Gear Down for Blue Sharks
Posted In Sports Species - Sharks on Wednesday, May 27th 2020

Gear Down for Blue Sharks

Northeast Outdoors Experience Staff

While most shark fishing is considered a heavy tackle affair using chum slicks and balloons to float bait far out from the boat, it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way. Sharks will hone in on the chum ball and often closely approach the boat on or near the surface. It is at this time that different tackle can be employed to catch the lurking shark. Blue sharks come readily to chum-lines in the northeast Atlantic and often offer opportunities for a surf casting or medium weight rod to be used to battle the shark on more equal terms.

Blue sharks are a common shark of the Atlantic along with several other species including the Mako, tiger and thresher. They all might come to the boat seeking the source of the chum-line totally passing up the bait in search of the scent and blood that drew them to the boat. In the event that these sharks are manageable with a lighter weight rod and reel. This can be an unexpected bonus to any shark fishing trip.

The first concern when shark fishing is always the steel leader. Sharkskin is an extremely abrasive substance that will wear through the toughest monofilament quickly. Sharks are notorious for rolling when hooked and the line will wrap around them quite often. This will wear through the line in short order. Even 12’ of steel leader may not be enough should the shark roll a couple of times or more during the fight.

Using a striper rod rigged with a mackerel for bait on a long steel leader can lead to an exciting if not breath-taking battle between the fisherman and the shark. Sharks are powerful creatures that can weigh several hundred pounds and seem to take extreme offense to having a hook in their mouths. By allowing the shark to have the upper hand in the battle, the resulting fight can be filled with long runs and head shaking action that will raise the heart rate of any fisherman. The drag setting on the reel must be set properly from the beginning or else the result is not going to favor the fisherman. Trying to adjust the drag on an open faced spinning reel while line is being ripped off the spool is not recommended for success. As the line length increases, so does the drag on the reel making an accurate judgment almost impossible.

A 300-400# shark on any gear is a thrilling accomplishment. Managing it on a medium weight rod intended for a 30 or 40# striper can be an amazing experience. Be prepared for a long and tedious battle with no guarantees other than you are in for the fight of your life. You’ll never forget it.

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