hey Tony, thought I'd come and keep you company. The small crossbar is the handle and it's used by putting your hand between the handle and the crossing point of the hoop and grabbing the handle palm up - this gives you control of the net.
I just want to mention that net making can be a very rewarding and versatile skill and it's not that hard to learn.
A couple more examples:
A cell mate
A bottle bag.
Snapping Turtle trap
Not to mention gill nets, dip nets, drop nets, etc.