3 Best Cast Nets for Catching Live Bait

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Hey there fellow anglers and welcome to my post where we will check out my best cast nets for catching live bait this year.  For many species – especially larger ocean going fish – live bait provides for the best chances of success.  And yes, you can buy bait at a tackle shop, but the cost can be high and the fish not always as ‘live’ as you would like.

Hence catching your live bait can be a real cost saver with one of the most effective tools being a cast net.  So for those of you with a need in this area, I have had a good look around and come up with three decent options below.  Let’s check them out…

My three recommended cast nets for catching live bait

I will review these in more detail below however if you want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience: 

02/18/2024 02:15 pm GMT Lasso Brag

What are cast nets for live bait?

In short, a cast net is a circular net with a hand line in the middle and a string of weights around the edge. These circular weights in the net cause it to open before it hits the water when the angler throws the net into the air. 

The net then sinks under this weight to cover the school of bait fish once it hits the water where the angler pulls the handline to close the bottom of the net once it touches the bottom, trapping the live bait within.

best cast nets - man casting cast net

What should you be looking for?

The following factors should be considered as you hunt around for a good cast net to meet your live bait catching needs.

  1. Durability
  2. Net size
  3. Mesh size
  4. Weight
  5. Additions


In general, nylon monofilament is the typically selected fabric to make the majority of bait cast nets as it is incredibly durable, has a high tensile strength and does not fray too easily. 

Other products, like those made of fiber also function well however because this kind of building material tends to absorb water, the cast net quickly degrades.

Net size

Cast net throwing is a challenging process for newbies at the best of times – especially if they get the wrong net size. In general, cast nets range in height from three to more than ten feet and you should choose a size that you feel comfortable casting into the water. 

For this factor, the best question you should answer is this: “How much bait do I want to catch, and how quickly?”  You can easily catch more bait with a net that has a wider radius, however these are harder to cast.

And on an important note, many jurisdictions heavily regulate the size of a cast net allowable within local waters (if they are allowed at all) so always check this before and purchase.

Mesh size

The mesh size refers to the net’s mesh spacing and influences your ability to catch baitfish and how quickly the net sinks into the water.  Cast nets come in various sizes as follows:

  1. ¼ inch mesh size = Ideal for 2 to 3-inch size bait fish
  2. ½ inch mesh size = Ideal for 4 to 5-inch size bait fish
  3. ⅝ inch mesh size = Ideal for 5-inch and above size bait fish


Your choice of cast net’s weight will affect how quickly it sinks. Undoubtedly, a heavier net sinks more quickly, but it also requires more work from you than a lighter one does.

Finally, think about how deep the water is that you will cast into. Lighter nets best serve shallow waters alternatively consider a deep hole cast net if you are casting into deeper areas.

best cast nets - man casting cast net on boat


Other potential additions include:

  1. Bucket: This item is useful for storing your catch or keeping your bait net when it is not used.  And if fitted with a aerator, it can also serve to keep your bait fish alive as well.
  2. Carry bag: This item is typically used in keeping the cast net once it is folded.
  3. Instructions book: Some offer hard-copy documents or pdf copies where the angler is given helpful tips and tricks on properly using the cast net.
  4. Repair kit: As implied by the name, this kit will help you repair the cast net if it gets broken as you use it.


Are cast nets legal?

Cast nets are actually illegal in many locations due to the fact that they allow for multiple fish to be trapped at one time leading to risk of fish stock and breeding patterns.  In other areas, they are legal with a license only with strict limitations in regards to size and use of captured fish.  Always check local laws and regulations prior to purchasing your net.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. Drasry Saltwater Fishing Cast Net

First on my list is an affordable cast net that works well for most kinds of bait fish. It is well-constructed to help you catch your target fish bait effectively and with ease. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Drasry
  • Radius: 3 – 10 foot radius options
  • Mesh size: ½ inch mesh size
  • Material: Polyester fiber monofilament
  • Weight: 2.18 kilograms

Other inclusions:

  • Pure lead sinkers
  • Hand strap
  • Cast net handbag

Why have I chosen it?

This first option is handcrafted from a sturdy copolymer monofilament mesh that is 1/2′′ in size, making it suitable for most bait species of around 3-5 inches.  It comes with a 32-foot braided poly hand rope which is long enough to cast to a distance that is quite far away – such as from a pier etc.

The weights have a heavy-duty, 1.1 pounds per ft sinker with sizes ranging from 3 to 10 feet. Additionally, a carry bag is included for storage when not in use as well.

2. American Pro Cast Net 

My next product comes in various sizes with 3/8″ Mesh and a durable build. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Best Fishers
  • Radius: 4-12-foot radius options
  • Mesh size: ⅜ mesh size
  • Material: Reinforced monofilament
  • Weight: 2.94 kilograms

Other inclusions:

  • Bucket
  • E-book for instructions
  • Repair kit

Why have I chosen it?

To maximize the cast net’s durability, the manufacturer has recently unveiled a newly upgraded horn style and material with additional double selvage multifilament netting added around the horn and the bottom lead line.

The product’s six-foot net size is adequate to cover any range and the 3/8-inch mesh makes it an all-purpose cast net that can catch the most different kinds of bait in a range of water depths.  It comes with a repairer to keep the net working well and for newbies, a pretty handy instruction kit too.

3. Bait Buster Professional Grade Cast Net

This last item offers a functional design and reliable construction with a good range of size options and super strong build.  See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Bait Buster
  • Radius: 5 – 12-foot radius options
  • Mesh size: ⅜ mesh size
  • Material: Reinforced monofilament
  • Weight: 4.74 kilograms

Other inclusions:

  • 3.5-gallon heavy-duty bucket
  • Sectioned horn
  • Braided wrist cuff
  • Patented dragon-head swivel

Why have I chosen this?

Designed by professional anglers, this cast net has a hand-tied, incredibly soft monofilament mesh that opens easily and quickly. Round sinkers with 1.5 pounds of lead per foot have been integrated into the brand to sink quickly with 100-pound test brail lines and a solid floating hand line.

The edge of the net is crimped to keep the lead weights in place and replacing brail lines is simple, thanks to the model’s patented Dragon Head swivel.

02/18/2024 02:15 pm GMT Lasso Brag


There you have it, my three best cast nets for your favorite bait fish. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual,  let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.