Best Fish Casting Net For Bait, Food, Survival & Doomsday Preppers
Lee Fisher Bait Buster Fish Casting Net 3/8" Sq. Mesh Green (Available 5ft-12ft)
Best Commercial Grade Fish Casting Net For Catching Lots Of Fish For Bait, Food, Survival, Or Prepping
The Lee Fisher Bait Buster Fish Casting Net is a very well made casting net that you can use to catch bait fish or even mullet sized fish up to 2' long depending on the particular net you use. You can typically catch many more fish while cast net fishing and much faster than you ever can with a rod and reel.
For that reason, having a cast net and developing skills for cast net fishing would be very valuable in a survival situation for catching food or bait.
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Why you might need it
Whether you use a bait casting net to catch bait fish, or in a survival situation to catch food, the Lee Fisher Bait Buster Fish Casting Net is a high quality hand made commercial grade net that is a great value. Fishing with live bait can greatly increase your success rate in landing larger and more fish.
The more inexpensive bait casting nets will tangle more, not sink fast enough, and will not last as long as the Lee Fisher Bait Buster Fish Casting Net which comes in a variety of mesh sizes (3/16, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, & 1-1/4 inch) and with net radius sizes ranging between 5' to 12' (or even to 14' radius for the 1-1/4" mesh).
The Lee Fisher Bait Buster Fish Casting Net is packaged in a 3.5 gallon bucket with lid, and has a patented Dragon Head swivel (conventional swivel on 10 & 12 ft.). The Dragon Head swivels allow you to make repairs to the braille lines if needed (see picture below).
The picture below is just a generic illustration that depict the parts of a casting net. After you cast a net, the lead weights will start sinking the net in an umbrella / parachute shape. Once you start pulling on the hand line, the braille lines will close the open end of the net and will entrap fish that are in the "umbrella" of the net.
Many bait fish will cluster up or try to jump out of the water when threatened. When a cast net hits the water if they try to jump they typically will be found higher up in the net or on the outer edge.
Note: The bigger the mesh size and the heavier the weight per foot, the faster the sink rate. Faster sink rate equates to more fish caught. For smaller bait fish and in shallow water a smaller mesh such as 3/8" is a good size. In deeper water and for larger bait fish, a larger mesh size is recommended based on the target bait. See the specifications below for the Bait Buster bait casting nets.
Although the target bait fish shown above indicate the ideal mesh size, take note that if you can only have one mesh size, 3/8 or 1/2 inch would be more versatile, and you can still catch a range of fish sizes. You should also know to double the mesh size to determined the stretched length, so for example 1/2" squared mesh is 1" stretched. A fish less than 1" tall may slip through a 1/2" mesh.
Typical Target Fish
3/16" Mesh - Bait Size 1" to 3". Glass minnow.
1/4" Mesh - Bait Size 1" to 3". Minnows, River Shiners, Mudminnows, Chubs, Small Greenbacks, and pilehards.
3/8" Mesh - Bait Size 3" to 6". Greenbacks/Thread Herring, Pinfish, Shad, Threadfins, Shinners, and Silversides.
1/2" Mesh - Bait Size 6" to 9". Finger Mullet, Ballyhoo, Large Shrimp, and Cigar Minnow/Head Tails.
5/8" Mesh - Bait Size 6" to 9". Finger Mullet, Ballyhoo, Large Shrimp, and Cigar Minnow/Head Tails.
1-1/4" Mesh - Bait Size 6" to 24". Mullet.
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Visit The Lee Fisher Sports Store on Amazon & Scroll Down This Page: Lee Fisher Sports Cast Nets
Other Recommended Fish Casting Nets
Extra Heavy Weight Properly Secured
For bait casting nets, you need at least 1lb. of lead weight per radius foot used. So an 8' radius net should have at least 8 lbs of lead weights. Every Bait Buster cast net features an extra fast sink rate thanks to 1.5 lb of lead per radius foot used. This allows less bait fish to escape, maximizing your catch. Note that each lead piece is secured to lead line with nylon twine and reinforced through crimping eliminate sliding and thus allowing the net to spread properly.
If you have never thrown a bait casting net, please note that it is much easier to learn how to cast a 5' or 6' radius net.
Best advice I have for beginners is just buy a cheap entry level 5 or 6 foot radius net with 3/8" mesh, with 1 lb weight per foot as a minimum, learn how to throw it consistently, then you can decide whether you even want to 'upgrade' to a 7, 8, 9 or 10 foot radius net.
The larger the radius, the heavier the net and harder to master casting the net correctly. Casting nets can be aggravating to start off with and after you get the motion down right then jump up to a bigger net. Spend enough time practicing your throw.
I used the back yard lawn. First just focus on making the net open in front of you in the air. Target practice comes later. Here are some questions to think about. Although you can bring in a lot of fish with one throw of a 10' net off a boat, dock or pier, do you really want or need 200 pounds of various sized fish?
Can you haul that much weight up and onto your boat, pier, or shore? Will one toss put you at or over your bag limit for the day (not to mention your cooler or live well capacity)? Because once you develop your skill for cast net fishing, it really can be that effective.
The larger heaver nets obviously catch more fish with each cast, but you also do not want to purchase a net that is too large or too heavy for you to physically cast. Watch the videos below to see the casting techniques required for a small net versus a larger net.
Order the size you think is right for you, practice with it on grass before heading to the lake, river, pond, bay, or ocean. Try not to cast anywhere where there is under water debris (such as submerged tree limbs, etc) that the net will get hung on.
