Catchin Sharks

To catch these toothy fish you need to get a pattern, a game plan going, I like to cover all of the bases, So letís start with your chart I use the 15-F from water proof charts, what I need is to see the bottom contour, where the in-roads for the sharks would be, I look for deeper troughs along the bottom I the harbor or ledges in the gulf, Once I find the bottom I like be it a deeper trough on the bottom or just a place between 2 reefs on the gulf. When I get there and once my boat is anchored.  Oh and the tricky part of anchoring is that I use a couple of crab trap floats tied to my anchor line So I can cast it away without having to bring it in the boat, No time for that with a big fish on peeling off line like your hook up to a Chevy and I know it is hard to imagine 300 yards of line being ripped off your spool but it can happen in just seconds, several species of sharks can reach speeds of 360 feet per second So time is important. The last bit of advice is to use a loop knot over the cleat, instead of tying the anchor line to the boat.. So the line can be tossed away from the boat and I can chase the fish.

Now that the anchor is out I want to put my chum bag over the side, over the back really, often I use the chum  already in the bag, it is easy and when I am done I can just throw the bag in the garbage. The trick to using this type of chum is not to let the bag float on the water. I shorten the line up enough to keep the bag up-right, so it is hanging from the cleat. this way every time I walk or a wave hits the boat it sloshes the bag up & down dispensing the chum, if it is just floating on the water it will not dispense properly. Now that I have all that I put out my first line.

My first rod out is a 40 size spinning reel, with a med/heavy rod the same as I would use for Snook or Red fish, 12 pound mono or 15 pound braid line. As the sharks I am trying to land on this rig are 2 to 4 feet, for tackle I use a 4/0 A.F.W red leader. On the hook is a half of a sardine. and most important a bobber on this line.  This will be the farthest away from the boat, the longest line out, I let the currant take it at least 75 or 100 feet away from the boat, and the bait is 3 to 4 feet below the float.

Now the second line is free-lined out and placed in the back left corner of the boat with no float or sinker, it will adjust itself to the currant lay on the bottom during a slack tide, or as the tide picks up and starts moving faster, the bait will come up off the bottom. Same hook, leader and bait, the ole trusty sardine. Now with the first rod on a float and the second free-lined there is almost no way for them to tangle.
The 3rd and 4th rods both go in the holders mid ship. these are the heavy rods, the 3rd one is a 6500 Live liner with 65 pound test braided line and it has a  3 foot 100 pound test steel leader with a 7/0 hook and 4-finger size chunk of mullet on it, with a 4 once sinker to keep it in place, preventing tangled lines, cast this out at a 45 degree angle from the boat towards the back.
The 4th rod a 9/0 or bigger Penn conventional reel, loaded with 80 pound mono line, I use mono as it seems safer to me I can tell when it is about to break and dose not bury into itself as easy as braided. This has a 6 foot 250 pound test leader with a 12/0 hook and a big chunks of bait, like half or whole mullet maybe a lady fish but big 3 pounds of bait, the smaller sharks may push it around, but it will take a big shark to pick it up.
Use a heavy sinker 8 once or bigger to hold the bait out and away from the other lines, even though it is heavy the currant pushes hard a such a large piece of bait hence the big weight. Again I cast this at a 45 degree angle back of the other side of the boat.
So now I have a line with a float covering the sharks running near the surface. Free lined with cover the middle depths of the water and finally ones with sinkers on the bottom.
The smaller baits on the first 2 will entice any black tip or smaller sharks 3 foot or less to bite, the larger rods with big baits will get the big Bull or larger sharks t eat.
One all of the rods are set, you have to wait now, I usually figure on about 45 minutes for the chum to really start working, that is why the chum is the second thing I do after getting in the Anchor set, that way the clock is running,
another tip is that makers hold bait and make for good shark fishing but I do not get close as the sharks will tend to run around the marker and break off, so if I am fishing a marker I am about 100 yards away letting my chum bring them to me.
I hope this helps you in the quest for some heart pumping fishing excitement, which once you know a few tricks, you will be able to do. Just keep in mind this is a apex predator can you could just as easily become itís prey so be carful and as a last thought, you are not allowed to shoot a Shark, So again be carful & above all have fun.
Fishin Frank