Making and using a small coastal gill net videos

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May 6, 2010

Sorry could not see a thread for Gill nets.

A relentless productive method of catching plenty. Here are two links to a videos I just made on - How to rig a gill net - Where to use a gill net.

Defiantly worth space in any bug out bag - will catch anything, anywhere, on land and sea.

Hope you like them, and things are explained well enough.

Making a gill net.

Using a gill net.


Dec 5, 2011
United Kingdom
A bit of further reading would sugges head lines on the surface are a no no as salmon and migratory trout run high in the water. it also seems to be very dependent on location and their are specific local bylaws covering fixed engines (gill nets)


M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
I asked because here (in Florida at least) they have been illegal for about 10 or 15 years. Rather the same attitude I gather you take there towrds snares; being indescriminate in what species they kill.


Jul 24, 2008
Hi, just watched those two videos thanks. The knot shown for attaching net to line was not very good and slow to tie, something like the Ossel Hitch is much better being quick to tie, it’s an old knot used in rigging gill nets, the correct knot used in rigging nets is important so net runs smooth without catching on bulky knots and hence tangling, in determining distance for knots it’s easy to measure full mesh size and allow for bagging then just run up the head/foot lines with a marker pen marking the distance necessary knot to knot then just fly along the line using the Ossel Hith at every marked point gathering up the amount of meshes necessary, it’s very quick to rig like that. If not using floats the lead line must be on the bottom but even so it doesn’t take much to make the top line sink a little without buoyancy, if the net is deeper than the depth of water to be fished the current will swish the loose netting over the top line and make it sink a little, and fish caught in a net without floats will,tangle it more than one with floats reducing it’s efficiency a little, that being said there is a time for using nets un-floated.When fixing the net to the sea bottom or if you don’t have a leadline you can just tie pieces of wood/sticks to the bottom of the net at intervals and bury the sticks horizontally in the sand when the tide is out, when the tide comes in the suction of the wet sand will hold the sticks very firm indeed as good as any heavy weight, I have even used rolled-up pieces of newspaper instead of sticks to do the same job, the wet sand holds it firm you do not need a heavy weight, when the tide comes in covering net the floats will make it rise and when the tide retreats the floats will become visible again. The mesh size of net is of course critical and determines what size of fish you will catch.


Jun 4, 2012
No matter if they are legal or not, commercial or personal, locals and fishermen take a very harsh look on them. So expect to be opposed if you are caught by locals, even if it is legal (which i do not know if they are). And in a bug out situation, they will have to be hidden else people will just be able to help themselves to all your hard work making and setting them
May 6, 2010
Just to clarify a few points. All laws regarding the use of nets are absolutely regional, and some times seasonal, with some constant restrictions, if you wish to be clear on such issues , contact your local or appropriate sector fisheries officer. Don't add too, or ingest the endless speculation. As to local or others personal opinions on the use of such fishing systems etc. well really, have a word with your self.........and get out a bit more, not ever ones the same! you'll find areas of the coast just beyond the reach of most peoples, 1/4 mile limit from the car park and ice cream van!

Be prepared, be safe, be happy!



Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 20, 2007
In Cornwall there is a prohibition on "fixed engines" which would include staked gill nets and shore based fixed longlines plus a host of other regulations depending on how far you are into the various estuaries. For the Helford the situation is odd as it is a "several" fishery owned by the Duchy of Cornwall meaning that the public right to fish has been abrogated in favour of a private individual. However, despite this the Sea Fisheries Committee still legislate for the area as though fishing were legal although restricted.

I got tied in knots trying to untangle all this when I wanted to net fish from my coracle on the Helford especially as the person I was referred to for any permissions denied all knowledge of the matter and even that he had such authority. Good luck to anybody trying to exercise their Public right of fishing elsewhere in the country.


Apr 22, 2007
Does anyone know what kind of netting I should buy for a small survival - travel - ghillnet? Monofilament or multi? Which one tangles the least?


Full Member
Aug 14, 2013
Northwest Scotland
Mono gill netting is illegal in all scottish waters in any configuration or mesh size, whilst it's not illegal to own one one doesn't actually need to have a mono net in the water to be in deep trouble, it could be in the boot of a car parked/stopped near a river or the sea during salmon season, if intent can be proven charges will result.

On the case there are; bailiffs, game keepers, estate workers (private SNH JMT NCC RSPA RSPB Forestry Commission staff etc), fishery protection people, fishermen, coast guards, wildlife rangers, the police (particularly wildlife crime officer patrols) savvy members of the public, such as eco tourists or angry locals or folks otherwise licensed to catch salmon.

Up here the fisheries protection people fly round the coast spotting for illegally set nets, they stand out like a sore thumb, even sunk, from the air, then in turn they alert the fishery people on ground or sea, who mobilize to bust the involved parties.

Multi mono trout nets are still legal but since the advent of the most recent salmon and sea trout act scotland, 2004???, it's illegal to fish for sea-trout within a kilometer of the mean low water mark without a license. So catch a sea trout or salmon, which is quite likely round the scottish shore, a cert on the west coast at any time of the year, and you could well get in trouble.

Emersa multi mono netting techniques, trammel netting etc, are legal if licensed but those methods wouldn't be considered legal from the shore as it's not possible to get the net deep enough without the use of a boat. Even when these nets are shot in quite deep water, for crayfish etc, they still have a nasty habit of catching stuff like porpoises sharks etc. Mind you a porpoise would keep you in bushcraft sandwiches for a while ;)

In a zombi apocalypse type situation gill netting is a handy method to know, and the vid above shows how to rig a net and is a good reference, but in the present legal climate the setting of any such net remains illegal north of the Sark and the southern shore of the Tweed or otherwise inside scottish territorial waters.
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