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Targeting sharks

zreckmanzreckman Posts: 14 Deckhand
I have spent the last 2 weeks fishing, Ether venice or stumps pass. out to 65 ft.  Fishing was ok. Caught a couple of good mangroves.
My kids really like sharks. We caught plenty of smaller sharks on pin fish and 1 big **** nurse on cut bait.  Every time I would put a bigger cut bait or live bait. I would get a goliath. I love goliaths, I built a rod just so I could **** em. But you can only catch so many before you are tired. I would like  target bigger sharks. I have the equipment but in several years I have only caught 5 big sharks. 
I tried to go to boca grand pass, but the only spot I know is the phosphate docks. Caught another goliath there. and a baby hammer. 
But no luck for sharks. 

Question is if I am out on the reefs how would you target larger sharks. 


  • TarponatorTarponator Posts: 20,539 AG
    edited July 2020 #2
    I wouldn't head to the reefs if big sharks was what I was after...

    If I were fishing for large sharks, I'd fish near shore (i.e. inside the first sandbar) along the beach after dark with big baits like stingrays or cut jack.  You'd be surprised how close to shore the big ones come after dark.

    Either that or on the outside of BGP drifting with the same large baits.  The goliath stay close to structure, but the big sharks typically don't.

    Good luck.
  • MulletMaster239MulletMaster239 Posts: 873 Officer
    For large sharks your best bet is spring and fall. In the winter there used to be a big migration of large dusky sharks on this coast but not so much anymore. Not sure what happened to them.  I’d also recommend taking a trip to the east coast, or the panhandle area..your odds will go up. 

    Now I don’t know if this is still legal because I haven’t fished for sharks in a very long time so you’d have to look into it, but what we used to do to weed out the smaller sharks was to use a whole blacknose shark, or blacktip shark as bait and deploy it off the beach using an inflatable raft or inner tube. The old timers I learned a lot about fishing from, they often used whole adult tarpon for bait, which you cannot do nowadays.  One of them caught a nearly 13’ tiger shark using an entire 6’ tarpon as bait rigged with 3 16/0 mustad J hooks and tripled #20 malin wire. He waded the bait out just 30 yards from shore and dropped it just on the other side of the sandbar and hooked it a couple hours after sunrise after being out all evening.  Another guy used to take whole 20-25 lb jack crevalles and tie them to his back with mono fishing line, free swim them out off a jetty and then cut the line with a knife once he got to the desired spot. So the basic idea is you want a large bait with durable meat that will withstand the gnawing of pests and smaller sharks having a go at it.

    But nowadays on this coast, large shark catches aren’t as numerous as they used to be. My dad used to take my brothers and I to the weigh ins for a local shark tournament when I was a little kid and you’d see large bulls, hammerheads, tigers, and dusky sharks brought to the weigh in. Several years ago I heard of a shark tournament they had in my area where a 5’ blacktip won first prize haha. That would have been the bait used to catch the winning shark in years past. Not sure what happened, if the numbers of large sharks decreased, or quality fishermen, or both. But you’ll have a smaller window of opportunity on the west coast..on the east coast and panhandle area larger catches are more common. Your best bet on the west coast is Boca Grande area during the spring when the massive schools of tarpon come in.
  • jethrodulljethrodull Posts: 36 Deckhand
    When I grew up on Siesta Key it was said the shark used in Jaws, the one they strung up and cut open, was caught here. There may even have been a story and pics in the Sarasota Herald Trib back then. 
  • ChimpoChimpo Posts: 26 Deckhand
    edited July 2020 #5
    Chandler catches large sharks on a regular basis from one of the beaches on Boca.  He worked at Frank's before a POS burned the place to the ground. 

  • jethrodulljethrodull Posts: 36 Deckhand
    whatever happened yo “old ****” in Boca Grande? Supposedly a 17ft hammerhead back in the day. 
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