Shark Fishing: What You Need to Know
Despite its imposing name, shark fishing isn't reserved for the most hardened anglers. Still, to maximize the likelihood of a successful outing, you need to prepare yourself with the proper equipment. From rods and reels to leaders and hooks, TackleDirect has everything you need to catch a shark, big or small.
Historically, sharks have mostly been targeted offshore. Land-based shark fishing, however, has seen its popularity rise in recent years. While heading offshore offers the best chance at hooking a prized shortfin mako or thresher shark, land-based shark fishing offers an incredible variety, ranging from blacktips to tiger sharks and more.
As an angler, be aware of your surroundings. Flocking or diving gulls or other birds might signal activity by baitfish near the surface. You also want to find the perfect environment for sharks, although that can vary depending on location and season. Seek out water temperatures between 65 and 70 degrees for prime shark fishing. Additionally, sharks like to hang out near piers, wrecks, reefs and other hot spots that might attract schools of smaller fish.
Choosing the Right Shark Fishing Gear
The right equipment is a must for a successful shark fishing expedition. Choosing the appropriate fishing line, for example, is key to ensuring that you're able to successfully land your catch. Many shark anglers prefer a braided fishing line due to its exceptional strength. The reel should be spooled with a minimum of 500 to 700 yards of line. This will help ensure that a shark of a lifetime doesn't empty the spool.
Whether you're going offshore or staying on land will also affect your tackle selection. Good surf fishing reels for sharks, for example, are typically medium or medium-heavy reels as the larger sharks seldom venture inshore. However, offshore shark fishing demands a heavy reel rated for at least 40-lb. test line. In both cases, shark fishing reels should have a lower gear ratio for increased power.
Be ready for a long, drawn-out battle. Some species will fight for several hours against a 20-pound drag. If you're looking to hook a big boy greater than 8 feet, you should be equipped with a reel that can hold up to 1,000 to 1,500 yards of braided line with a long topshot of monofilament to give you shock absorption and abrasion resistance. A heavy single or 49 strand wire leader will also help maximize your odds of reeling in a shark.
Bait, or chum, is another important selection. You can catch a smaller shark with a whiting or a piece of ladyfish. Larger sharks will be attracted to larger bait, such as sand trout or mullet. The bigger sharks will be caught with a 10-pound section of fish, generally a species native to the area where you are fishing. Arming yourself with the right equipment and bait will improve your chances of landing a shark and enjoying one of the most thrilling experiences angling has to offer. For your own safety, just remember to treat these beautiful, toothy ocean animals with respect and care when you land them.
Go Shark Fishing the Right Way
TackleDirect has everything you need to bring a shark into your boat or onto the beach sand. Whether you need a shark fishing combo, heavy-duty hooks or an informative book, we offer it with a satisfaction guarantee. Call our experts seven days a week to learn more.