You’ve really got 2 choices when it comes to deploying shark bait. You can cast it out or you can kayak it out. I’ve also convinced a couple friends to use their surfboards to deploy shark bait, but this method is not recommended. On the particular day we did deploy our shark bait with a surfboard, we got a hookup before he even made it back to the beach! They never knew shark fishing could be so much fun 😉
Casting Shark Bait
Casting shark bait can be quite difficult since you’ve got to throw a pound or more of shark bait that is connected to a 6′ leader with an 8 oz. leader. What you need to remember is that sharks have an incredible sense of smell and have no problem coming into waste deep water. If you can only cast your shark bait 10-15 yards don’t worry. Walk it out as far as you can, just make sure you are in the gut (between sandbars). Once you get good at casting you should be able to throw a hunk of shark bait 30-40 yards.
If you’re casting a Penn Senator 113 or similar bait casting rod you’ve got a whole new challenge. Keeping your reel from ‘bird nesting’ is a must. There is nothing worse than getting a huge spool of line all tangled up and wasting precious time with which you could be catching bait. A lot of times a big tangled mess means cutting the line and starting over. You can’t afford to be cutting 50-100 yards of your spool. My first suggestion would be to tie on a weight and practice on the beach for several minutes. Once you feel comfortable add a little more weight. Remember a 6oz weight and a 20-30oz hunk of meat weighs a lot! You’ll eventually get the hang of it and it will be quite easy to cast. If you have major issues with casting I have another suggestion. Loosen the drag as light as it will go and throw it has hard as you can. With the drag enabled at all times it will not birds nest at all. Iâ€™m sure this is not good for your reel, so it’s best to learn to cast properly.
One other safety concern to mention when casting shark bait. When your heaving a ton of weight from the end of the pole the line as a tendency to slip in your fingers. You can get a deep cut on your fingers if this happens. Consider using some surgical tubing or a leather glove when casting. There is nothing worse than nursing a deep wound when you’re going to be on the beach all day.
Kayaking Shark Bait
Kayaking your shark bait is the best way to haul out those large baits. Two recommended kayaks are the Scrambler XT or the Frenzy. Both are made by Ocean Kayaks and are great for kayaking in the surf. If you get serious about shark fishing and buy a extra large reel you can haul out your baits several hundred yards and go for the big boys. Additionally they are quite fun to play in the waves when the fishing is slow.
Once you’re happy with your placement you can walk back to the beach and place your rod in a holder. I recommend a 2-3″ PVC type rod holder about 4-5′ long. This will keep your reel out of the sand and the corrosive salt water. Also having the rod this high will keep the line out of the sand therefore prolonging the life of your main line. Once its in the rod holder be sure to loosen your drag. You want it tight enough so the waves don’t pull it out, and loose enough that a shark won’t realize he just picked up a dinner.
Have a tip or see something I missed? Want to ask a question? Just drop a quick comment below and I get back to you before your next big shark fishing trip.