Umbrella Drop net catches 2019

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Been mostly grass shrimp and snails up to now but things are picking up. 05/11/19 

Two nice size pipefish.



Then another pipefish and a neat little seahorse.


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7 mins ago, sunobskt said:

What u hoping to catch? Just curious.

I catch a good supply of the biggest shiners (spearing) and although I don't keep them alive I do have some great fresh baits for myself. Mainly though I just use it because I' amazed at what we catch in it. Baited with a bunker and everything back here just swims or crawls in for the food. Amazing at what we catch in it.

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I swear I see this thread and it brings out the little kid in me to see what's in the net. I'm suddenly 9 years old again, playing in the creek behind my house searching for critters! :th: 

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6 hours ago, tomkaz said:

Killies! When do they show up? 

Been here all winter. Their numbers drop down big time in late fall but I've been catching them all winter for my freshwater fishing. During the cold months you just have to look harder to find them. They gravitate to slower moving protected waters and love any place where metal or concrete touches water. Sun warms them up and they transfer the heat into the water and even a few degrees will attract the fish. Still catching a few around the dock but for the most part they have moved off to other locations. I believe it's for breeding purposes where they all gather for their orgy. In a week or two we will see our resident minnows return to the dock but right now it's party time.


I catch a lot in the net but I also have two of the cone shaped minnow traps that I hang from our dock. Before they moved off I did catch some real nice minnows and have them in our tanks. Will post a pic later today showing the size of a few because I ram a broom handle through the openings at each end of the trap. The holes that come standard on these traps are just too narrow to let the big minnows in. widen the holes and catch better baits. 

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Two more for JoeyZ. 

Pulled the drop net first thing this morning and found two more critters for JoeyZ's aquariums. The man is dedicated. Lives about an hour away but I call  and he drives down. Baby oyster cracker and baby pout or tommy cod. Not sure because I never catch many so never looked them up.


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On 5/13/2019 at 11:25 AM, sunobskt said:

What u hoping to catch? Just curious.


I don't know what Fred is hoping to catch, but here's what I'm hoping he catches...............



baby Sea Bass

baby Puffers

baby Tog

*Sea Horse

**baby Flounder (Winter and Summer)



baby Drum

baby Spot

baby Cracker

baby Robin

anything tropical that is here by accident


*mission accomplished

**I'll most likely get them on my own

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1 hour ago, snag777 said:

what is leagal size drop net and how you use that ?

According to the state of New Jersey rules, an umbrella drop net can be no larger than 3.5 square feet. The one I use is 36 inches square and I'm not good at math but I'm sure someone here can figure it out. This is the one I use and from experience it is the most productive.

Image result for pics of umbrella style drop nets


Many nets of this style don't have those short side panels and they are important. Without them the fish just swim out when you lift the net. When you lift this one the fish turn to escape but hit the panels and turn right around and come back to the middle of the net. The net also catches crabs and the panel stops them from simply walking out. 

You need pretty quiet water for this net to work effectively since strong current just pulls it away. We hang ours right off our dock along our bulkhead where there isn't much current. From the center eye on top of the umbrella I zip tie a crab bait clip.

Image result for crab bait clip

I zip it tight to the eye and then hang a half or whole bunker from the clip. At one time I did secure the bunker to the net but the crabs just ripped into the net while chewing on the bait. With the clip and the bait suspended above the crabs they don't do any damage to the net. 

I normally let the frozen bunker soften a little then I take a knife and partially fillet one side but leave the side hanging off the bunker exposing flesh. This produces almost instant results. As the critters chew into that side and reduce the flesh down to the bone I simply pull the other side down exposing the rest of the flesh and they go right back at it. 

What is great about this net is nothing has to work their way into a trap. It just lays on the bottom with fresh bait hanging right there in front of all the critters. It's amazing what you can catch and it will keep the kids occupied for hours. Over the years I have even managed to catch a keeper flounder and a keeper weakie in the net. 

I have mine in the water 24/7 all year long. The salt water does eventually get to it so I go through about three a year but it's worth it just for the freh bait it provides. 

You can really learn baitfish movements by using this net. The tide has to be a certain depth for live minnows. I have about a half hour window for them because they are rigid in their movement. If the water is too shallow they won't move to the net because the birds can get them in shallow water. If it's too deep you won't catch them because they keep moving into a certain depth where a predator can't sneak in under them. I can put a fresh bunker with both sides cut down and exposed and the minnows will still leave to move into shallower water under our dock. all I have to do is be ready for that certain depth on the outgoing tide and I score again. 

Shiners (spearing) are a totally different animal and prefer deeper water since they are more of a near surface swimmer. I can take the bunker and give it a squeeze to release some of the oils and small pieces of flesh then lower the net back down. Even as it slowly sinks you can see the shiners swimming above it eating the small pieces. When this happens I don't let the net sit on the bottom but shorten the line until it's just deep enough to let the shiners feel safe eating in the slick then quickly pull it up. You will have the best shiners for bait you ever saw and it's all fun.

Only one rule you have to follow 100% of the time. always lower the net to the bottom slowly. The net doesn't want to settle down flat on the bottom. If you just drop it in it will go down faster on one side and land on it's edge and then flip over. It acts like an airplane wing and with a leading edge going down. Let it down slowly and it will land flat. 

When the spots were around a few years ago I put over 700 up in our bait pen just by using the drop net. Plus everything comes out in perfect condition because they aren't bunched up in a trap. One minute they are eating a nice oily bunker and the next instant they are out of the water. 

If you pick one up you will enjoy it because it just works so perfectly. Been using one for over thirty years now and it's still fun because you never know what you will lift out of the water. Good luck. 

Excuse me if I misspelled or messed up with the english but I type fast when I talk about stuff like this and my fingers go a lot faster than my brain. Most thing go faster than my brain.  

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