Kayak Fishing With Gill Nets

Kayak Fishing With Gill Nets
You don't need a large boat to catch fish with a gill net. You can rig a short gill net to your kayak and sweep it across the water as you navigate salt or fresh waters. While local and state laws vary regarding the use of nets, it is essential that you check with the Department of Fish and Game in your state before rigging your gill net and sliding into the cockpit of your kayak.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Marker floats
  • Anchoring weights
Step 1
Indicate the location of your gill net using a marker float attached at the top right and left corners. Store-bought float markers or home-crafted float markers made from a swimming pool noodle that is cut into 12-inch sections is sufficient. Either choice will notify other anglers of the location of your gill net.
Step 2
Choose a short gill net, such as a 12-foot by 4-foot net dimension, which is more suited to a kayak. Attach weights to sink your set gill net. Locate a series of flaps sewn along the bottom of the netting and tie a 1- to 5-pound anchoring weight to each one.
Step 3
Choose your dropping location, steer to that point and discharge your gill net. Release one corner and monitor the netting until the entire length of the netting submerges completely. Release the rest of the netting into the water. Attach the float rope on either end of the gill net to the deck rigging on either end of your kayak. Collect the trapped fish when ready.

Tips & Warnings

If you will be partnered with a second kayaker--which is another option--have that person attach the float rope to the deck rigging on his kayak and steer to a second parallel discharge point, which must be substantial enough for your gill net to completely spread out across the water like a screen. Signal for him to release the rest of the netting into the water by hand. Collect the trapped fish when ready.
State laws may restrict the use of gill nets in public waters. For example, anglers in Florida are not permitted to release gill nets that have a mesh size of 2 inches or more into public waters.

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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