Sharks can be one of the most fun fish to catch in SW Florida and just about anywhere in the world really… Pound for pound they can be some the strongest fish, with long line burning runs that never give up. They can be caught in waters less than a foot or in deep sea waters. They also come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
The most common smaller sharks caught in our waters would have to be Black-tips, Bonnetheads, Spinners and Reef sharks, but, we do have larger ones as well like Bulls, Lemons, Tigers, and even Great-whites! Targeting the smaller species out of the kayaks can be lots of fun. And if you really want to target the big boys, the best way is to do it from shore and to use your kayak to paddle your bait out past the sand bar. Sometimes when we are fishing for smaller sharks we end up with bigger ones than we would prefer so we enjoy the fight, get as much line back as possible and then cut it.
There are many techniques to target sharks. My favorite way to target them is to sight fish them with artificial lures. Top water lures like the Yo-Zuri 3DB Pencil and the Monster 3X X-MOVE are my go-to artificial lures for sharks. If you prefer other bait, anything fresh and bloody will work every time! Cut pinfish, mullet, jacks, bonita, and lady fish to name a few of my favorites. Also chumming never hurts or even tie a bonita carcass off the side of your yak. If you chum, they will come!
For smaller sharks 4 ft and under a size 3-4000 size reel, 7 ft. med-heavy action rod, 15-20 lb braided line, and 30-50 lb. fluorocarbon leader will get the job done. And for the larger ones I like to use an 8000 size reel, 8 ft. heavy action rod, 40-50 lb. braided line, 80 lb. fluorocarbon leader with a steel leader tippet. Of coarse the larger the sharks you are targeting… the bigger and beefier your gear had better be!
Please make sure you are very cautious while doing this out of a kayak. Sharks are a bundle of muscle, cartilage, and teeth. They will beat you and your kayak up if you bring them into the yak without having complete control of them. Also be careful when releasing them because many sharks can reach the tip of their tail with their teeth! As always, Be Safe and have fun! Tight Lines and tight Knots to all!