Landing Nets for Anglers
Use a landing net to hold a fish you just caught with your fishing rod. Usually these nets look similar to a basketball hoop net, except one end is closed. Landing nets have short handles and the netting is made from nylon or wool to ensure durability and strength. Their size limits their usefulness to merely holding your catch securely while removing the hook prior to either releasing the fish or transferring it to your storage bucket or chest.
Dip Nets for Fishermen Catching Fish without Rods or Crabbing
A dip net is a larger version of a landing net. It has a long handle, and the net opening is larger. Depending on the size of the fish you are trying to catch or the other kinds of marine life you are after, you might actually have a net made from such strong mesh--often aluminum or knotless nylon--that it is more a stiff basket than a soft nylon net. You use a dip net when seeking to catch fish that swim close to the water's surface, such as salmon, or when scooping crabs from shallow waters.
Cast Nets for Securing Bigger Catches
Throwing a cast net by hand is a bit of an art, but you can learn how to do it when watching pros in action. A cast net is little more than a circular nylon mesh with a reinforced edge to which weights are attached. Cast the net into the water so it expands to its full circumference. As it gradually sinks to the bottom of the body of water in which you are casting, the net traps marine life. Once the net has reached the bottom, haul it on board and separate the fish you want to keep from those you don't.
Tourist fishing boat operators often use cast nets close to shore to replenish their supply of bait fish before taking clients out to sea for deep sea fishing.
Trawls for Commercial Applications
Hooked to commercial boats known as trawlers, trawls act like a scoop that gently extends behind the boat towing it. As the net expands, it scoops up the fish. When full, the trawl is reeled back on board. Sometimes this form of commercial fishing is done by two boats, which attach a trawl in between them.
Professionals reduce the collection of undesired fish by confining this method to areas where the target species is dominant in the waters. Critics of this method assert that deep water trawling potentially destroys coral reefs.