How to Rig Gill Nets for Catching Bait

How to Rig Gill Nets for Catching Bait
When rigging a gill net, you need a water source that is large enough for you to drag the netting long distances across the bottom. Lakes and other water sources with a depth of at least 300 feet are ideal. For a gill net to sink all the way to the bottom, you must attach weights along the top edge. This will also ensure that the net remains upright. When net fishing, you want sufficient distance to drag the 4,000 to 6,000 square feet of netting that is commonly used.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Gill net
  • Marker floats
  • Anchoring weights
Step 1
Tie a marker float to the top left-hand and right-hand corners of your gill net--this is to notify other anglers of the location of your net. Use a store-bought float or make one using a swimming pool noodle: cut into 12-inch sections and use one section at each corner.
Step 2
Tie a 1- to 5-pound anchoring weight using the flaps located along the bottom length of the gill net. Attach separate 5-pound weights to the left and right corners of the net to anchor it. The flaps are sewn into the net by the manufacturer and are spaced along the length of the net several inches apart. The number of flaps will depend on the length of the gill net.
Step 3
Release one end of your gill net into the water. Slowly pilot your boat away from the first dropping point. The netting will continue to drop down into the water.
Step 4
Move to a second dropping point, which will be at a distance that allows the gill net to spread out behind the boat like a screen.
Step 5
Drop the second end of the gill net into the water. Once the entire net has been spread out in the water behind the boat, you can move to a second location and set a new gill net.

Tips & Warnings

Some states restrict the size and number of gill nets that can be used. For example, the Department of Land and Natural Resources banned the use of gill nets around the island of Maui and the Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) in Florida banned gill nets with a mesh size greater than 2 inches. Contact the Department of Fish and Game in your state to learn about state laws regarding gill nets.

Article Written By Charlie Gaston

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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