Shark Fishing

Discussion in 'Outdoor Articles' started by Katmaster Jr., May 7, 2006.

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  1. Katmaster Jr.

    Katmaster Jr. New Member

    Wilmington, NC
    Shark Fishing

    There are thought to be about 400 species of sharks in existence worldwide, although some of these have not yet been described and named by scientists. Here's some of the most commonly fished for sharks by US anglers.

    -Blacktip Sharks
    -Nurse Sharks
    -Hammer Head Sharks
    -Lemon Sharks
    -Mako Sharks
    -Tiger Sharks
    -Various types of Reef Sharks
    -And the king of all Sharks, "The Great White" Shark.

    There are many other species of sharks but these are the most common one's in the US. Fishing for them is very exciting and they can surely be the "Catch of a lifetime". When first born sharks are very small, but they grow pretty fast and almost all sharks with the exclusion of "Bonnethead" sharks grow up to be at least 6-7ft long!


    Rods and reels to use-

    Many shark anglers like to use big gear; after all shark's are big fish so normally you do need pretty good sized gear for them. My personal favorite reels for Sharks are Penn Senator reels, anywhere from a 3/0 to a 12/0 depending on what size shark you're after. I prefer Penn reels because they are made mostly of metal and are tough as nails. I feel they are a lot tougher then any other reel brand. What rod you use doesn't really matter as much as the reel you use. I like to use very stiff heavy action rods from 7-11 feet long. Match all of your gear to the size of shark you're after and what kind of rig you're using. One thing I can tell you that will help you greatly is use a reel with a very large line capacity, this will decrease the amount of sharks that spool you. Shark's spool people quite often, I've had it happened many time's.

    Line to use-

    This is very simple; just use any type large line, whether it be mono, braid, etc. My personal favorite is 30lb-100lb mono depending on what size rod and reel I'm using and what size sharks I'm after.

    Rigs to use-

    There are a lot of different ways to catch sharks as far as rigs go. I'm not going to get into all of them. I'll tell you some of the most basic rigs that are usen and my favorites.


    #1- Carolina rig,

    This is very simple, I just make about a 24 or more inch steel leader, tie it to a swivel, tie a hook on it, put a weight on my line and tie the leader with the swivel and hook attached to the line. So basically its just a regular Carolina rig made with a steel leader.

    #2- Balloon rigs

    Ok, to be honest I'm not very good at using Balloons for shark fishing, but I do know the basics of it. You just tie the balloon and let it float a bait way out from where you're fishing from and eithier you can make the balloon pop off your line or let the balloon suspend your bait. The purpose of a Balloon rig is mostly for floating very large baits out like large pieces of sting ray. I have also seen shark anglers use beachballs to do this.


    #3- Bobber rig

    You can use a bobber rig similar to a Balloon rig, I always use a BIG slip bobber when wanting to suspend bait's off the bottom. This is a pretty simple rig also, just put the slip bobber on your line, make up a leader, and tie the leader on. Then just tie a bobber stop or rubber band on your line according to how deep you want your bait to be.

    Those are the main rigs I know of for sharks. Make sure to always use Steel Leader, as all of you probably know sharks have very sharp teeth and a lot of them (Even the small Sharks).

    Hooks to use- Use BIG hooks for sharks. I like to use at least a 10/0 J-Hook, but what size you use just depends on what size bait you're using and what size sharks you're targeting.

    Bait to use-

    I could go on all day about all the different baits you could use for sharks. So I will just tell you the most common baits used, and one's I feel are the best.

    #1-Sting Ray,

    Sting ray are one of the most commonly used baits for big sharks. Usually people just cut big chunks off the sting rays wings, but I've even seen serious shark fisherman use one whole wing of a sting ray. Let me warn you, you're going to need a huge hook if you do this.

    #2-Any fresh, bloody, fish.

    Any fresh cut bait fish work's great for sharks. All types of Tuna are great shark bait, like Bonito for example. Also Barracuda are excellent bait for sharks, mostly because of how much scent they have and they are very bloody. I once read that sharks can smell blood from up to 7 miles away! So of course anything bloody will make a huge difference.


    As I stated above Sharks can smell blood up to 7 miles away. So Chumming can make a huge difference and increase the amount of sharks in your area greatly. In fact many professional shark fisherman won't even fish until they have chummed the area heavily. To chum just crush up a lot of fish and dump them into the water or use a bucket with a lid on it, you just poke a bunch of holes in your bucket and the scent will slowly come out of the bucket. Or you can use a "Chum Bag" which is just a bag with a draw string on the top and a bunch of holes in it, it is really similiar to one of those white laundry bags with the holes in it. Make sure that if you're using a chum bag or chum bucket that you have it tied up to a sturdy rope securely so you won't lose it. Scientist even proved that Sharks smell 10,000 times better than humans!

    Safety with Sharks-

    Shark's have a massive set of teeth and can have a bad attitude also. Always be careful when handling sharks, never put your hands in thier mouth or even close to thier mouth. Use extreme caution when removing your hook from thier mouth. Even the small sharks have a lot of sharp teeth. Respect the sharks and you should normally be fine. Use common sense!

    Shark Conservation-

    Sadly, shark population's have decreased greatly over the years due to people keeping too many of them and from them getting killed other ways also.


    Here's a quote from the "Shark Foundation"

    "The shark populations on the east coast of the U.S. have dwindled dramatically in the past 15 years. The number of hammerhead sharks has sunk by 89%, that of thresher sharks by 80%, and white sharks by about 79. The populations of oceanic whitetip sharks, tiger sharks, blue sharks and makos sunk by 70%, 65%, 60%, i.e. 40% respectively (Source: Baum et al. 2002)."

    These are sad facts to hear, shark's play a very important role in the food chain. A lot of the shark populations have become very low, with that being said I recommend you letting all big sharks go and if keeping sharks make sure you are following the regulations for the water you're fishing and please don't keep anything you're not going to eat.

    Did you know that "Three sharks die every second."??? That is a very sad statistic to hear. And just add's more to the reasoning of letting big Sharks go.

    I wish you success in whatever shark you choose to fish for and hope this article will help you have more success.

    Tight lines, and bent rods!

    Zakk Royce
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