The Ultimate Guide To Types Of Net Fishing Methods

Looking to cast your nets wide and reel in a hefty catch? Wondering what are the types of net fishing methods? You’re in the right place! Net fishing is a tried-and-true method that has been utilized by fishermen around the globe for centuries. This ancient technique involves using different types of nets to capture fish and other aquatic creatures. In this article, we’ll dive into the various net fishing methods that you can employ to increase your chances of a successful haul. So, let’s get started and explore the fascinating world of net fishing!

The Ultimate Guide to Types of Net Fishing Methods

What are the Types of Net Fishing Methods?

Net fishing is an ancient fishing technique that has been practiced for thousands of years. It involves the use of various types of nets to catch fish in rivers, lakes, and oceans. Nets are versatile fishing tools that come in different shapes and sizes, each designed for specific fishing conditions and target species. In this article, we will explore the different types of net fishing methods and how they are used to catch fish.

Gillnet Fishing

One of the most common net fishing methods is gillnet fishing. Gillnets are vertical nets that are set in the water column, allowing fish to swim into them. These nets are made of thin, transparent mesh that is almost invisible underwater. As fish attempt to pass through the mesh, their gills get trapped, enabling fishermen to catch them. Gillnets are typically set in rivers, lakes, and coastal areas to target a variety of fish species.

Types of Gillnets

  • Standard Gillnets: These are the most common type of gillnets used in fishing. They are used to catch a wide range of fish species and are available in different mesh sizes to target specific sizes of fish. Fishermen can set multiple gillnets simultaneously to increase their catch.
  • Multi-Mesh Gillnets: These are specialized gillnets that consist of multiple layers of different mesh sizes. They are designed to selectively catch fish of certain sizes, allowing smaller or larger fish to escape. This helps in maintaining fish populations by minimizing the catch of undersized or overfished species.
  • Drift Gillnets: Drift gillnets are set to float in the water column and are carried along by the current or by being attached to a boat. They are commonly used in commercial fishing to catch large pelagic fish such as tuna and salmon. However, concerns have been raised about their potential impact on non-target species, including marine mammals and seabirds.

Seine Net Fishing

Seine net fishing is another popular method of catching fish using nets. Seine nets are large, horizontal nets that are used to encircle schools of fish and then draw them in towards the fishermen. Seine nets can be operated from the shore, a boat, or even by divers. They are most commonly used in coastal areas and can be employed in both freshwater and saltwater environments.

Purse Seine

One type of seine net fishing is purse seine fishing. Purse seines are equipped with a drawstring at the bottom that can be pulled tight to close the net, forming a purse-like shape. This allows fishermen to enclose the fish within the net, making it easier to haul them aboard the fishing vessel. Purse seine nets are commonly used to target schooling fish like sardines, anchovies, and herring.

Beach Seining

Beach seine fishing is a variation of seine net fishing that involves setting the net from the shore and hauling it back ashore. This method is often used in shallow coastal areas to catch fish that come close to the shore. It requires a team of fishermen to pull the net back, capturing the fish within the enclosed area. Beach seining is a labor-intensive method that has been practiced by coastal communities for centuries.

Trammel Net Fishing

Trammel net fishing is a method that utilizes a net with three layers of mesh to catch fish. The outer layers are made of larger mesh while the inner layer has finer mesh. This design creates two chambers within the net, allowing fish to swim into the net but preventing them from escaping. Trammel nets are commonly used to catch fish close to the seabed or in areas with rocky bottoms.

Types of Trammel Nets

  • Floating Trammel Nets: These nets are set to float in the water column using floats attached to the top of the net. They are commonly used in coastal areas to catch fish such as mullet and salmon.
  • Sinking Trammel Nets: Sinking trammel nets are designed to sink to the seabed, targeting bottom-dwelling fish such as flatfish and crabs. These nets are typically weighted at the bottom to keep them in place.

Cast Net Fishing

Cast net fishing is a technique that involves throwing a circular net, known as a cast net, into the water to catch fish. Cast nets are made of fine mesh and have weights around the edges to help them sink and spread out when thrown. Fishermen typically stand on the shoreline or on a boat and cast the net out, allowing it to sink to the desired depth. They then pull the net back, capturing any fish that were swimming within its radius.

Types of Cast Nets

  • Hand Cast Nets: These are small, handheld cast nets that are commonly used by recreational anglers to catch baitfish or small fish. They are easy to use and require minimal equipment.
  • Professional Cast Nets: Professional cast nets are larger and designed for commercial use. They are used to catch larger quantities of fish, often in commercial fishing operations.
  • Monofilament Cast Nets: Monofilament cast nets are made of a single strand of synthetic material. They are lightweight and easy to throw, making them popular among recreational anglers.
  • Mesh Cast Nets: Mesh cast nets are made of a series of interwoven threads, creating a net with multiple small holes. They are durable and can withstand heavy use in various fishing conditions.


These are just a few examples of the types of net fishing methods used by fishermen around the world. Each method offers its own advantages and is suited for specific fishing conditions and target species. Whether it’s gillnet fishing, seine net fishing, trammel net fishing, or cast net fishing, the use of nets has proven to be an effective and efficient way to catch fish. As with any fishing technique, it’s important to consider sustainable fishing practices to ensure the long-term health and abundance of fish populations. So, the next time you see a fisherman casting a net or setting up gillnets, you’ll have a better understanding of the different types of net fishing methods they might be using.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the types of net fishing methods?

There are several types of net fishing methods used by fishermen to catch fish. Some common methods include:


Gillnetting involves suspending a net vertically in the water and catching fish that swim into it. The fish get entangled in the net by their gills.

Seine Netting

Seine netting is done by encircling a large area of water with a net. The net is then either hauled ashore or pulled onto a boat, trapping the fish inside.


Trawling involves pulling a large net called a trawl through the water. The net is weighted at the bottom and floats at the top, catching fish as it is dragged along.

Cast Netting

Cast netting is a method where a circular net is thrown by hand into the water, spreading out and sinking to trap fish within its radius.

Trap Netting

Trap netting involves the use of traps or cages to catch fish. These traps are typically baited to attract fish, and once inside, they are unable to escape.

Purse Seining

Purse seining is a method of fishing where a large net is set around a school of fish. The bottom of the net is then drawn together like a purse, trapping the fish inside.

Drift Netting

Drift netting is done by suspending a net horizontally in the water and allowing it to drift with the current. Fish get caught as they swim into the net.

Final Thoughts

Net fishing is a widely practiced method used by fishermen to catch fish and other marine creatures. There are various types of net fishing methods employed, each with its own unique characteristics and advantages. Some of these methods include gillnetting, seining, trawling, and cast netting. Gillnetting involves the use of nets that are suspended vertically in the water, allowing fish to swim into them but preventing their escape. Seining involves surrounding a school of fish with a net and then hauling it in. Trawling is a method where a net is dragged behind a boat to catch fish. Cast netting, on the other hand, involves throwing a circular net into the water to catch fish. Each method has its own specific application and is used depending on various factors such as the target species, fishing location, and ecological considerations. By understanding the different net fishing methods, fishermen can optimize their catch and contribute to sustainable fishing practices.

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