Shark Fishing Gear and Tackle

If you’re planning to do some Florida shark fishing and want to stand a chance at catching a large shark you’ll need the right shark fishing gear. The 3 main components we’ll discuss are the rod and reel, main line, and tackle which includes shark leaders or shark fishing rigs, shark hooks, and weights to hold your shark bait in the surf. Throughout this guide we’ll assume you are targeting sharks 4′ and up. Sharks smaller than 4′ can be had on smaller tackle which normal surf fisherman typically use.

Shark Rod and Reel

Shark Fishing Rod

You’ve only got two choices when picking a shark rod: spinning rod or bait cast. A spinning rod is a great choice for anyone only shark fishing a couple times a year. You can fish for bait or sharks with this type of rod, so it’s a great choice if your budget is of concern. The drawback to using a spinning rod is that the drag will probably melt down after catching couple big 6′ blacktip or spinner sharks. Purchasing a $30 spinning combo isn’t going to handle a fight from the oceans top predator. My recommendation would be a $40-$50 spinning reel capable of holding 300-400 yards of 40lb test line. This reel isn’t even close to top of the line but really is the minimum you should consider when targeting bigger sharks. When choosing a rod to complement your reel stick with heavy action rods that are 10′ or longer. A good $50 – $100 rod is exactly what you’re looking for here.

The other option is the bait cast reel. This is the type of rod you’d use if you were fishing from a chartered boat. They can range in price from $100-$2000 but will handle 10′-15′ big dogs that are cruising the beaches. The main drawback of this type of reel is they are hard to cast and can’t be used for general bait fishing. Generally speaking this type of rod and real is better for an intermediate shark fisherman who will be fishing a dozen or more times per year. A good combo in this class is the Penn Senator 113 or 113H and will run your around $100.

Main Line

Your reel will be 98% main line. Here again you have a couple choices depending on your budget: Monofilament or Microfiber. Monofilament is the cheaper of the two but you’ll sacrifice the amount of line you can spool on the reel. Monofilament also isn’t quite as abrasion resistant as microfiber. You can expect 300-400 yards of 40lb monofilament to cost around $10-$15. This is a good choice for spooling the Penn Senator 113 as it has a high line capacity. If you decided the spinning combo best meets your needs I highly recommend the microfiber. You’ll be able to increase your line capacity almost two fold and get the much need abrasion resistance. It will cost you another $20-$30 but you’ll land more fish and it will last much longer than the monofilament.

Shark Fishing Tackle

The most critical part of all your shark gear will be tackle. This is where the shark meets your line, so using quality leaders and hooks will pay off and lead to more hook-ups. Before jumping into this section let me give you a run down of how a shark reacts to a hook in the mouth. Sharks are opportunists. If they see a hunk of bloody meat they are going come by and pick it up. Once they do they are going to swim off with the bait hanging from their mouth. If there is no resistance they’ll begin to eat the bait, but as soon as they feel any resistance or fight left in the bait all hell will break out. Generally speaking a shark may begin spinning or whipping its tail in an effort to get away or stun the bait. Your leader is going to take the main brunt of this abuse. If you main line comes in contact with the shark tail at any point in the battle you can kiss him goodbye.

Shark Leaders

Shark Fishing Gear

A 400 lb stainless steel cable is highly recommended for all shark leaders. Some people have reported good success with piano wire as well. All hooks and swivels should be attached with crimps with similar ratings. To build several shark leaders it is cheaper to purchase the material individually and make them yourself. This also lends itself to using multiple hooks on a single leader in case the bait is quite a bit larger. However for the weekend fisher its probably better to purchase a couple pre-made shark leaders off the internet before your big weekend. These leaders should be a foot longer than the shark you plan on catching. It should have a drop for a hook, a weight, and a swivel to attach to the main line. Generally speaking you won’t find this type of heavy duty tackle in any bait shop so plan ahead.

The stainless steel leader is NOT attached directly to your main line. It’s highly recommended you purchase a spool of 100lb monofilament leader that will connect your mainline to your shark leader. This leader should be 5-10 yards long. This will provide a nice shock leader as well as protection from any tail whips that your main line will encounter during the fight.

Shark Hooks

You’ve got 2 choices when it come to shark hooks: J-Hook and Circle Hooks. I primarily have used J-Hooks because they work. However they tend to lodge themselves deep in the mouth which can make for an interesting scenario on the beach when trying to remove the hook. Circle hooks will lodge themselves in the corner of the mouth making hook removal a breeze. Many people seem to think that using circle hooks results in several missed hook-ups. Shark hooks sizes range from 10/0 to 14/0 for sharks up to the 6′ range. A couple of years ago I saw a couple guys using a hook as large as my forearm. They were targeting Tiger and Bull sharks with whole 30 lb Jacks.

Shark Fishing Tackle


A weight is very important because it will keep your shark bait locked in place as the surf tosses it about. This can be quite difficult the bigger your bait gets. I generally use a spider weight as they tend to lock into the sand really well. I buy several different sizes and will load them up 2 or 3 at a time depending on the conditions at the beach. This way when you’re shark fishing the weight is in the sand and your line is pulled tight, so the hooks are dangling in the water. Now if you get a bite you’ll see it on your pole instead just losing your bait. A good hook size for this rig really depends on what type of bait your using to catch your shark bait. For shrimp, squid, or fishbites you’ll want to use a good 2/0 hook. If you’re using mullet or other live or cut bait consider using a 3/0 or 4/0 hook. Generally speaking you’re going to catch much larger and gamier fish with this type of bait such as blue runners or jacks.

