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I’ve asked several local bait shops in and around the Tampa Bay/Clearwater area and have gotten so many mixed suggestions. Some say 8'-10’ 1/4” mesh net with at least 1.3lb lead, while others say 8’-10’ 3/8" net with at least one pound of lead.

I fish the Gulf shores when surf fishing and at other times piers and bridges; usually, and more often than not,I’m tossing bought shrimp (which gets expensive) under bridges or into inlet passes. I’m hoping to catch white bait/scaled sardines/pilchards, pinfish and finger mullet, while avoiding glass minnows when possible. Water depth is usually less than 10’; normally and within throwing distance, I’d say mainly 2’-6’ water column. I plan to buy another smaller or larger backup net later but for the time being, financially, I’m looking for net to start with. My plan is to buy a 1/4” or 3/8” now, then buy a smaller or larger net down the road.

Can anyone please provide your thoughts between a 1/4” or 3/8” cast net from shore/bridges? I'd greatly appreciate it.

(EDIT: I think I originally posted this in the wrong forum. My apologize if so.:redface:)
 

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I carry a cast net all the time. 4 or 5ft 3/8 mesh cheap-os get the job done. You can chunk the smaller nets way farther than the large ones and they are also much easier to throw in windy conditions. Add an extra length of throw line for distance... 4 beach fishing just bring a bucket with a lid and a small aerator. For wading use a cinch sack backpack and drag a trolling bucket with a stringer. With castnets the expensive one rip just the same as the cheap ones. The hurricane jack brand ones are my favorite
 

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I carry 4’ and 8’ nets. The small net is fine for peanut bunker. The big net is for quicker baits like mullet. What Benji said 3/8”. Keep an eye out for nets on clearance in the off season.
 

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I carry a cast net all the time. 4 or 5ft 3/8 mesh cheap-os get the job done. You can chunk the smaller nets way farther than the large ones and they are also much easier to throw in windy conditions. Add an extra length of throw line for distance... 4 beach fishing just bring a bucket with a lid and a small aerator. For wading use a cinch sack backpack and drag a trolling bucket with a stringer. With castnets the expensive one rip just the same as the cheap ones. The hurricane jack brand ones are my favorite




Bingo , i have 6 , 7 and 10 foot nets but never use them, a 4 foot Old Salt is my weapon of choice and it catches everything from giant corncob size mullet down to mud minnows with no issues . The only time i use the bigger nets is when on a boat and throwing in deep water .

Cheap nets have a major issue with the weights on the lead line sliding back and forth after you use the net a few times which is very bad , they should all stay put and not slide around , i now hit each side of the lead weights to flatten them somewhat with a hammer after i buy a net to make sure they never slide around . Works great
 

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Get a 6' old salt 3/8 mesh. That will be heavy enough packing in, and catch all you need.
Second that. Have used 6’ Old Salt for 33 years and am only on my second one. Of course you have to stay away from oysters beds and with all you may need to repair with fishing line if you do get a hole. Old Salt is the best in my opinion.
 

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I carry Old Salt 5' 3/8" mesh for inlet and surf netting.........6' or 7' 3/8" Old Salt for docks,piers,bridges........lots easier to throw a 5'er standing knee deep in the surf and it will catch all the bait you need if it's there.............I net around lots of oyster bars and having a spool of BBG clear 10# test for repairs is mandatory.
 

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I support the 6' x 3/8" vote. I can throw mine a long way or from waist deep water (or sitting in a kayak) whereas the motions to throw larger nets just don't work there. Also, since you plan to be afoot, smaller/lighter is better than bugger/heavier. Right? I Primarily target finger mullet in surf but bycatch has included menhaden under 3" long so don't worry about bait swimming through.
I’ve asked several local bait shops in and around the Tampa Bay/Clearwater area and have gotten so many mixed suggestions. Some say 8'-10’ 1/4” mesh net with at least 1.3lb lead, while others say 8’-10’ 3/8" net with at least one pound of lead.

I fish the Gulf shores when surf fishing and at other times piers and bridges; usually, and more often than not,I’m tossing bought shrimp (which gets expensive) under bridges or into inlet passes. I’m hoping to catch white bait/scaled sardines/pilchards, pinfish and finger mullet, while avoiding glass minnows when possible. Water depth is usually less than 10’; normally and within throwing distance, I’d say mainly 2’-6’ water column. I plan to buy another smaller or larger backup net later but for the time being, financially, I’m looking for net to start with. My plan is to buy a 1/4” or 3/8” now, then buy a smaller or larger net down the road.

Can anyone please provide your thoughts between a 1/4” or 3/8” cast net from shore/bridges? I'd greatly appreciate it.

(EDIT: I think I originally posted this in the wrong forum. My apologize if so.
)
 

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How far do you intend to throw the net , i always change my throw line after i buy a net because the standard ones are never ever long enough , they come with throw lines that are way too short . I add a 50 foot throw line to all my 3 and 4 foot nets because i can throw it way way out there if needed .

Sure it can be cumbersome with that much line but the throw lines that come standard with cast nets just don't work for me , the net always snaps back and closes falling into the water because they're too short .

If using a net 6 feet or larger the throw lines are long enough , people never reach extreme distances with those.
 

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Interesting thread, I have a 6ft Old Salt and was gonna get an 8ft, but now you got me thinking twice. I've had it for 10 years and the weights are getting rusty as they were coated in a plastic case that has since deteriorated.
 
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