The Hurricane Cast Net is a good 5' radius, 3/8" mesh starter net. You can also look to see what inexpensive starter fish casting nets are available at Walmart or your local sporting goods store.
You can always keep a 5' or 6' starter net as a backup or loaner. You may even conclude that you will never outgrow it, because honestly for most people seeking free bait fish for rod-and-reel fishing, or people looking to catch a few 12" dinner-size mullet, that 5' or 6' net (which is really a 10' or 12' net in diameter) will serve them just fine.
So don't overthink or over-research. Just buy a 5' or 6' cheap net, enjoy it, learn on it and see if it is all that you need, or if you want to upgrade to a nicer and perhaps larger fish casting net. Cast net fishing is fantastic, and totally different from rod and reel fishing.
For a final tip, if your mesh net is stiff, soak it in fabric softener to make it soft. This will make it easier to cast.
Bait Buster series are made in panels - six of them. No more "witch hats" or cones, just a nice full spread, every time! A good cast is called a "pancake" and the net hits the water in a flat circle. See the YouTube videos below to learn techniques how to cast a net. The Lee Fisher Bait Buster Fish Casting Net also includes an instructional DVD.
Selected Amazon Feedback
5' radius - 3/8" mesh: "Very well made net. The "panel design" is far easier to throw than the cheaper nets. Highly recommended. I'd buy it again."
6' radius - 3/8" mesh: "Really nice net. It's a little on the heavy side but works flawlessly and u want that weight to allow the net to sink quickly and catch that bait! When I received my order it was missing the dvd that was advertised with the purchase. The company sent me one within 24h of my request. Great customer service. If I ever need another net, they have my business. Thanks!
6' radius - 3/8" mesh: "Wonderful net,have never seen one so well built, I am 65 years old and the 1.5 lb. weights are a little bit of task handling it but for anyone younger its the very best made."
7' radius - 3/8" mesh: "This castnet is way better than the ones bought at walmart, for the simple fact you can repair it on the spot w/ the dragon head swivel allowing you to fix a line right on the spot by replacing the line. Also, the placement of the weights make the net sink faster and are tied right to the net unlike other brands that can cause uneven casts, making your net not open correctly.I know right from day one that this cast net will catch more bait and last longer than others due to the higher quality. Yeah, I pay more but, I know the quality is there. I recommend to anyone looking for a bait net, to spend the extra dough, to get the quality they deserve and come to expect with a net like this."
8' radius - 1/4" mesh: "Very nice net, and worth every penny!! Love everything about this net. Thrown a net a majority of my life, you will love it. These gentlemen make and sell a great product. Thanks bait buster, look forward to more interactions with you!"
8' radius - 1/4" mesh: "Love this cast net. my 5th net. only one buy lee fisher nets. all other nets have broke, none from snags. this one has held up for over a year and still looks new. throws perfect and does nottangle up on itself. i have a 1/4 in one that i use on the flats in the south east. i plan on getting one more in 1/2 for when im looking for green backs in deeper water. the 1/2 will sink faster to get more bait in in one throw. lee fisher is great to deal with and offer tons of nets in any price range."
8' radius - 3/8" mesh: "This bait buster net is as close to a custom hand made net as you can buy without spending twice the money. Throws well and sinks fast. I haven't had a reason as of yet to use the easy repair feature of the brail lines via the dragon head but have inspected the procedure and it looks simple and quick. Not that I'd attempt it while out boating. I'd wait to return home and have a beer while conquering this task..."
8' radius - 3/8" mesh: " Very nice net and very easy to get full open with only a half turn throw. Have been able to get menhaden in depth of 20 feet without a problem."
8' radius - 3/8" mesh: "I order this net, it was just what we wanted, except for one thing. It was too heavy for us to throw. We notified the co. & Amazon about this problem, in less that 3 days, we were able to exchange this net for the 6 ft net, which was perfect. We were treated very outstanding, by the co. & Amazon.. The co. is very easy to deal with & showed us every respect, in this exchange. We are very happy with the 6 ft. net."
8' radius - 3/8" mesh: "After a few practices tosses I was opening a nice circle. The first time out I caught a good catch of finger mullet and had bait all day. The net appears to be well made and easy to handle, store and I expect it will last a long time. I especially like that it shipped in a bucket in place of a small plastic box; good price and good quality. I would buy it again."
10' radius - 3/8" mesh: "Perfect for shiners! Nobody gets stuck in the mesh holes. Sinks faster and results in more bait. Love it!!"
Unknown radius - 3/8" mesh: "I'm very pleased with this net. Better quality mesh and more lead/heavier than Super Spreader. Throws and opens well. If you depend on your cast net to provide bait, pay a little more and get a Bait Buster."
9' radius - 1/2" mesh: "Was skeptical at first, but now that I've had this net for a while, I can honestly say it's a GREAT net for the price. I primarily throw the net in 20ft of water in Tampa Bay, FL, catching greenback; The net performs very well."
The following video provides tips for choosing the correct cast net.
The following video shows how to cast a smaller sized net.
The following video shows a different method (Frisbee Method) on how to cast a smaller sized 6' net.
The following video shows how to cast a large 10' sized net. Note how the technique to cast a 10' net is more complex and harder than casting a smaller net.
The following video provides detailed instructions on the parts of a casting net, plus how to cast a large 10' radius - 3/8" net.
The following video shows 2 net casts from shore catching a lot of mullet in each cast.
The following video shows another successful cast from shore.
Lee Fisher Bait Buster Fish Casting Net - Mesh Sizes
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