Sharks are an overlooked sportfishing species. They are large, powerful and abundant. However, they can be a bit of a challenge to catch and release. Especially, if you target them with lures. This week, I set out to do just that.
Recently, at the nearshore reefs, small sharks have been eating the Spanish Mackerel and Bluefish that I have been catching. At first this was a frustrating experience. Upon further reflection, it became a new fishing opportunity. So, I put away the light tackle and began casting a Shimano Flat Fall jig on 30-pound class spinning tackle. After a few casts, a small shark ate the jig. The 3-foot shark was over matched by the heavier tackle and it quickly came to the boat. While I was trying to take a boat side picture of the little shark, a big shark ate it. Somehow, the 6-foot shark got hooked in the mouth by the Flat Fall jig and a battle of epic proportions began.
The initial run was fast, taking nearly all the line off the 30-pound class spinning reel. Thankfully, the shark made a U-turn and swam right back to the boat. This allowed me to recover most of the 30-pound PowerPro fishing line. When the shark saw the boat, it turned and made another long run. For the next 30 minutes, this process was repeated several times. At one point in the fight, I thought about breaking the shark off. But I knew without a photo, it did not really happen. So, the battle continued. Eventually, by some miracle, the big shark came to the boat. After taking several pictures, I released the behemoth and watched it swim away. For some reason, I thought this was funny and spent the next few minutes laughing.
Yes. Sharks are an overlooked sportfishing species!