Home Ten Thousand Islands General Fishing & The Outdoors

New to cast netting... can someone teach me a little about bait in our area?

Hey guys, I must confess... I really don't love making this post.

I'm a little bit of an artificial bait snob, I haven't relied on lived bait in a long time.... but, I'm getting older, and my priorities are begining to change from catching fish the most challenging and fun way possible, to helping others on my boat catch fish and have a great time.

For me at least, that means having live bait. So I bought a cast net. I fish out of Naples, haven't yet found any reliable places to net some bait (other than down in marco/goodland - too far for a casual trip with friends) now that the spyder tower is gone, and I don't really understand the seasonal movement of bait. I'd appreciaite any nuggets of wisdom you can share, thanks!


  • Joe SnookJoe Snook Posts: 468 Deckhand
    Buy a Good Quality 10' net and learn how to throw it. it needs to be Heavy. Everytime someone invades on me catching bait and completely screws up my situation of trying to make bait for a paid charter I'm catching bait for I realize they are all throwing small cheap very light nets and cant even open them up. All of the ignorant Fools I'm talking about had 80,000 dollar boats and are throwing 30 dollar nets not catching anything just scattering the bait for me. 1.5lbs to 1.8lbs per ft. is good. For the guy who ran up on me yesterday you're lucky I had some bait already and you had children on the boat. You sir are the latest Fool I've seen and need to learn some manners and teach those kids etiquette on the water not how to be a total ignorant Fool or were just gona get generation after generation of Idiots on the water. I Cary 3 different nets (they are tools and need to used skillfully) i have different size meshes and net size all for different situations.
    Ppl ask me about nets all the time as soon as I say you need a good one they say well I don't go to catch bait often, it's not about longevity of the net it's about it being affective and actually catching bait. Go get a Calusa net or I have some moonlighters that work well too. Sunshine Ace carries both brands. If your not willing to spend about 300 on a net and spend some time learning how to throw it then just go buy shrimp until you can or call Serenity live bait he sells pilchards but honestly I think you'd make your friends happy enough using shrimp, everything eats shrimp.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    southwest florida fishing guide in the beautiful 10k islands, everglades and more www.Joesnook.com
  • WATERTIMEinshoreWATERTIMEinshore Posts: 32 Greenhorn
    The question you have asked in one that many of us are constantly asking ourselves. We all like to build some confidence before a day on the water by blacking out a live well full of frisky pilchards for the day weather we are running a trip or just fishing for ourselves. Lets make it plain and simple having bait can make or break a day on the water. As Joe stated its very important that you learn to throw a large net effectively every time as sometimes you only get a couple opportunities to make it happen. As Joe stated a heavy net is an advantage when throwing your net on offshore structure for bait. These fish are not stupid and only stay balled up for so long with nets crashing overhead so having a net that will sink fast when you mark the bait will help you get them in the net. As far as bait movement goes it can be a tough nut to crack one day its there and the next it may be gone. As we get into our summer months you should have no issue finding bait on the beaches outside of Gordon's Pass or any of the beaches near good moving water. As far as offshore bait goes a number of the close wrecks between 15-25 feet of water usually will have some form of bait on them almost year round along with some of the piling markers in the passes i usually check the ones in deeper water just run a ring around them and see if you mark anything on the bottom finder sometimes it looks like fuzz on the bottom sometimes its a big bait ball suspended off the bottom. Also if you do venture into Serenity Bait they do sell a "white bait chum" which cant hurt sometimes if you anchor up current of a piling or rock pile you suspect has bait on it drift some chum back and see if you can get them to ball up and make it a one and done throw. Hope this helps and remember learn to use your tools before you show up at the job site.
    Capt. Brad Buczko
    WATER TIME Inshore Fishing
  • congoman775congoman775 Posts: 1,395 Officer
    Lots of good information, I appreciate it! Thank you very much!
  • BobberBobber Posts: 943 Officer
    Going to the dark side will cost you your soul. God gave us Gulps for our salvation
    Seriously though, I invested in a 10' 3/8 Calusa, got pretty good with it with a lot of practice and use, using the triple load method. Put it away for a winter,pulled it out next spring and felt like Mr Chiquita- its a skill that needs continuous practice to be effective.
  • Joe SnookJoe Snook Posts: 468 Deckhand
    Lol ya Bobber it's not always as fun as it looks and it's easy to get caught up in spending precious hours looking for and trying to catch bait instead of productively working artiest or shrimp and catching fish. That's why it's so frustrating to have someone screw that situation up for us before a trip. I have run across many very considerate ppl through the years who understand what's going on and I have filled their live well for them to show my appreciation on more than a few occasions.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    southwest florida fishing guide in the beautiful 10k islands, everglades and more www.Joesnook.com
  • congoman775congoman775 Posts: 1,395 Officer
    Quick follow up regarding mesh-size and depth of water - are you throwing a 3/8 net on the beach and a 5/8 net in deeper?

    And is there a trick to throwing a net over structure, especially in deeper water? The idea just seems like a great way to hang up on the bottom and lose your net... Maybe you chum the bait up off the bottom before throwing?
  • CyclistCyclist Posts: 23,340 AG
    Slightly off topic...:)
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 14,859 AG
    I've watched those videos 3 times, where is this castnet you speak of?
    Yesterday's memories are not today's reality
  • MangroovinMangroovin Naples, FLPosts: 142 Deckhand
    Joe Snook maybe it will get better now that the out of towners are leaving. Theres no shortage of googans out there.:banghead
  • cseng123cseng123 Posts: 368 Deckhand
    I upgraded my 8 foot cheap net once I ripped it on some rocks, and got an 8 foot one made by Tim Wade. Its heavier than the previous net I owned, and I love it to death. It only cost me about 150 bucks or so. But in terms of catching the actual bait, it gets easier in the summer months when they are everywhere on the beaches. I learned to throw the net from watching youtube videos, and currently use the method where you put the lead line in your mouth. Had to change from my old ninja style method when I got the heavier net, but pancakes come pretty consistently
Sign In or Register to comment.