Shark Fishing Guide: Rigging Shark Bait


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href="" target="_blank">shark bait is vital to hooking up with a shark. You can hook them through the eyes and fish just the head or you can hook them through the tail and fish them live. There are actually several different ways to your shark bait but I’ve only shown the method I prefer. Here’s a picture of avery nice bluefish rigged up as shark bait.

If you notice I’ve got 2 hooks on this rig of stainless steel leader. The bigger the bait the more hooks you need. This bluefish is around 18″ so 2 hooks were needed for good coverage. I feed the hooks through the mouth and out the gill. Place the first hook (closest tothe main line) just below the gill. Then place subsequent hooks 1 - 2 inches from each other. If you’re using a piece of cut bait you’ll only need a single hook.

Bluefish Ready for Shark Fishing

The next step to rigging your shark bait is critical! Make sure you bring some wax covered twine or zip ties. This method is used for two reasons. The first is to keep the shark from stealing your bait. As thebait sits in the water the skin will become soft and will tear easily.When a shark picks up the bait there is a good chance he’s going tomouth it for a while before the hooks are in the sweet spot. The secondreason to secure the bait in this manner is to ensure the hooks areperpendicular to the bait. Imagine for a second the shark picks up yourbait and happens the bite down right on the hook. More than likely thehook will lay flat on the bait and you’ll miss the hook-up.

My method for securing the hook to the shark bait is prettysimple.Cut a 20″ piece of twine and lay it out flat. Now place the bait in themiddle of the twine with the hooks facing up. Take the two endswrapping it around the bait and through the eye of the hook. Now flipthe bait over and tie a square not. If you did it right the hook shouldautomatically be pulled perpendicular to the shark bait. You shark baitshould end up looking like this.

Bluefish After Shark Bite

You may consider fishing for sharks with live bait. Its alittlemore tricky since you’ll need everything setup before you catch yourfirst piece of bait. You’ll need a single hook leader and you’llprobably want to use a circle hook. The best place to hook a shark forlive baiting them is probably aft of the dorsal fit on the top side.This should keep him alive for quite a while and give him an injuredlook which is sure to attack the big boys.

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 alsoconvinced acouple friends to use their surfboards to deploy shark bait, but thismethod is not recommended. On the particular day we did deploy ourshark bait with a surfboard, we got a hookup before he even made itback to the beach!
Shark Fishing Tips - How to Rig Big Baits

They never knew shark fishing could be so much fun ;)

Casting Shark Bait

Casting shark bait can be quite difficult since you’ve got tothrowa pound or more of shark bait that is connected to a 6′ leader with an8 oz. leader. What you need to remember is that sharks have anincredible sense of smell and have no problem coming into waste deepwater. 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 tothrow a hunk of shark bait 30-40 yards.

If you’re casting a Penn Senator 113 or similar bait castingrodyou’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 alltangled up and wasting precious time with which you could be catchingbait. A lot of times a big tangled mess means cutting the line andstarting over. You can’t afford to be cutting 50-100 yards of yourspool. My first suggestion would be to tie on a weight and practice onthe beach for several minutes. Once you feel comfortable add a littlemore weight. Remember a 6oz weight and a 20-30oz hunk of meat weighs alot! You’ll eventually get the hang of it and it will be quite easy tocast. 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 youcan. With the drag enabled at all times it will not birds nest at all.I’m sure this is not good for your reel, so it’s best to learn tocast properly.

One other safety concern to mention when casting shark bait.Whenyour heaving a ton of weight from the end of the pole the line as atendency to slip in your fingers. You can get a deep cut on yourfingers if this happens. Consider using some surgical tubing or aleather glove when casting. There is nothing worse than nursing a deepwound when you’re going to be on the beach all day.

Shark Fishing Guide: Deploying Kayak 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. Bothare made by Ocean Kayaks and are great for kayaking in the surf. If youget serious about shark fishing and buy a extra large reel you can haulout your baits several hundred yards and go for the big boys.Additionally they are quite fun to play in the waves when the fishingis slow.

Once you’re happy with your placement you can walk back to thebeachand place your rod in a holder. I recommend a 2-3″� PVC type rod holderabout 4-5′ long. This will keep your reel out of the sand and thecorrosive salt water. Also having the rod this high will keep the lineout of the sand therefore prolonging the life of your main line. Onceits in the rod holder be sure to loosen your drag. You want it tightenough so the waves don’t pull it out, and loose enough that a sharkwon’t realize he just picked up a dinner.

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