Tips on Fishing Gill Nets

Tips on Fishing Gill Nets
Gill nets are an efficient way to catch fish, and their ability to quickly reduce fish populations has led California, North Carolina and other states to restrict their use. That's why you should check local laws before setting one. Gill nets work by catching the fins of targeted fish as they try to swim through the net. When a fish can't get through, it tries to back up and gets caught by its gills. In survival situations, these nets are hard to beat.

Flowing Water

Tie-down nets are used in moving water to hold the mesh in position. They have a top and bottom line, and the bottom line has weights to hold it in place. Use this net in slow-flowing rivers and streams by tying the ends of the top line to trees or other stationary objects on both banks. When you drop the net in the water, try to submerge it completely so your top line is just below the surface. Never use tie-down nets in strong currents. The rushing water will carry debris into your net and damage it.

Still Water

Flag nets are used in stationary water and they don't have a bottom line. The net is suspended from the top line and dangled in the water. Stretch your flag net across a curved lake bank and tie the ends of your top line to tree branches near the water. Make sure the branches can flex a few feet to adapt to fish movements, then drop your net into the water. You can suspend the net above the bottom of the lake or leave 6 to 12 inches resting on the bottom. When part of the net rests on the bottom, some fish will swim over it and turn abruptly, causing the mesh to rise and surround them.

Shallow Water

In shallow water, particularly when fish are visible, you can bring your net to the fish instead of waiting for them to come to it. If you're with a friend, you should each hold one end of the top line. If you're alone, you can hold an end in each hand or tie one end to a tree on the bank. Drop the net in the water so the bottom just touches the stream bed. Now pull it through the water and up onto the bank and remove any fish that are caught. Be careful not to snag the net on the bottom as you do this.

Deep Water

You'll need a flag net for deep water. You can measure the depth by tying a rock to one end of a rope and lowering it to the bottom. When you bring it back up, check the length that's wet. Now get two nylon ropes and tie one to each end of the top line (at the upper corners of the net). You'll want to tie these lines so that the lower half dangles a foot beyond the bottom of the net. Tie rocks to these ends and measure the amount of your water's depth up from them. Tie a float or piece of wood at this spot on both ropes. You can tie the upper ends of your ropes to two trees on the bank. When you lower the net, it will dangle a foot above the bottom, where fish are likely to be.

Article Written By Dan Eash

Dan Eash began writing professionally in 1989, with articles in LaHabra's "Daily Star Progress" and the "Fullerton College Magazine." Since then, he's created scripts for doctor and dentist offices and published manuals, help files and a training video. His freelance efforts also include a book. Eash has a Fullerton College Associate of Arts in music/recording production and a Nova Institute multimedia production certificate.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.