We have a cast net, but in SE AK we use Sabiki rigs, weighted with a 4oz sinker. We often pull up 4 herring at a time, and they often get hooked almost immediately as soon as the rig gets to the depth where they are. We carry 3-4 of them for a summer, as they do wear out. Rinse the Sabiki with fresh water when you're done, or it will rust pretty quick.
Freshly caught herring works really well for us, bottom fishing for halibut or lings, or mooching for salmon (we tend to use hoochies for trolling). It'll keep several days if kept good and cold, or you could salt it.
Young kids get a big kick out of catching so many fish so easily.
Dream Catcher (Nordic Tug 37)
New Moon (Bounty 257, Volvo KAD44P)
"Cruising in a Big Way"