Re: NANFA-- about seining

Dave Neely (
Sun, 20 Aug 2000 21:36:20 CDT

Dan, Bruce, etc.

>The single most important thing when seining is to keep the bottom of the
>net taut and tight to the bottom.

Seining is an art form, and no email message could ever demonstrate the
grace with which a skilled seiner works. To preface, seining works best as a
team activity, with two or more people. Longer seines (in the 10 foot range)
require at least two.

In slack water, I like to pull the seine towards cover items or the bank. If
possible, drag the leadline of the seine all of the way up on the bank. If
snags preclude this, encircle the snag, and forcefully splash with the brail
(=pole) towards the net. This should scare any self-respecting fish into the
bag. Lift quickly and voila, you have fish.
Keep an eye on the bag as you seine; in clear water, if you see things move
into the net, you can often do a quick mid-water lift and score neat fish
you would otherwise miss. This is particularly effective with larger fish.

In fast riffles or runs, you can do "set-and-kicks." These are great for
benthic fishes. Set the net facing upstream, with the top of the brails
angled downstream at as sharp of an angle as you can without submerging the
floatline. Have another person kick and overturn rocks upstream of the net,
moving downstream and scaring anything into the bag. You may need to step on
the leadline to keep it on the bottom. Lift rapidly (in deep water, take a
step or two downstream and let the water plane the leadline to the surface)
and voila, fish. In really fast water, hold the brails as close to the top
as you can (better leverage), dig in your heels, and hold on. This is where
you see the downside of using broomsticks or streamside debris as brails.
Last week I snapped a 2" diameter pine banister that I was using as a brail
on a 20' bag seine.

This can be done with one person (but it is a bit trickier)-stand facing
downstream, fold the brails together, swing the leadline back past your
legs, and cast the net downstream, opening the brails with each arm right
before it hits the water. Kick downstream, and lift. As I said, this might
require some practice. Always try to keep the net perpendicular to the
current when doing set-and-kicks.

In slightly deeper stuff, consider a downstream haul. These are great for
minnows and faster-moving critters. Run downstream faster than the current,
keep the leadline on or near the bottom, and either pivot into the bank, or
do a midwater lift ad described above.

There's a lot more, but this should provide a starting point. Best of luck,


Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

/"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily
/ reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes
/ Association"
/ This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association
/ To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word
/ subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to
/ For a digest version, send the command to
/ instead.
/ For more information about NANFA, visit our web page,