The Rest of the Shark Fishing Guide


  1. do you have any suggestions for big spinning reels and poles. i dont mind spending a little money for good stuff. im looking to spend a couple hundred on a set. what do you recomend

    • check out pawn shops I just got a 1000.00 set up for $380.00 for both big game rod and reel ❗

    • GOT LEADERS? says

      Yes you might consider a Penn 950 or 850 ss reel, spooled with 65# Power Pro and a top shot of 80# mono on a 10 to 12 foot Ocean Master surf rod.

    • most penn reels are good for big game fish also try lever drag reels but those are for big game fish such as marlin but can be used for sharks and for a rod it just depends what type of shark your catching i catch 4 foot blacktip so i just use a shakespeare sturdy stick

  2. justin Poye says

    hows it goin….im just gettin in to the big time shark stuff and was wonderin where on the leader you put the weight…how exactly would you rig the sand spyder to the wire leader…i have made many shark leaders before but not this heavy duty…just wonderin if you can make a diagram or somthin…thanks

    • When i put a spider weight on my leader I will use a 3point swivell that has three points at which I can attach a line.

      • GOT LEADERS? says

        I build a particular surf leader that has a snap swivel on the mono section of leader before the steel section or I tie a 3 foot piece of 15 to 20# mono from the last swivel to my weight

  3. First of all lol, a $50 dollar spinning reel won’t cut it. I’ve had 6ft BT’s destroy a Penn 9500ss like it was a barbie reel. Second, 300yds isn’t going to cut it, a minimum of 400yds is required. I’ve hooked up with 10ft sharks, 50ft from the beach and plus i’ve had BT’s take more than 500yds of line on lock-down drag (20-30lbs of drag).

    I used to use 40lb Powerpro, but i lost a lot of sharks. YOU CAN’T USE MONOFILAMENT ON A SPINNING REEL IF YOUR FISHING FOR SHARKS ON THE BEACH!! 50lb Powerpro minimum, with a 100-250lb Powerpro topshot. I’ve seen experienced guys use 30lb powerpro and they lose a lot of sharks!

    For a reel i recommend buying a Fin-Nor OFS9500 ($169.99)

    For a rod I strongly recommend buying a Breakaway 13ft HDX, but thats $250, so if you want a good rod for cheap, i recommend buying a shakesphere uglystick or a tsunami.

    One thing you gotta know is that cheap don’t work with big fish!!

    Next, never use J hooks, only use circle hooks. You will lose many nice fish on J’s. Don’t use mono on your leaders, unless your ready for a bite-off. Don’t use any swivel under 400lbs, Ball-Bearing swivels are the best! Sampo and spro are good brans to use. Always use either cable or single strand on your leaderts, for cable a minimum of 480lb is needed, anything under and they will bite through it. For single strand, use anything over a 100lb and double it up.

    For bait, barracuda is the best, but jacks, blue runners, ladyfish, bluefish, and other bloody fish are good bait.

    When fighting the shark, let him take all the line he wants, especially if they are BT’s, because even if you have no drag and they jump, they can still blow out a 500lb swivel. I had a 500lb Ball-Bearing swivel blow out on my when a hooked into a big BT with no drag. Use light drag when they are jumping and tighten it up when the tug of war begins.

    Never use your hands to take the hook out. I made that mistake and almost lost two fingers. I use 16inch pliers to take the hook out. Have one person hold the mouth open and the other use the pliers to take the hook out. If he swallowed it, then just cut the cable.

    Use pyramid sinkers for your weights.

    If you have any questions, email me at

  4. shark fisherman says

    I recommend a 12/0 circle hook or bigger if your going for sharks bigger than 6 ft sharks like to twist when the are hooked and they can straighten the hook and the shark will be gone. for a reel i recommend a Penn 14/0 they are expensive but they are the best reel. They can hold 130lbs mono 750 yards, i recommend putting 80lb braided on there though because you could easily fit over 1500 yards of line. i recommend a penn international pole. A shark will tare most spinning reels to pieces, if you plane on shark fishing alot the buy a good penn or other conventional reel. I would recommend a reel that can hold a minimum of 80lb test with 750 yards.

    For bait i reccomend lady fish, yellowfin tuna, bonita, or any bloody fish, my favorite i bonito. you can catch bonito through a spinner in the surf. i have even caught sharks on fish fellets. i take the bait out on a kayak about 1000 yards out, my pole holds 1500+ line though, i recommend leaving 300 yards plus for the fish to run.

    I put a 15 ft 480 steel cable and 15 ft 600lb mono leeder on a 18/0 circle hook and a 16 oz triangle wieght.

    Once you get the shark in pull it to the beach by the tail, stay away from the head and take the hook out with plyers. walk it out to waist deep water and it will go on its way and no it will not turn around and bite your leg of.

    I fish for the big boys 8+ ft most of the information is on gear for that size fish, shark fishing is expensive and dont buy the cheepest things you find it will be ripped to pieces on your first 6 ft blacktip.

    Good luck

    • 1000yds out? Dude have you ever had a big shark on your line over 500yds out? It’s hard enough to get it in when he takes that much line, now a 1000? I don’t think you’ll ever get him in. There is no need to take any bait out 1000yds. When your line starts going out that far it looses a lot of strength and breaks much easier, with means you will have to use less drag on a monster, which means he will either spool you or break you off.

