How to Use a Seine Net

How to Use a Seine Net

A seine net is a type of net that is used for a particular type of fishing. It is generally woven from rope or twine with mesh openings that are appropriate to the size of the fish you are trying to catch. You can use it in salt or freshwater and deployed from land or a boat. With a seine net, you can catch catfish, carp, striped bass, crappie, largemouth bass, tilapia, and even minnows.

What is Seine Fishing?

When you use a seine net for fishing, it can be done from land or a boat. When you do it on land, it is often referred to as beach seining. This will involve pulling a long seine net through the water. It is such a large net that it is generally done by two people, with each person taking one end of the net poles.

The seine net that is used hangs vertically in the water and the bottom edge of the net is held down by weights. To make the top have buoyancy, the top edge is buoyed by floats. 

Getting the Seine Net Ready to Use

The first thing you need to do is unroll the seine net and make sure that the little buoys are on top with the weights on the bottom. You want to position the two poles so that the net is fairly taut.

How to Use a Seine Net

In order to maximize your catch, you need to know how to use one correctly. One person will take the end of the seine net and go out to the deeper part of the water while the other one stays in the shallow water. They will walk parallel to the shoreline for a distance dragging the net, keeping it taut. When it is time to come in, the one in the deep water will make that decision as it is harder to walk in the deeper water. As the one in the deepwater circles in toward shore, the one in the shallow water will slow his pace to a crawl. When the one in the deepwater reaches the shore, both of them will bring the seine net in as quickly as they can.

One of the most important parts to remember is that when you are using a seine net, the bottom of the pole that is attached to the side of the net on both ends should be slightly ahead of the top of the pole. It should be pointing in the direction you are both walking. Make sure that you always keep the lead line on the bottom. When bringing it to shore and when walking with it, keep the bottom of the pole ahead of the top of the pole.

seine net fishing

After you get the net to the shore, lay it down flat so you can see what you have caught. Depending on the location where you are using the seine net, freshwater or saltwater, you may see several species of fish, non-stinging little jellyfish, shrimp, crabs, and more. Make sure that you have a container of water to put what you are keeping in it and put the rest back out into the ocean. 

You want something with a lid that has holes, such as a screened lid so you can keep adding water without losing what you have caught. To keep the water oxygenated, you will have to keep changing the water so what you have caught does not die from lack of oxygen.

When to Go Seine Fishing

When going seining, the right time is very important if you want to have a good catch. 


In freshwater, you can use your seine net at any time but you need to keep in mind the moon phase, weather, and season can affect the abundance of the species that are available at the time. In some states, there are restrictions/bans for freshwater seining so make sure that you know the regulations in your state for the bag limits and species you are allowed to catch.


When using a seine net for saltwater fishing, you need to be prepared to be out there at least an hour and a half before either low or high tide. The changing of the tide predicts the movement of the fish or shrimp.

Tips for Using a Seine Net

  • At the end of seining, make sure that you clean up where you were. This includes throwing back into the ocean every living creature that was caught in your seine net that you are saving to eat.
  • If you have any old netting, do not leave it on the beach or in the water and dispose of it correctly. 
  • If you want to use your seine net to catch shrimp, it is not true that you should only do it at night. Yes, they are more active at night but during the day, they tend to stay at the bottom. Using a seine net is the perfect way to catch your limit of shrimp during the day.


Seining is a great fun activity that the entire family can enjoy. Pulling that net in will give you many treasures that you can eat. Just make sure that what you do not want goes back into the ocean. If you are not sure what fish or marine life inhabit where you want to use your seine net, you can ask some of the locals or Goggle the area to find out. 

A seine net is very versatile and can make learning about what is living in the waters where you want to use it interesting and fun. Make sure before you use a seine net what the regulations are for where you are going to use it as all areas and states vary. For example, in Florida, you will need to have a saltwater fishing license and the mesh area of the seine net can be no larger than 500 feet. Also in Florida, you will have to have a commercial fishing license. Most regulations will tell you if you need a license and what type, and the seine net regulations.

You may also want to check out: How to Use a Minnow Trap

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