots, I started fishing and started using all kinds of tricks and equipment to make the most out of each adventure I pursued. Over the years I have been camping outdoor, hiking and following my passion of enjoying life at full. Few years ago, I started writing about my thoughts, experiments and ideas about outdoor, fishing, hiking and more. This blog is a compilation of that plus tips, ideas and products that can make life more meaningful, enjoyable and a pleasant.

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