      Many big sharks will tear a spinning reel apart, but you should never recommend a beginner to start off trying to catch Big Bulls or Hammerheads or any big shark, he won’t know what hes getting into. You have to start small and work your way up.

      A 12/0 or 14/0 and using a kayak is for someone with experience. When someone has been shark fishing for 2 years with surf gear, they should then move to 12/0 and 14/0s when they have a lot of experience under their belt.

  5. Bill Greene says


    I will say this – a Penn 113H is very castable with a 10 foot rod and at least a 6 oz. sinker. I picked up a 10 foot Ugly Stik – the 2-piece rod rated “Heavy” at 2 to 12 oz. You can get your 250 feet or better with this, and the 113H and 30 lb. mono as long as you have a feel for thumbing. I can’t imagine anyone trying to cast a 2 oz. sinker on this so I think Shakespeaere has its specs wrong on the low end – but 12 oz for sure. This and the the 113H seems to be a great combo.

    Has anyone tried casting the bigger Penn 114H?

    Thanks for any response.


  6. hey guys very new to shark fishing but they amaze me wanted to be realistic when i start out have cought loads of gummys and big rays but i have never cought a bull or anything exciting so now .. i have the rod 25kg penn … reel is an issue i have a heavy duty alvey but i dont want my hand torn off lol a few big rays tought me that lesson .. 😯 .. but mainly i wanted to ask if someone could show me or explain balloon floating or something similar because alot of my time is spent beach or jetty fishing there is a land based site im sure you would have all seen the guy is preety good at his biz but doesnt show how to rig up plus there is no bloody way im going out on the bay in a friggin cannue with 3lb’s of tuna on my lap so yeah any help would be great .. thanks for your time email is .. thanks again

  7. jesse where are you fishing out of?

    And wheere are you going to try for sharks, surf, pier?

  8. ok so i think im going to get started in this big shark fishing. i have lots of surf fishing under my belt but nothing quite this serious, so i was wondering. i plan on buying a penn senator 113h which holds 475yd/30lb test i would feel comfortable with heavier line around 60lb test at least so i was wondering about putting a backing of maybe 600yds of braid on the reel and then finishing it off with mono. just wanted to know what you think about this. i will be sending the bait out in a kayak. also im a little confused on the rig if someone could provide a diagram or a more through explanation that would be a big help

    • Where exactly will you be fishing at?

      Some lines work better than others in different spots. I use all PowerPro on every reel expect my 14/0, which is spooled with 400lb mono to fish the inlets in Florida.

      I find that if your fishing off the beach, braid is the best way to go. You will stay right on the fish and it cuts through much easier than mono. Actually i’ve done some equations and figured out that if you compare braided line to mono of equal strength on certain days, such as a fairly wavy day and are hooked up with a big shark, the mono will break much quicker than the braid. This is because of the bend in the line, if you include pressure and friction from the waves and get that right moment, your mono will exceed its limit and break, on the other hand your braid will just cut through the water and won’t be affected as much. The only thing that braid is not good with is fishing around heavy structure, it will fraid and break much quicker than mono.

      If I was spooling your 113h, i would spool it all with 65lb PowerPro.

  9. Hey, just wanna say thnx for the info (everyone). It’s so hard to find such important info on this subject. I’ll be stopping by from time to time.

  10. i need abigger rod & reel i have a medium action 6 ft uglystik and an abu garcia 6500. the biggest iv’e caught on it was a 4 1/2 foot sand shark from a pier and a 2 1/2 foot blacktip from my kayak

  11. first thanks josh for the help. i will be fishing from the beach, mainly around north and south carolina. i will take you up on the 65lb power pro but are you saying just spool the entire thing with power pro or could i do about 600 yards of the power pro and then finish the remaining line capacity on the reel with a florocarbon? also fin-or just came out with a new conventional reel which might end up being the one i get, i have to look into it a little more but if not i’m going to settle with the new metal senator. thanks again…could someone just give me a brief explanation of the rig and leader and all?

  12. im really dont know if you seid this or no but……were would you generaly drop the bait?…i have a kayak



  14. i have been shark fishing alot in southwest florida lately. anna maria island specifically and in the past week i have caught a 9’9″ lemon shark and a 6′ blacktip. i have 2, 9′ uglysticks with 2 shimano baitrunner 6500’s. i have them both spooled with 30 lb mono with 12 yds of 80 lb shock leader and 7 feet of steel cable. i was thinking about switching to powerpro but i dont know whether to put on 300 yds of 80 lb on or 65 lb and get a few extra yds. im new at shark fishing so i would appreciate any help i could get. thanks!


    • That’s a couple of nice catches 😉

      Braid is definitely the way to go and honestly don’t think you can go wrong with either 65 or 80. There are some monster sharks down your way so the extra line capacity might be a good thing.

  15. jake miles says

    how far out would you suggest kayaking out your bait?

    • 300-400yds. Try to get your bait into deeper water, but leave yourself a few hundred yards of line so you don’t get spooled.

