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Cast netting first time in Raritan Bay

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Cast netting for my first time in Raritan Bay this weekend. Any suggestions? Bait pushed up during certain tides or time of day? How far should I have to walk out? What can I expect? I'm a little newer to fishing Raritan Bay... I've spotted small bait jumping out of the water at sandy hook point, but I never really noticed that in the bay in the times that I fished, but it's only the beginning of the season... 

 

I bought a 5' 3/8" mesh by the way.

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5 hours ago, adams54 said:

What type of bait are you looking to catch?

Anything that will stay in the net XD. I just came back, so the following post will be a report.

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Really no luck at all. I arrived around 630 to 7, two hours before the outgoing. Technique is still shaky casting, I could have practiced a little more before going out, but not sure how much difference that would make.

 

Lotta rocks, metal debris, etc at the bottom. Every cast, I felt like I was snagging something. I probably didnt cast more than 10 times bc I felt like my net was always gonna rip (it probably already did rip in some spots). I'll probably look to use the net more on a sandy bottom beach, weather it be sandy hook bay or out front.

 

Some bait was definitely there though, as I did see some little guys jump out every now and then and saw a blue or striper hit something off the top.

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Practice will help you tremendously. If you dont get perfect pancakes every cast at home it will be that much harder on the water when you're dealing with wind or other variables. Also you need to be sight casting. Unless bait is in super thick. Ideally you should be getting everything you need in one or 2 tries. Sometimes you get only one try before you spook all the bait. Casting in an area with a sticky bottom is definitely not a good idea. 3/8 mesh is too big for your smaller bait fish. Good for peanuts and mullet.

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Generally I would think most fishermen use the cast net to catch peanut bunker or mullet.

Spearing are another target, but with a 3/8 mesh net you will only get the large ones, and when you do you have to remove a lot of them by hand as they are gill netted(ie stuck in the net by their gills with their snout sticking out). You may even get sandeels when they are around but again they will slip through a 3/8 mesh. A1/4 mesh will be better for smaller bait and some places even sell a smaller mesh which would get the spearing and sandeels.

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