Flag-style gill nets are very effective in catching fish. Imagine a large spider web hanging from the top of the water with the sides and bottom not attached to anything. The water must be still. A fish swims into the gillnet. The net pushes forward and clings to the sides of the fish with almost no resistance. When the fish finally feels resistance, the gill net is clinging to both sides, the fish turns and effectively folds itself into the gill net with no real harm to it.
Contrary to many misconceptions, gill nets cannot be used as seines. But then, they're not as labor intensive as seines are either. A gill net can easily be fished by one person, but can easily catch more fish than that person can eat.
These gill nets are very popular in some parts of the country for catching yellow catfish also known as yellow cat, mud cat, shovelhead cat, johnnie cat, goujon, appaluchion, opelousas or flathead cat. Gill nets are also very popular in the New England and Virginia area for catching menhadden, bunker or shad for bait for large predator fish such as tuna or yellow catfish. Tie down gill nets are very popular along the James River.
It is advisable to check with your local game laws because there are often limitations on the use of gill nets and other fishing devices.
By the way, we measure one of the four sides of the square mesh when we describe the size of the mesh (that is from knot to knot). If you want to convert to stretched mesh sizes - multiply by 2. In other words, 2 inch square mesh is also described as 4 inch stretched mesh.
We basically have two types of nets and each come in multifilament (nylon) or monofilament.
Nylon Flag style Gillnets A very effective net in still water!
Monofilament Flag-style Gillnets To be used in clear, still water - less tangles
Nylon Tie Down Gillnets Most effective net for flowing water
Monofilament Tie-down Gillnets For clear, flowing water - less tangles
Nylon Tie down H-D Gar nets Especially for Garfish or large buffalo fish or carp
Decorative nettingGreat for establishing a marine/outdoors theme!
Nylon Flag-Style Gill Nets
Flag style Gill Nets have a top line and no bottom line. This makes the flag style gill net the simplest form of gill type nets but it is also the most effective BUT it can only be used in still water and the top line must be attached to something firm on each end so the net is stretched across the body of water. Really great for ponds or lakes!
Nylon or multifilament line - since it is limp - is the most effective line for nets in catching fish. After a time the twine takes on the color of the suspended clays and particles in the water and becomes effectively invisible. It tangles very easily around the fish and it becomes very dificult for the fish to escape. Because it is limp, it can tangle with weeds and twigs and it will take a hands on removal of many of those items even after diligent shaking. Even so, many fishermen insist upon nylon gill nets.