Sharks are some of the oldest and largest predators in the world, with over 500 species worldwide. They inhabit a wide range of environments, from the frigid waters of the Arctic to the warm, shallow tropical waters of the equator. Sharks have even been found in freshwater environments, although they are typically marine species. Though you may immediately think of large predators like great white sharks, they range in size from the tiny dwarf lanternshark to the massive, docile whale shark. 

Regardless of the species you're after, you'll need the right fishing rods for sharks. Not all fishing rods are created equal, and you won't have much luck without the proper gear.

Shark Habitats and Behavior

As one of the largest predators in the marine ecosystem, sharks play a vital role in maintaining the health and balance of the ocean. They can be found in various habitats, with their distribution primarily determined by water temperature, food availability, and suitable breeding sites. The following are key habitats for sharks:

  • Pelagic zone:¬†This is the open water habitat far from the shore and surface. Some species that live here, like the great white and the mako, are highly migratory and travel long distances to find food and reproduce. These sharks are often large, fast, and have more streamlined bodies to cope with the demands of the open ocean.

  • Coastal and shelf areas:¬†These areas support a greater diversity of shark species, including the bull shark, tiger shark, and various types of reef sharks. These sharks can often be territorial and have clearly defined home ranges.

  • Deep sea:¬†Some sharks are adapted to live in the deep sea, an environment with high pressure, low temperatures, and little light. Examples include the goblin shark and the sixgill shark.

  • Freshwater:¬†Some species of sharks, such as the bull shark and the river shark, can survive in freshwater environments. They can travel far up rivers and even live in lakes.

How To Catch Sharks

The most effective fishing techniques will depend on the habitat and behavior of a shark:

  • Surface popper fishing:¬†Surface poppers can be effective for sharks that spend most of their time near the water's surface in coastal areas, like Blacktip or Spinner Sharks. This involves using a special lure that creates a popping sound on the water's surface, imitating an injured fish and attracting sharks.

  • Trolling with live bait:¬†This technique is highly effective when targeting pelagic species in the open ocean, like Mako or Thresher Sharks. Live bait such as mackerel or squid is used, attached to a¬†heavy-duty braided line, and slowly trolled behind a boat. The movement and distress signals of the live bait often attract these predatory sharks.

  • Deep sea bottom fishing:¬†Some shark species, like the Pacific Sleeper or Bluntnose Sixgill, are deep-sea dwellers, found hundreds or even thousands of meters below the surface. Fishing these species requires heavy-duty equipment capable of withstanding extreme pressures, and baits need to be weighted to reach the desired depths.

Best Fishing Rod to Catch Sharks

Fishing for sharks requires very strong, heavy-duty fishing rods capable of handling the size and strength of these creatures. Here are some general characteristics to look for when choosing a shark fishing rod:

  • Material:¬†High-quality, durable materials such as fiberglass are optimal for shark fishing rods. These materials provide the necessary strength and flexibility to withstand the power of a large shark. The¬†Blackfin 6-foot Stand Up Fishing Rod¬†is strong enough to handle even the biggest shark.

  • Length:¬†A shark fishing rod is typically 6-9 feet. Shorter rods provide more control and power for fighting large sharks, while longer rods, such as the¬†Blackfin 7-foot bottom fishing rod, are better for casting distance from the shore.¬†

  • Action:¬†Heavy or extra-heavy action is recommended for shark fishing. The action of a rod refers to the point where it bends when under load. Heavy-action rods, such as the¬†Blackfin Rods Blackout 082, bend mostly in the lower third, near the handle, providing the power needed to haul in big fish.¬†

  • Power:¬†The power of a rod is its resistance to bending. Heavy, extra-heavy, or even ultra-heavy power rods are used for shark fishing. All of our¬†Blackfin shark rodsdeliver the power you need for shark fishing. They're made in America by skilled craftsmen to last a lifetime.¬†

  • Line rating:¬†The rod should be able to handle high test lines, as sharks are powerful fighters. Typically, you'll want a rod that can handle line strengths of at least 50-100 pounds to land bigger sharks.¬†

  • Reel seat:¬†The reel seat, where the reel attaches to the rod, must be very sturdy. It should be securely mounted and capable of holding the reel without wobbling or giving.

Other Shark Fishing Equipment

Shark fishing is a complex activity requiring specialized equipment:

  • Reels:¬†Shark fishing usually requires¬†high-quality and durable reels. This equipment must withstand the weight and strength of a large shark. A reel with a large line capacity and a strong drag system is a must. Conventional reels are often used for shark fishing.

  • Fishing line:¬†Braided fishing line¬†is the go-to for shark fishing because of its strength and low stretch characteristics. These lines allow you to set the hook faster and pull in larger sharks without breaking.¬†

  • Hooks:¬†Circle hooks¬†are generally recommended for shark fishing as they are more likely to hook the shark in the corner of the mouth, which is safer for both the shark ‚ÄĒ great for catch and release ‚ÄĒ and the angler.

  • Baits:¬†Fresh bait is usually the best for shark fishing. Common bait includes mackerel, bonito, squid, or other oily fish.

  • Chum:¬†Sharks are attracted to blood and fish parts in the water. A chum bag filled with ground-up fish can attract sharks to your fishing spot.

  • Gaffs or landing nets:¬†These are needed to secure the shark once it has been reeled in close to the boat or shore. Look for a¬†strong gaff¬†with a three to four-inch hook.¬†

  • Safety equipment:¬†This includes life jackets, first aid kits,¬†gloves, and¬†sun protection.¬†

  • Tackle box:¬†This should include various hook sizes, extra line, leader material, and other tools like pliers, cutters, or a knife.¬†

Next Steps

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