Max Dooley casting a net - Lakeland, Florida

Max Dooley casting a net - Lakeland, Florida

Credit this photo: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
(please include photographer's name when noted).


  • Max Dooley casting a net - Lakeland, Florida

Image Number

  • FA2546


  • Between 1992 and 1993

Series Title

General Note

  • Max Dooley of Lakeland has been making castnets since the 1930's. He hand ties every piece of the net using "widener" knots to create nets with an excess of mesh for a given diameter. One of his 10-foot diameter nets contains over 26,000 knots and takes him about 60 hours to complete. He feels that his nets spread better and catch more fish than those pieced from machine-made mesh. He uses the nets to catch mullet for his family.
  • Dooley mentored Reginald Reis.
  • The design of the castnet has remained relatively unchanged since its introduction to Florida by Spaniards centuries ago. When thrown properly, the net spreads to a full circle, trapping fish within its perimeter as it settles to the bottom. As it is pulled in, the net forms a bag that holds the fish.

Photographer/Personal Author

Physical Description

  • 1 photonegative - b&w.

Subject Term

Geographic Term

Personal Subject

Shelf Number

  • Shelf number: S1640B16FF6.

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