The large net used on a fishing boat is called a trawl, and to fish using this kind of net is to trawl. If you live in a coastal town, you might be able to watch the boats trawl at sunrise.

When someone trawls, they don't use a fishing pole. This kind of fishing involves a boat that's rigged with a trawl moving through the water and pulling it behind—trawling, in other words. It can be controversial to trawl, since the net can disturb the ocean floor and inadvertently catch endangered and non-edible fish. Trawl comes from the Middle Dutch traghelen, "to drag," and its Latin root tragula, "dragnet."

Definitions of trawl
  1. noun
    a long fishing line with many shorter lines and hooks attached to it (usually suspended between buoys)
    synonyms: setline, spiller, trawl line, trotline
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    type of:
    fishing line
    a length of cord to which the leader and float and sinker and hook are attached
  2. noun
    a conical fishnet dragged through the water at great depths
    synonyms: dragnet, trawl net
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    type of:
    fishing net, fishnet
    a net that will enclose fish when it is pulled in
  3. verb
    fish with trawlers
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    type of:
    catch or try to catch fish or shellfish
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