  16. hows the shark fishing in ocean city maryland

  17. I was in the pan handle of Florida last week & caught a 7ft Bull shark, he was heavy as 3 of us could not lift him. I used a old penn senator 4/0 & spooled it with 280 yards of 80lb mono, the rod is a heavy duty trolling rod, I used a 14/0 J hook & 2′ 120lb leader (way too short as the line was frayed from the battle). I purchased my rod & reel from a flea market for $50, it is a lille rusty, but works great.
    The sharks where we were cruise very close to shore in the 4pm till dawn hours, & readily seem to take wounded & bleeding fish. I fished for 1/2hr before my first hook up & landed the bull shark after a 35min battle.

    I would like to know if anyone has advise on how too cook the shark steaks, as I have 40-50lbs of them in my freezer & they are a little tuff when I did them on the grill.

    We also helped a guy by us release a 5-6′ Blacktip a 1/2 hour after we landed ours. It is extremely exiting & there sure seems to be alot more of them roaming close to shore than most people realize.

    • I usually release them because of the hassle but when i do keep them i like to cut the meat up into nugget size and deep fry them into spicy shark nuggets

    • Scott,
      When I was young and stupid I rigged up a yo-yo hand line reel with 200 pound mono, a 10 foot braided wire leader and a 10/0 hook and caught 6-10 foot lemon sharks from a dock in an inlet in the Bahamas. I kept a knife in a sheaf inside my belt so if I messed up and took a wrap onto my hand instead of onto the reel and the shark ran, he hopefully wouldn’t take me out to the ocean. I was very careful and that was high octane fun. RE recipes– I cut steaks from them, soaked them in water with a little table salt to remove the ammonia smell and then soaked them in Italian Salad dressing for two to three hours before throwing them on the grill. That was the best way to prepare them out of all the methods I tried.

  18. I wade fish for blacktip or bullsharks in galveston Tx and usually catch mullet with my castnet for bait. I always walk out as for as i can or chest deep and cast out as far as i can and then i wait. After doing this for a few years the biggest shark I ever released back was a 4 foot black tip.I cut the mullet in half and let it soke. do u have any tips to land bigger bleck tips or bulls?

    • I am form Michigan & have witnessed it a few times when on vacation in the same place several years in a row. At spring break on the panhandle area of Florida I believ ethe fishing is real good due to the large volume of Pompano & Whitting that seem to be in abundance for suref fishing. My pesonal experiance is we fished for 1/2 hr before catchin the Bull, & fished several othe times for several hours the same week unsuccesfully. The evening we cought the Bull we hepled a guy 50yds from us beach a 5ft BT.
      Also he had lost 2 other sharks that night he thought were bigger. I belive when the fishing is hot its HOT.

    • Hey well i read this and u catch your mullet live???If you can get a live mullet hook him in the back or from the bottom of the jaw up withought killing will catch a huge shark i promise..We got bored one night had a lil spinning rod with a little 4/0 hook put a live finger mullet out…About 5 mins later i heard the loudest drag singin noise ever..It spooled the almost 200 yards of line off in under 1 min..SO yea try that

      • Matt Morgan says

        Ive had the same success your describing by using 6-8 inch spanish mackeral. I caught them hooked them through the back, put a few shallow cuts in their side to make them bleed a little and casted them out. within 15 minutes my line was just flying off my reel. 😯 🙂

  19. ive been fishing for big spinners and blacktips for quite a while with my family off the beach of st.simons and i was wonderin,is there anyway how you can land a 6 footer without a long liter,but just have a good pole and a 60 pd test?

  20. i was thinking of rigging up a 14/0. any suggestions on line?

  21. hey dude – great website – we’re going bull shark fishing next week in South Padre Island – do we need to wade out ? My friend does this and almost got bit last time. Or should we fish from the beach ? What is the best bait to use?



  22. i went to hilton head sc for the week and got to put all these tips and my new tackle into action. i settled with a shimano tekota 800 and i put 530yds of 80lb braid on it. i was running my bait out (menhaden/bunker) in my kayak about 300yds. i ended up catching 11 sharks between 2 1/2-4ft in length all of which were fun to catch but i was hopping for bigger. i did get one big bite that had line screaming off the reel i was afriad he was going to spool me before i would even get a chance to set the hook, so i didnt wait the 10 seconds and i cranked down on the fish only to pull the bait from his mouth. although it was disapointing i think that even if i engaged the reel and got the hook up i would have been spooled in a matter of seconds. but after all of that im now looking to buy bigger tackle and primarily target the bigger sharks. i was wondering if you guys had any tips on a type of reel and maybe a minimum line capacity if i were to run my bait out 500yds. i appreciate the help so far this is a great website and keep up the good work.

    • They know that. But to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker joined fourteen other Rebailpcun governors there POLITICS come first and will do everything possible not to fix or find solution or change for the AMERICAN PEOPLE.

    • D: Gah!I was already ticked off by the interview where he and Mary DeMarle talked about how writing a female protagonist would’ve ruined all their game design plans; now I regret buckling down and getting the game.…Well. Regret it more, what with the racism and the awful handling of female characters (the pilot aside).

  23. what is the best time of year to go big shark fishing?

  24. Matt Morgan says

    Hey, im an ameture to Shark fishing. Ive managed to hook a few 3-4 foot blacktips while on vacation in tampa bay a few years ago and i fond it to be a real adrenaline rush. but thats really all the expeerience i have. I want to by a good rod and real combo for fishing for 3-5 footers off of a pier but i really dont have any idea of what im looking for. id like to spend $200-$250 idealy but if i have to spend a lil more for better quality thats fine too. Does anyone have any sugguestions for me? And also, what would be the best line and tackle for the caliber of shark im attempting to catch?

