So little people know about seining, and when you hear the word you too may even be confused about exactly what it is. Seining is actually easier than it looks, and for the regular non-commercial fisher seining can be done easily with just 2 people.
A seining net is a net that has 2 poles attached to the ends of it, on
the bottom of the net there will be sinkers/anchors to hold it down,
while at the top there will be floating devices that usually are made of
heavy duty styrofoam.
Net sizes vary, but for those of you just looking to catch some bait,
and have some fun with little effort, a 12 foot seining net should do
the job just fine.
The way we do it is by having one person remain close to shore holding
the top of the pole towards their body, while the bottom is held away
from the body. Just like you were raking. The person on the shore is to
stand still and hold down the pole as firmly as they can. The other
person takes on more of the work load. They slowly make their way out to
the sea and come swooping back in to shore. When you are lined up with
the person on shore, you both heave in the load.
In the net you will find all sorts of surprises. Mostly though you
will have shiners/bait flopping around. From here you take the larger
shiners, and release the rest by dragging the net back out to sea and
flipping it upside down. You can then go back for round 2.
While seining you are not limited to shiners. You will be amazed at
just what you can catch with a seining net, we on one occasion caught a
tropical angel fish which is not supposed to be in our parts of the
water. We have caught blow fish, sea horses, eels, blue claws, crabs,
baby fluke and flounder, and a large assortment of other types of fish
we had never even seen before.
Do make sure though that you plop a seahorse back into the water as
fast as you can. If they are out of water they will die, air actually
kills them, unlike other fish that can remain out of water for a few
moments, so do it fast! Don't sit their staring at it.
Seining nets can also be used in freshwater ponds/lakes. Who knows you may actually catch a bass.
Seining can be difficult for first time users simply because they
don't hold the pole correctly, and for the first few times seining you
may catch nothing, this is because you are holding the poles wrong. When
seining, the person moving out is supposed to hold it to the sea bed at
all times, as they drag it along hitting rocks and patches of seaweed.
It does take some muscle power, but not that much as to where it is
exhausting. The key to catching something every time is to make sure you
are holding the top pole towards your chest, and the bottom part away
from your body. Like I said, it's held like a rake just as you are about
to rake in a pile of leaves.
Once you get the hang of it you will be catching mobs of fish in no time.
This 12 foot net is the same type of net that commercial fishermen
use, only on a smaller scale. These 12 foot nets though at times can be
difficult to find in whole, and at times you have to make them yourself.
You can buy the net at fishing stores, but usually these nets do not
come with poles, so be sure to ask about them. They may cost an
additional fee, but honestly, you cannot sein this way without them.
If you enjoy fishing, than seining is a must. You can catch tons of
bait for free. Shiners in fishing stores can be expensive, and you don't
get very much. One scoop with the seining net and you will have enough
bait to last you all year.
Do check with your local fishing and game headquarters though to ask
whether or not you need a permit to sein. Permits usually cost only $10.
So it's not a big loss.
Seining is a fun activity the whole family can get in on, and it is
also an excellent learning experience for children. To be able to view
all of the different types of fish and crabs you get. Kids love seining,
and they can also sein themselves if they know how to swim and have a