You’re setup on the beach with your brand new shark gear and you just caught and rigged up the best shark bait you could find. You waded out and casted your bait in the perfect location and got back to dry land and set your pole in the rod holder. Surely you remembered to loosen you drag all the way so your pole isn’t pulled in the water when that 6 foot blacktip cruises by your shark bait.
Now it’s time to do what fisherman do best. You wait. And you wait. Then in an instant your pole will double over or your clicker will start singing. In that instant you’ll be hit with an adrenaline rush like none other. It’s time to do battle with the biggest and baddest predator the oceans will ever see.
Get to your pole ASAP. At this point the shark has just picked up the bait and is off to devour his freshly plucked meal. From the time you hear that clicker you need to start counting. When you get to 10 it’s time to set the hook. As fast as you can start loading up the drag to a predetermined drag setting. Make sure you reel in all the slack and then set the hook as hard as you can. Now the shark is going to start peeling some major drag. Keep your eyes on the water because if you’ve hooked a blacktip, spinner, or mako shark you may see him jump out of the water. As he’s peeling drag don’t try to stop him. Let him wear himself out. Your goal at this point is to keep the line as tight as possible. If he turns and swims back towards the beach you’ve got to reel in that slack as fast as possible. It may also help to run up the beach to get that slack line tight again.
Eventually you’ll start gaining line back. Then you’ll see your 100lb leader surface. At this point you’ll want to have a friend handy to hold your pole or be the daring one and grab the shark by his tail. You’ll want him to be in less than knee deep water before trying to pull him by his tail onto the beach. You need to have a pair of 16″ channel lock pliers handy in order to retrieve the hook. Pull the shark by the tail onto the sand. You’ll need to work quick so no permanent damage is done to the shark. If you can’t get the hook out in a couple of tries cut the leader and leave the hook behind. The hook will rust out of his mouth in a couple of days and he’ll be perfectly fine.
Snap a couple of pictures and pull him back in the water. You’re going to need to walk him out quite a ways (knee deep water) and get the water flowing over his gills again. If he is unresponsive keep pulling him back and forth in the water. You’ll know when it’s time to let him swim free.