    My email is

    Thanks 🙂 ,

    Matt Morgan

  25. hi matt hows it goin. to start off i want you to know that im not the most experianced shark fisherman but i do have a ton of experiance saltwater fishing but i thought i would help you out because i hate it when nobody gives an answer on the website. i recently bought and recomend a shimano tekota 800 which bass pro shops sells for 189.99. i am using this reel for fishing off the surf so i have it on a 10ft offshore angler surf rod which goes for 129.99. for line i bought a 1200yd spool of offshore angler magibraid spectra fiber fishing line (134.99). i bought the 80lb test which has a 25lb mono dia therefore i fit 530yds of line on the reel. for fishing off the pier for up to 6 footers this combo should do you well i realize this is more than you said you would like to spend but its a good combo that i feel is well worth it. get back to me and let me know what you think, hope it helps. my email is

  26. me and my cousin have been shark fishing for about a year or two. we cant seem to catch any. we fish with mullet on a penn spinning real. we use 12/0 hooks on 6 foot 250lb test steel cable leeder and 350lb test swivel. we use ballons to get our line out there. and dont barley get bites. we fish in tampa by. any tips fo us

    • How big of mullet are you fishing with? I would recommend using some figure mullet to catch some bluefish, jacks, or lady fish to hookup on a big shark.

    • I was fishing off Redington Pear a few weeks ago and we was catching 3′ Black tips on hand size sardines.

  27. Im new to this site and go shark fishing while red fishing in a boat with my dad we usally catch plenty of mullet and we fish bottom and poppin cork on bottom we started to catch 3 to 4 foot BTs every trip………..they taste great soaked in lemon juice and italian dressing and then in cornmeal and fried anyway what im asking is whats the best bait besides 10 to 12 inch mullet in or around lavaca river at the mouth………..i can see the cause way from where im fishing so if anyone is familiar to this area share some tips………….. 😆

  28. so if i wemt to myrtle beach in like late nov or mid dec would it be worth bringing the yak down to try and catch some big sharks or is it not worth the effort at that time of year?

  29. Bryan Lester says

    Hey I’m new to this site but I’m really glad that I found it! I’m outta Colonial beach Va and fish Va beach, sandbridge, hatterras NC and cape point, NC. I love surf fishing for sharks, have been doing it for years. My personal fav in gear would be shimano tiagra 30w lrs on a shimano tallus 5’5″ and a penn senator 14/0 with a tallus 6′ shark king. The 30w is lined with 50 lb. mono sufix saltwater tangerine and the 14/0 is lined with 100 lb. saltwater sufix tangerine. I use a 30 ft. 300lb. stainless steel liter crimped to a 10/0-14/0 owner hook with a 14/0 breakaway pyramid sinker. Works very well for me. If you have any questions please email me at Have fun, fish hard, and may the sharks be with you.

  30. beach sharker says

    im new too shark fishing but was introduced to it visiting my bother in galveston by a retired man that drives state to state along the beach catching big sharks. in one day i caught ten sharks when nobody else caught a thing and have been hooked ever sense. i have tons of experince chasing the biggest fish i can find. im only 17 but have fished at least twice a week on average since i was three. im going to florida this summer but will be doing a lot of fishing in the texas gulf area and am looking for any advice with bait, hooks, weights, rod, reel, line,… everything. im willing to do anything as far as money goes cause my only expenses r my fun. im thinking about buying a penn international 70 vs, 80 vsw, or the 12/0 penn senator. any ideas on what is best? and im getting a rod between 80#-130# and about six feet. any ideas will be appretiated thank u so much.

  31. I’m going shark fishing for the first time in the gulf of mexico this summer of of dauphin island. I don’t want to start off going for the big ones but rather the 2-3 foot sharks so I can get the hang of landing them. What should i use line/leader/hook/bait wise for landing these smaller sharks? if you have any suggestions!

  32. Fred Sundler says

    Just what the world needs, a bunch of white trash, redneck losers fishing for a top marine predator whose population sizes are already drastically depleted due to overfishing. Good job guys, way to pick a hobby…

    • Have you actually read any of the other posts. 90% of us catch and release. We also participate in shark tagging for research, cleaning the bays from abandoned crab traps, cleaning the beaches of trash (probably from you tree hugging democrats who think your garbage is the ocean’s problem).

      I welcome your opinion on shark fishing, but not until you educate yourself on what it’s all about. We don’t participate in shark-finning like some of the asian countries do.

    • Dave Wolfe says

      Fred, you sound like you might be a good “shark bait”! we could just float your mouth out on a trash bag and see if old Mr. tiger shark would eat it. {it’s big enough} It might because tigers eat “trash” off the bottom. Have a nice day loser.
      white trash Dave

    • chris poulos says

      Fred i fish for sharks off anclote key near tampa year round. i have never kept or even injured a shark other that where the hook was in it. just because we fish for sharks doesnt mean we kill them.

    • charlescomstock says

      fred just because you don’t like shark fishing you know it all animal rights guy doesn’t mean we can’t. if you think we are white trash rednecks you better think again. i don’t mean to be rude or an ass hole it just annoys me that you call us white trash rednecks. if you don’t like shark fishing why are you even on a shark fishing site. anybody who’s with me reply to

    • Well where I live at, if you catch a shark you have to keep it, not including babies, because the population has sky-rocked since 2000.

