Best Shark Fishing Rig, Baits & Chum Tips (For Inshore Sharks)
By: Joseph Simonds on December 5, 2019
It’s shark fishing time!
One of the best parts about fishing is hearing the drag scream as a big fish is pulling with all their might on the other side of your line, and few fish do that as well as sharks.
In this video we have Capt. Mark “Hollywood” Johnson from FloridaKeysFunFishing.com sharing his favorite rig for inshore and nearshore sharks, plus a really fun way to chum, sight fish, and “hand feed” sharks.
Best Shark Fishing Rig, Baits & Chum Tips [VIDEO]
When you’re fishing for sharks in inshore and nearshore waters, here are a few of the species you’ll typically find:
- Bull sharks
- Blacktip sharks
- Spinner sharks
- Lemon sharks
- Big nurse sharks
- Hammerhead sharks
- Tiger sharks
Let’s talk about the best rig for shark fishing, starting with the hook and moving up from there.
Best Hook For Shark Fishing
Capt. Johnson usually goes with an 8/0 inline circle hook for inshore and nearshore shark fishing.
Since you’re usually going to cut the line (“hooks are cheap, but fingers are expensive”), it’s imperative that you use a circle hook that will go into the corner of the fish’s mouth and rust away in the saltwater rather quickly.
Single Strand Wire
Capt. Johnson recommends using three feet of single strand wire for the leader because it’s easy to use (no crimping tools needed) and he finds it’s more resistant to sharp teeth.
He likes Malin wire in the #3 – #6 size (the higher number, the thicker wire is).
Pro tip: if an acrobatic shark like a spinner shark twists your leader, use a wire straightener to straighten it out instead of tying on a new leader or tossing it back out there all twisted.
Haywire Twist for tying wire leader
When you’re using wire leader, the best knot is the haywire twist.
However, make sure that you kink it off (don’t cut it), because cutting it leaves a very sharp tag end.
Braided line is great because it’s very strong for such a thin diameter, but one problem is that there’s no stretch.
This can be a problem for acrobatic sharks, such as spinner sharks, so Capt. Johnson recommends tying on a topshot of monofilament.
Another benefit of using mono is that it’s easier to grab than wire leader when you’re landing the shark.
He typically uses 15 feet of 50-80 lb test.
This is connected to the wire leader by a swivel, and connected to the mainline with a line to leader knot, like the FG knot.
Best bait for sharks
Capt. Johnson’s favorite bait for catching sharks is ladyfish.
He also likes:
- jack crevalle
- Spanish mackerel
Remember, even though it’s shark bait, you need to follow the rules and regulations for each fish.
Chumming (and sight fishing) for sharks
Now one way to make fishing for sharks even more exciting is to sight fish for them.
You can do by that making a stringer, like the one pictured above, butterfly one a shark bait, and put it on a stringer out behind your boat.
Oftentimes you’ll see the hungry shark approaching your boat with its fin out of the water and you’ll get a chance to sight cast to him!
Shark fishing can be some of the most exciting inshore fishing you can do, but as Capt. Johnson mentioned in the video, when fishing for inshore sharks make sure to use a circle hook and be safe when releasing them.
They can be fun to catch, but remember that they have sharp teeth and they do bite.
If you’re in the Keys and want to go fishing with Capt. Johnson, check out FloridaKeysFunFishing.com.
Have any questions about catching inshore sharks?
Let me know in the comments below!
And if you know someone who wants to catch more sharks, please TAG or SHARE this with them!
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