Shark fishing is the stuff of fantasies for many people who want to catch such a predator.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (MyFWC) has all the pertinent information you need to make sure you abide by the guidelines and have an awesome time shark fishing.
You can go to this site for the details on what’s allowed and what’s not: http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/sharks. Make sure you know the limits of how many sharks a person or vessel can catch, which will be based on size and species.
It’s important to note that hooks and lines are the only allowed gear. And when using natural bait, you are not allowed to use multiple hooks.
According to the online magazine On The Water, advancements in braided lines mean you can use smaller but heavy-duty reels. Braided line has less stretch, which is important when you are fighting to pull in the shark from a large distance.
In his June 26, 2013 article Shark Fishing: A Beginner’s Guide, author Dave Schunke said you can use a “smaller Shimano Talica 25s loaded with more than 600 yards of 80-pound-test braided line with a 50- to 100-yard topshot of 80-pound-test monofilament.”
MyFWC advises the following if you plan to catch and release:
- Use heavy tackle so that you can quickly land the fish and cut down on exhaustion, which could weaken the shark and make it easy game for predators once it’s back in the water.
- It’s best if you can release the shark while it is still in the water.
- There are de-hooking devices that can help you take the hooks out in a safe manner.
- Non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks are best when you are using natural bait. That means you have a less likely chance of gut hooking the shark.
- You can bend the barbs down on the hooks so they will cause less damage to the shark.
As to where to find sharks, you can look near piers, wrecks, ledges, coral reefs, holes, or any kind of locations that might be home to baitfish. Changes in the water’s surface could be a sign that bait fish are nearby. Flocking birds are another hint.
When choosing bait, remember that anything bloody and meaty is a good pick. Live or cut bait will lure the sharks in. Using a skirt near the hook will allow movements in the water to tempt the shark while simultaneously hiding the hook.