  33. Marc White says

    Well I got my rod and reel I got a penn 113 h and a 7 foot offshore angler power plus trophy class bass pro shops rod, got 80 lb spider wire and a 20 foot 100 lb silver thread shock leader going to get the stuff to make my steel leaders tomorrow Going to Ameilia Island Florida in July I hooked up on severl last July one Junked a new penn 320 GTI (piece of crap reel) had to take it back to bass pro shops after one hook up I have learned alot from this sight can’t wait to put it to use…

  34. Timber Ghost says


  35. In southwest florida, a kayak, 4-5 rods, and a couple pounds of fresh smelly ass fish should do the job nicely.

    In the winter, I’ll go out a day or two beforehand and catch a bunch of sheepshead and pompano (if available) and set them out 500-700 yards out on either a 12/0 spooled with 800 yards of 125lb dacron, 9/0 topped with nylon, and a smaller array of 6/0’s, 349s, and sometimes even a 209 to keep busy between the larger bites.

    Sheepshead and pompano make wonderful winter bait, circle hooked (14/0 or 20/0) right through the skull (laterally, not horizontally obviously).

  36. I am hoping to do some shark fishing around cape san blas (panhandle) this summer. My brother and I stumbled into catching kings over the last few years using really light tackle fishing out of our kayaks off the beach. Its been a blast, but this year I want to do some more shark fishing. Last year I actually hooked up with a small 4 ft black tip on a gotcha plug! It took me for a ride about a mile down the beach and 45 mins to bring it up. I have 2 tld 25’s that I wanted to spool up with some power pro, but considering it will hold 450 yds of 40 mono, Im not sure what lb test of power pro to use I was thinking 80 but maybe 65 would be better? I also heard that a coated cable is better if your targeting bulls, any truth? thanks…

  37. oh sry forgot to mention we wont be sitting in our kayaks waiting for JAWS to swim by at 1 am like we did last year…I have no idea what we were thinking! Just looking to do some shark fishing off the beach, using our kayaks to drop off the bait a couple hundred yards out in the late afternoons. also since the lady fish and spanish are abundant what is better? or maybe a nice king head?

  38. Great post Patrick, I am curious what these folks tell you.

  39. country-boy87 says

    I have an interesting story to share. Last night my Pop and I decided to fish Sanibel, Fl. near Fort Myers. We brought along our light tackle and shark rods both ( I use an old SEARS rod mthat you hardly see anymore and he has the Penn International). we caught about a dozen or so pinfish and rigged them up on our rods. Giant catfish were zinging the rods all night until I had a long and steady run on mine. I steadied myself, locked it in and yanked. fought for about 1/2 hour or so until I seen the most amazing thing in my life…. A sawfish! We landed it, got a few pics and released it. Pop ended up with a small laceration, my little bro got swiped off his feet by its tail, and we all got the satifaction of seeing an almost extinct beast in person. he was about 5 ft. and 75-100 lbs solid. will have pics on site tomorrow.

  40. RI Shark KING says

    Was out earlier this morning and my new rod (allegedly graphite from ebay) was field tested into 3 peices…anyone know where I can get a decent set up cheap? No like 300+ rods and reels.

    • are you looking for a decent reel and rod setup? also are you yaking baits out or are you doing cast outs? finally how big of sharks and what species are you targeting?

  41. I take offense to the Barbie comment :mrgreen:

    Sometimes $10 barbie rods are enough!!!

  42. hey fred guess what. i do shark fish and yes i kill sharks. sucks for you doesnt it now

  43. iwill be going fishing at the end of the month at the sharkathon in padre island.does anyone know of a good premade leader ready to hook the weight and tie it to my line? i have 3 114h penn reels spooled with 600 yards each and now im at a standstill.we will be tagging all shark and releasing….if anyone can help please email me with info.thanks

  44. great web site! I have learned alot. I first tried shark fishing in 2007 when I briefly lived in sw fl. While using large rigs we would paddle out a little blow up raft and drop our baits. we had lots of bites and sharks on but only landed a couple of small bt. (The hook would always come out of the big ones.) when i went out by myself I would use a smaller fin-nor spinning reel with 50lb braid. I lost a monster bt when he spooled me. I really liked not having to deal with the boat but hated the result. I am going down this sept and am going to try again. I can honestly say it is the biggest adrenline rush one will ever experince. right up there with a monster buck running infront of my deer stand here in mo. I bought a new penn 950ssm and rigged it with 400 yards of 100lb power pro. I have two rods a 7 ft xtra heavy boat rod and a 9 ft surf rod. i havent decided which one i will use. I read in early post that the penn 9500ss were junk, has any one tried the new 950ssm? also will a 4 ft steel liter be enough w/o a tipper. I have lots of salt water experince but little shark fishing, how does my rig sound? will it work on bt sharks 6ft and smaller? thanks a ton.

  45. i was wondering can i spool a reel with leader or small steel cable? it is a captains choice about the size of a 14/o penn.

  46. i have a penn 330 gt can i put 130 lb test magnibraid on it?

  47. on the captains choice will it cast like crap or will it work with the cable?

  48. everybody your right about fred. he’s [as said] a dick. in my other comment i said i didn’t want to be an ass hole i didn’t mean that i tried to be. Jake Chris Dave Wolfe Dave your right i only kept my second shark a 3 ft blacktip my first a 19 in hammerhead i threw back. now i met a couple guys who keep everyone cause they ain’t caught crap only 15 inchers.

