How Do Fishing Nets Work? A Detailed Explanation

The type and measure of fish that you want to catch is largely influenced by your fishing net and how you use it. Basically, a fishing net is a set of threads woven together forming a mesh. To this regard, there are two main types:

How Do Fishing Nets Work

Passive network

Using this, you will take advantage of the behavior of fish, hence you will leave them without any alternatives and you have them trapped.

Active network

By using this, you have to chase the fish so as you trap them in the net.

A fishing net is made up of silk, nylon or any malleable material that is converted. There are several types of fishing nets which include:

Cast net

When you throw them properly, they spread out on the surface of the water. The weight at its edges causes the net to sink to the bottom. One reason that you should consider here is that the material to be good, so that the net remains open even you sink it.

Drag net

Just like its name, this is a net that you will basically drag along the bottom of the water body you are fishing in. Remember, what will enable you to hold it down as you drag it before catching fish, is the weight that you attach to the net.

Also read: How Does A Fish Finder Transducer Work? Important Guide

Drive-in net

The best way you can use this net, is by taking advantage of the behavior of the fish causing them to swim towards the net. Once the fish are inside the net, you close the front part of the net, trapping the fish.

Gill net

You will use this net to catch fish by taking advantage of the physical nature of the fish. You will trap the fish as it tries to pass through the net, where its gills will be held by the net. The net is held down to the bottom by the weight you attach, leaving the upper part to float.

Hand net

You will find this as the easiest of all. You simply attach a hopping net to a handle. You then sweep it in the water, trapping fish that swim at the upper surface of water.

Bottom trawl

Here, you will attach a conical net to one or more boats than one and tow the nets along the bottom of the sea. Remember, the weight you attach decide how low the net can go.

Coracle net 

Using this method, you will seat on one coracle and have someone else seat on the second coracle. You will have a shared net. When you have a fish inside the net, you will then bring the two oracles together, trapping the fish inside.

Drift net

For you to have the best use of this net, you will have to consider the currents of the sea. This is because, the net moves with the currents.

Trammel net

You use this net by taking into consideration the size of the fish. This is because, you will have three layers of the fish net, having the middle one with the smallest size of mesh.

Surrounding net

Just like its name, you will have to surround the fish from all directions. This leaves the fish with nowhere else to swim to, hence you trap the fish.

Seine net

You will realize that this uses almost the same mechanism as the trawling net method. You will attach the bottom of the net with weights. Having it fixed at the bottom, you then sweep over the water by returning the top part of the net to its starting point.

Push net

This is a triangle-shaped net attached to a frame. Like its name,you have to push the net over the bottom of the water body, trapping fish in the process.

Lift net

Just as its name suggests, you will sink a net into the sea, leaving the opening of the net facing upwards. You will then lift up the net, bringing with it fish that it traps on its way up.

Lave net

Using this net, you sink it to the bottom of the water body. When you feel a fish hitting against the net, you then lift up the net, trapping the fish. This works better if you have a bait.

Tangle net

You will realize that this net takes advantage of the physical nature of the fish, hence trapping them. The net has very small fine mesh that you will use to trap the fish by their teeth.

Shore operated lift net

You will bait the net, then have it sunk into the water. You will hold the net by a fixed structure at the shore line and have the net lifted gradually.

Purse seine net

By using this net, first, you make sure that fish will be surrounded on all sides. When you do that, you then close the bottom of the fish net and trap the fish.

Mid water trawl net

In order for you to be effective using this, you have to ensure that you attach the right weights. Excess weight will sink the net to the bottom and light weight will make it float the top, hence, you ensure is floats mid level.The net is then drug by a boat, trapping the fish in the process.

Fyke net

You will make sure that for you to trap the fish, the hoops should be in place for greatest benefits.

Fixed gillnets

You make sure that they will be fixed to the ground. You make a network of many of the fixed gill nets connected together, ensuring that fish is trapped once they come near the net.

Plankton net

You catch plankton by having a very fine mesh of net and then drag the net through the sea using a boat.

There are other factors to consider for the fishing net to work effectively. These include:

Fishing line

It should be clear to you that if you choose a weak line, it will easily break, giving you less than desired results. Since you will use the lines for pulling, I would advice you to choose lines made of strong and durable materials.


Remember, you need floats if you are using a net that needs to float on the surface of water.


For you to use a fishing net effectively, good weights are attached to the bottom of the fishing net if you intend it to sink to the bottom of the water body.

In conclusion

You should remember to have the environmental impact in mind, as you will need to fish even ten years to come. So, get the nets that meet the set standards and fish responsibly.

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