Steps to Throwing a Cast Net
So my son Gabe got his first cast net for his birthday this week, as a 10 year old this is super exciting. Heck as a 35 year old I was pretty excited too! Having grown up in Liberty County that is not a skill that I was ever taught. It looks pretty easy, but as with all things that appear to be easy, they rarely are….as my sore muscles can attest several days later.
A rite of passage for many in our coastal community, I am unsure why I never learned but it was fascinating to watch the day unfold and figure out what worked best if you’re 4’9” or 5’6” or 6’2” because all of those heights play a significant role in your abilities!
So to save you the sore muscles (possibly) and the angst of trying to learn, here are some “steps” to help you (hopefully) become a pro at throwing a cast net.
- Untie/unfurl your net carefully so as not to get it tangled upon itself. Tangles result in pointless time spent hollering at the net to ask it why it got tangled in the first place, as well as the time spent to untangle the thing. And if you’re dealing with a kid you tend to have the same conversation more than once.
- Gather the rope in your non-dominant hand (so lefties use your right and righties use your left), being careful not to loop it around your hand, just kinda bundle it in your hand.
- Grab the “horn” of the net. This is a circular plastic part at the top of the net that slides down. So you want to grab that part and hold it as well in your non-dominant hand.
- Holding those items in your non-dominant hand you will fold the net in half and hold about a foot down the fold in your non-dominant hand as well, closer to the weights at the bottom but still about a foot away from the weight (or the bottom). Yes, you look like a bag lady at this point because you have all of this “stuff” in your non-dominant hand only.
- Then comes the fun part, especially if you’ve been casting for a while, you get lots of those Georgia salt water flavors from this point on. You grip a piece of the bottom of the net, between the weights, in your mouth (true story). And then run your hand down about 1.5 ft and grip a piece of the net between the weights. Yes, you look comical. Yes, you will want to laugh but not start over so you won’t let go. Yes, you spit a lot, it’s natural I’m told.
- Then you will swing back once towards your non-dominate side and then swing forward and perform what I can only liken to throwing a Frisbee. Being sure to LET GO of the net with your mouth. It should NOT look like the below photo.
- You need to wait for the net to settle, being pulled down by the weights and then haul it in. A good 30 seconds or so. Hauling it in should be performed with a quick 1-2 jerk and then typical towing of the rope (see picture below).
Performed correctly throwing a cast net should look like the below photo. Some additional tips would be: 1) don’t try to cast by swinging your head, this will result in a whiplash like feeling for days to come (I can attest), keep your head pointed forward to where you are casting, 2) DO NOT wrap the rope around your hand (again), this will result in rope burn (as I can attest) and 3) don’t try to remove a blue crab with your bare hands, they pinch (as I can also attest)! I can say that my family is supremely lucky we don’t have to live off the land because even though we did fairly well we still had to have turf with our surf for dinner!
-Leah Poole, CEO of the Liberty County Chamber & CVB
The Right Blend Blog is written by three different authors employed by the Liberty County Chamber/CVB. As we are able, we rotate weeks and each write about our individual experiences, opinions and let our writing reflect our personalities and creativity. All content provided on The Right Blend blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.