  49. Jake your right i bet you fred tears up when they run the save the polar bears commercial. You know the whale show where they talk about the whales being harpooned i bet you he bawls through the whole thing.

  50. i bet you fred has t shirts that say save the trees and the whales need us or even the sharks need our help.

  51. you ever caught a cookie cutter shark they got mouths about as big as freds a 3 ft one has a mouth about the size of the top of a lamp shade.

  52. anyone ready to get back to shark fishing?

  53. i was in spired to shark fish by the movie jaws. has anyone ever caught a great white who is on this site?

  54. Hey Patrick – have any luck in Cape San Blas this summer shark fishing? My wife and I go there each year, and this september I got into shark fishing with some friends we met. Gonna be setting myself up this year with a Penn 950SSm, 7′ ugly stick, 100lb braided line (450 yds), 10/0 sea demon hooks, and about 8′ of 480# 49 strand cable leader. No toppers, just braid to steel leader via crimped connections to big swivels. I’ll make up a few shark rigs to have handy as replacements, just in case. All in, I calculate about a $350 investment for something that should last me a long time, since I won’t be shark fishing every weekend, but more like maybe a couple weeks out of the year. Be interested in any of your all’s comments.

    Tight lines!


    • Stephen john dale says

      hi, i think you will need a mono trace to acts as a shock leader between your braid and trace.

    • dont use a 7 footer use a 12 foot ugly stick trust me u will cast a lot farther and use 80 lbs braid it gives you more line capacity

  55. Hi there,
    I have been surf fishing in Vero for 5 years now and catch a ton of blues and lady’s. Last year these high schoolers were using my catches and hooking them in the tail and letting them swim out on there own. They caught numerous sharks this way while I was there. I’m hooked! I will be going down there again this year and want to give it a try. I have a good set up, but I noticed no one is talking about this way of fishing for sharks with live bait. Any comments I would love to hear.

  56. Thanks for all of the info! I am going to be going shark fishing in a couple of days. I don’t have any means of taking my bait out 300 to 400 hundred yards off shore, so I was wondering if anyone knew of any way to get it out to close that far or if it it you have to put it out that far. I will also be fishing off of a pier any advise? Thanks!

  57. is a penn 9/0 senator spooled with 80lb test monofilament linecapable of enough capacity?

    • I fish with this exact set up. 9/0 Penn Senator spooled with 80 Lb Suffix line. I use it off the pier which is already putting you 400 yards offshore so you have room to sacrifice a little line capacity. The 9/0 penn is actually supposed to top out at 60 lb line but you can use 80 lb…just sacrificing some yardage.

  58. I am thinking about shark fishing in the Red Sea. This will be my 1st time shark fishing so i need some advice. Im looking at a Shakespeare IN2 50lb class rod and some Vector monofilament. Any advice?
    P.S. My budget is under £100

  59. I am visiting some friends in the panhandle. As everyone knows, it has been cold here, but I want to try and catch some sharks – Nothing big, but just something edible. Does anyone on here think I can do this with a medium action spinning reel + medium action ugly stick, maybe using a 10′ heavy stainless leader and 10# mono – or is that out of the question?

  60. it fun to shark fish i were i live they are 10 to 15 foot bull shark all kind ive never hook in to one but im hoping i will soon
    ive hook in to small one but not big one yet and i have a 13 foot pole that i want to use hope u guy have fun 😎

  61. Florida shark fisherman says

    Hey guys. I have a VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION! I just got a penn senator 9/0 with 675 yards of 40 pound monofilament. I also have 3 penn320gt2 reels on penn slammers. I know the 9/0 is big enough but are the other poles. Also I caught a 6foot BT on my 320gt2 but was that luck? Other question is if I have the 9/0 and no kayak or whatever then how can i set up my line to drift out the bait and drop it? Or do I just put on the balloon and let the beast float? Last question is hoe do I tie a 500 pound monofilament leader to my mainline and then attach a steel leader onto that? I only use 200 pound steel leaders can anyone tell me where they sell 480 pound steel cable? I have checked dicks, gander mountain, west marine, no one has 480 pound steel cable. only up to 200. I am fishing from a pier and the beach. Please answer ASAP we are going all night sunday for my birthday and most of the next day I would like to be prepared!

    • hey how tall is your rod? i use a 12 ft surf rod for the surf and a rod that is all rollers for boats and piers. for cable i would try to get 600 if i were you. depending on what you are trying to catch. and you dont need strong mono. just make a long leader get american fishing wire in 49 stran. use big hooks and swivles over 500lb test. i use a 9/0 with 80lb dacron and take it and double the dacron into itself for stronger knots. and for floats us a clothe pin and a baloon once the ballon gets out far enough from the pier pull up and it will drop to the bottom. most sharks hit the bait at the bottom. plus put a heavy weight on it and it will gold the bait there.

      p.s do you live in North Carolina?

    • best tip ever for kayack-less shark fishermen…get a redi-rig…float your bait out with the current set your line depth…and wait!

  62. Jeff Rodgers says

    Hello everyone. I have never been shark fishing before but have a 1.5 day trip planned for next weekend on the Galveston, TX coast off of the shore/beach. I was just wondering if anyone here has any suggestions or advice for me and my first timer buddies????? If so, please let me know. Thanks!

