When I was a child, shark fish looks a mysterious monster to me as I saw many very exciting movies. Even those movies still make my heart beats fast. For a very long time, I have always dreamed of catching a shark at least once in my life.
Whenever I think of their big teeth, big mouths, dorsal fin, and their cruel behavior, I feel restless to catch the fish even more. So I started to research the shark and get many new tips from anglers. I could not wait to share my experience with catching a shark with you.
Although the fish looks like a giant, the process of catching them is not that difficult. You do not need to be a pro to catch a shark. Even though you are a beginner, you can catch a shark if you follow some steps properly.
How To Catch A Shark
Know About Shark Fishing
Shark is literally a big fish and the size of them is around 450 to 500 pounds so you will need big gear to catch them. Some sharks are small like 100 to 200 pounds even sometimes you will found a 40-pound shark. So it is very important to know about shark fishing tackle before you go for fish. It is mainly offshore fishing but people can also do land-based shark fishing.
Shark Fishing Tackle
It is a challenging thing to know what sort of tackle can be used in shark fishing. The right equipment will lead a successful shark fishing for different shark species.
You do not need heavy-duty equipment, just a modern designed boat and tackle that you used in bass fishing is enough.
You do not need a big boat for catching this monster fish. Sometimes you can fish with your regular boat.
Shark Fishing Rod
Different place of fishing requires different shark fishing rod. But all those rods should have a strong backbone with high-quality components. You can use lighter rods with a fighting belt and harness that will be comfortable to catch and release the shark. The rod should be rated as 50lb class because it can handle the pressure.
Surf fishing does not require a long casting rod. You can use the offshore fishing rod in surf fishing. But using a surfcasting rod will give you the best result as it gives more benefits. 6 feet rod is enough for surf fishing.
Offshore fishing rods are 5’6 to 6 feet long and can be ring or roller guides. Use fiberglass rods as it is unbreakable and strong more than graphite rod. Also, the rod should have butts with a slotted gimbal so that it can fight with the shark.
Shark Fishing Reel
For different shark species, you need different shark fishing rod and reel. Some shark can be taken with heavy tackle and will need harder stainless steel made reels. Some will be easier with normal ones.
Different test line requires different rods and reel. It also depends on the size of the shark. The reel could be spinning or conventional. The fishing setup should be matched with the fishing reel. A spinning reel can handle at least 50 pounds so the reel should be in good brands.
The reel size can be 6000 to 10000 so that the rod will not be unbalanced. These small reels are good for braided lines.
A conventional reel is used for the heavy line so that it can hold a large shark. Cheap quality reels are no use in catching a shark.
Shark Fishing Line and Leader
There are many kinds of fishing line you can use in shark fishing, but braid and mono are the best of all. Braid has a small diameter than mono, also it has no stretch. Using monofilament lines may cause little difficulty in catching a shark. 65lb braid line is best for the fishing shark.
Choosing the leader materials is very important, it should be stiff and rigid. Shark is a fighter fish so the leader should be strong enough to hold it. Use at least 150lb mono leaders for better results. For the bigger shark, use 200lb to 400lb leader with 12/0 7698 hooks.
Shark Fishing Rig
Shark fishing rig should be also heavy. To make it weighted, add at least 3 ounces weighted swivel in the strand. Although it also depends on drift condition. if the drift condition is faster, add a rubber band with the rig. The hook size should be also matched with the rig. The size can be 8/0 to 11/0.
Where to Fish for Shark
Shark fishing is like hunting to me. They like to say near holes, ledges, wrecks, deep channels, inlets, and beaches. Sharks that live in the north migrate south during winter. In summer, they go back. in spring, they are spawning on the shore.
You can catch some of them all over the year. Sometimes when the birds are flying near the water surface, the shark could be in that area. If a sitting bird fly suddenly, checks the area too.
Shark Fishing Baits
There are many standard shark baits, some are oily, some are alive or dead, and also some are rigged. All these baits are available and easy to hook. Especially with a circle hook, it is really easy to manage the shark fishing setup.
Some of the best baits are barracuda, Bonita, Spanish mackerel, amberjack, jack crevalle, ladyfish, etc. different baits require different methods for shark fishing such as bluefish are best for chum slick, bunkers are best for fly fishing, etc. remember, baitfish should not be too long.
Shark Fishing Lures
Although natural baits are more effective than artificial lures as the shark is a versatile eater. But sometimes artificial lures are also useful. For different shark species, the lure items and sizes will be different.
For example, you will need different lures and baits for the hammerhead shark than using it for the lemon shark. Some of the best lures are soft baits, bucktails, crankbaits, Striped mullet, Blue runner, etc. fish and crabs are also best for inshore lures.
How to Fish for Sharks: Fishing Technique
Here are the steps and guides on fishing shark from deeper water, bigger sharks, tiger sharks, and small sharks.
Chumming slick is a special method to catch a shark. With this method, you can easily find a different shark species in a wide area. You need to select a dead fish to make a chum that you can throw in the water, or a chum bag to hang it with a boat.
If you use chum slick, you have to make another bait and use it on a drift. The shark will attract by the smell of chum slick and come will come near to your boat. It will first eat the slick then can see the bait. This method is easier with shallow water and for beach fishing as well.
If the bait doesn’t work, use a bang stick or gun to kill when the shark is fighting with the chum slick. If you do not want to kill the shark, take your boat neatly to it and unhook the leader quickly. Some best chumming slick is menhaden and mackerel, and bait on the lines are bluefish, tuna, mullet, jackfish.
Surf fishing is a very difficult method and you will need a helping hand to catch a shark with this technique. It is also risky as you have to handle a shark with your hand without any tools, and there will not be a barrier in your boat.
There is another thing to care about is the fight time. So you have to fight with the shark in open space. One of the helping hand will handle the boat and others will be on the shore to take the shark.
Keep the baits away from your boat. One of you will hold the rod and another will run the boat. Take the boat away from the line and drop the bait. Tighten the slack and wait for the shark.
Trolling is the best method for calm water, it can also cover water quickly. This is the best method for fishing in the banks and wrecks. Some of the trolling baits are mackerel, tuna, and squid.
Just remember, catching a shark in the right surf zone avoiding prohibited species is important to consider before planning for, catching lemon shark or other shark species.
The Game Begins
Hooking this monster is another challenging things. When you bring a large shark to the gaff, keep your boat moving so the heavyweight won’t be a problem for your boat. Before gaffing, make a proper plan and decide each other’s role.
Be careful about shark tail as it is very strong to make anyone injured. Use the rope to tie the tail so that it cannot move much.
Also when the shark takes the baits in its mouth, wait for sometimes so the hook can perfectly set. When the hook sets the sharks jaw, stay tight and pull it.
Releasing the shark is a little complicated. Use the release stick or dehooker to remove the hook and release it. the stick is long-handled so you can release the shark at safe distance. Shark is an aggressive fish so when you put it in the water, it will quickly move and run which is risky for the boat.
There is a chance to break the stick when you are releasing the shark. So keep a backup release stick with you.