Don’t worry about watching shark week on the Discovery Channel because we are going to have shark week behind your boat! And, if you don't have a boat, we will tell you how to get the swimmers scared on the beach with Jaws himself on the end of your line.
1) Anchoring and Chumming
In a boat, the best way to get the job done is by anchoring near channel edges, wrecks, bottom contour changes, or bridges with fast moving currents. The best way to draw the sharks to you is by using both chum blocks and cut bait. (FISH TIP) Since chumming is the biggest piece of this puzzle you need to do it correctly. Throw your net in the morning and get a solid five gallon bucket filled with baitfish. While your rods are out on the back of the boat you want to be constantly cutting the baitfish in half and letting them drift back.
People assume that because they are shark fishing they have to use 20/0 hooks. NOT THE CASE.
Tie a line to your chum block and let it down a little into the water - about half the distance to the bottom. If you have two Shark outfits then you're going to want one being fished on the top and one fished on the bottom. The typical shark rig is either #12 to a #19 single strand wire or a 270lb to 480lb seven strand cable. Hook size depends on the size of the bait that you are using. Start with a 8/0 4x strong hook and work your way up. Not many people or rods for that fact have enough back bone to drive a 20/0 hook through a sharks jaw. Do a search on how many people go to hospital with a shark hook through their hand. NOT MANY. Then ask how many people get Sabiki hooks in their hands. SMALLER HOOKS STICK BETTER.
The typical shark reel is a 30 size lever drag reel spooled with either mono or braid. Braid is more expensive but is much more efficient. If you use braid, it is imperative that you use a heavy top shot of mono. This top shot will do three things for your benefit. One, it will act as a shock leader for the tail whips of a larger shark. Two, it will increase the knot strength at the swivel. DO NOT TIE BRAID DIRECTLY TO A SWIVEL. Three, it will give you a heavier line for when the fish is close to the boat to leader it. Your main line should be 50lb to 100lb.
Unless you're the giant from Jack in the Beanstalk, you do not need main line heavier than 100lb. This is a game of line capacity, not strength. No one person, and I repeat, no one is strong enough to hold a reel with 100lb of drag pressure being used. Most reels have a max drag less than 30lbs. So, if you put 80lb line on a reel with 30lbs of drag, you will not be able to break the line. If you do, it is your knot failing or you're using too small of a swivel and the swivel is cutting your line. Some of the best baits to use both alive and dead are Spanish Mackeral, Jack Crevale, Blue fish, Bonita, Barracuda, Ladyfish, Mullet, and Stingrays.
2) Beach and Pier Fishing
This is definitely a matter of capacity over strength. When fishing the beach or a pier, there is one variable that doesn’t change. You can’t chase the fish, so you must have as much line as possible. You cannot dictate the size of the shark that decides to take your bait, so you must be prepared. Braid is a must for beach fishing for many reasons. One, if fishing from the beach, you're probably going to paddle your bait out beyond the second sand bar, and, depending on where you are fishing, this could be 100 yards or more from the shore. So, you want as little stretch in the line as possible so that you will be able to set the hook. This is where your knot game comes into play. When you are using braid, you will want to have long, heavy monofilament top shots at the end of your braid. The preferred knot to use is a PR Bobbin. This is a 100% knot that will not let you down. The top shot should be at least 200lb line or heavier. Remember, you will be fighting the shark longer from the shore. Therefore, you will need heavier top shot so the shark does not wear through while tail whipping your line. Also, this line will be close to the pilings if fishing from a pier or bridge.
3) Rods and Reels
For the boaters, we suggest our Dogfish Stik STUP 50 paired with a Shimano Tyrnos 30 2 speed. We also offer our 8ft Dogfish Stik #17 that would work for this as well and could double as a beach rod. You would want to spool this reel with at least 65lb braid but 80lb is preferred. For the Beach anglers, we suggest a Dogfish Stik #17 with a Shimano Tyrnos 50 2 speed. Spool this with 80lb to 100lb braid. Aim for at least 700yds of braid. Call the store with any questions you may have so that we may further assist you in catching the shark of a lifetime.