  63. Aaron GLover says

    i like shark fishing with spin casting rigs its so much funner and to be honest i never heard of all them fancy lines yall have i just use 80lb. spider wire thinest braid iv seen bait wise i just use fish guts or junk parts in a mesh bag with a 8-10 hook in it…works great even cought a few black drum on it i only go saltwater fishing a week outa every year wish i could go more

  64. Aaron GLover says

    :mrgreen: no problem good luck im going in a few days

  65. Aaron GLover says

    anybody know a good way to smaller sharks 3 to 5 foot ? smallest iv cought was a 7ft tiger shark and i know they eat anything for the most part

  66. when i am shark fishing in the surf i use a Penn 9/0 on a 12ft surf rod. go out a little over my knees and cast it as far as i can. just take a light out in the water with you when you go so you can see were your going and what is in the water with you and then get out of the water ASAP.on my 9/0 i use 80lb dacron and double it into itself and make it stronger. i have 600 yards of braided dacron on it. for rigs i use a 600 or 800lb cable. i use AFW and use a 20/0 circle hook and a 560lb swivel.

    Hope this helps! And if you live in or near wrightsville beach north carolina then lets go fishin!

  67. Gramdpa Lee says

    I got hooked on shark fishing off of Bob Hall’s Pier Corpus Christi, Tx. Black Tips and Bonnet Heads.

  68. hey ive been sltwater fishing for a while but been kayakin my bait out bout 250-300yrd (hunting is SC)cachin small 5ft lemons and nice 5olbs reds but this year they keep breaking leaders store bought so tried makin my own they would jump and straighten the hooks where do i find cable and wire clamps and hooks????

    • Hey man, I go to Fripp Island 2-3 weeks out of every summer and that used to happen to me. But I dont kayak my bait I checked out the satellite image on the beach line on Fripp and looked where the deepest drop offs and best guts were and thats where I fish with my penn fierce using 65lb braided spiderwire and 4ft of steel leader and 15/0 circle hooks. The circle hooks I use are Mustad 3x strong black chrome finished and not one fish has starightened it, yet. The shank is so thick that I cant imagine the fish that could straighten that thing out! I think using a large spinning reel is more fun than a conventional baitcast reel when catching sharks 4-8ft and atleast for Fripp, all you have to do is walk about waist deep and give it about 50 yard cast and usually around 30 minutes youll have a hook up. Tons of shars on that beach man im tellin you!

  69. david ingram says

    Does anyone know any good beaches in Islamorada in the keys?
    I’ve got the gear for any size shark big or small.
    Any help would be great, thanks

  70. Hey everyone if y’all are looking for some shark rig material you can go to Also if you live in Texas and wanna fish hit me up. Never been shark fishing, but looking into going first weekend of march at the jetties in Port A. Email is

  71. do mullet work well live or dead on float or bottem any one ples i go wednesday

  72. do u use live or dead mullet bottom or float half or whole pleas before wednes day i go????????????????

  73. Sharkman01 says

    I personally have been shark fishing for years now. I like to keep my rigs very simple. I actually have three setups that I use for sharks a 4/0, a 9/0, and a 50w. The 4/0 is spooled with 80lb power pro with a top shot of 150lb power pro on a 7ft rod, The 9/0 is spooled with 80lb mono with a 150lb mono top shot on a 7.5ft rod, The 50w is spooled with 100lb mono backing with 150lb power pro on top with a 6ft rod. With the braided lines I use a double line that is about 10ft long attached to a 350lb snap swivel. My leaders consist of 300lb mono with a hook ranging from 9/0-14/0 j-hooks with a 4-8oz egg sinker. Now most people will say you need to use wire or cable to catch sharks, I have personally caught sharks up to 14ft using my straight mono rigs. In my personal opinion the wire or cable is a turn off to sharks because they can pick up the electrical discharge. I do most of my shark fishing off the beach or piers, what we do get our baits out is to attach a balloon and float it out. But to be honest you can catch sharks rather close to the shore within 40-75 yards from the sand.

  74. Hey going to Georgia wanting to hook up on some sharks 3 to 6 feet we are renting a house right inside the breakers with a dock that goes out into the water a little peace and tips would be appreciated will sharks come in we are going April 1st threw the 8th any help would be grate

  75. Sary Super Fan sono una Directioner e ne vado fiera scevcr:Coniordo Vivi!!!Taylor non ha ancora capito che Harry è nostroooooo giù le zampeeeIn compenso sono felicissima x Liam e Danielle, lo sapevo che sarebbero tornati insieme!! Il tenero Niall da solo?? Ci pensiamo noi a fargli compagnia Per quanto riguarda i capelli di Perrie… la preferivo bionda

  76. >{…}dar putini ridica degetul sa le arateChiar aşa puÅ£ini ? Nu mi se pare dar na … are un farmec aparte să auto-consideri că faci parte din “minoritatea aleasă”, nu ?

  77. I have to make a propaganda poster intended to recruit people to join the revolution. I have to address the politcal problems.. what were some political problems during the Czar’s reign? THANKS! .

  78. Hello, Heading to Salvo NC OBX. Any hotspots in the area surfcasting for 4-6 blacktip- etc? Bait recommendations for end of May? How is the sound side action? Any Bulls? Thanks

  79. practical fisher says

    Try surfers…but don’t fillet them…illegal

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