Saturday, January 20, 2018
Outdoors

Captain's Corner: In bay area, sharks offer a fun, tough fight

Targeting sharks: Shark fishing is underrated in local waters. They can be great fun to catch, particularly on light tackle. Few large marine adversaries fight as hard and are as easy to find.

Where to look: For smaller sharks, check just offshore where baitfish such as Spanish sardines are present. You may also encounter good numbers of them running with schools of bonito. Black tip and spinner sharks feed on these migrating minnows and often move with them. Spinner sharks sometimes leap and spin through the air as they charge through schools. You might encounter a big shark just about anywhere during summer; the better spots are inlets and wrecks in the Gulf. The big ones usually hang around out on the perimeter of the wreck moving in when they smell food or sense activity.

What to use: Chum with fresh fish to draw sharks into range. Frozen chum is effective but the best is a recently caught fish's smell. Same for bait. Wire leader is a must. For small ones, 50-pound test is adequate; for giants, 500-pound cable.

Ed Walker charters out of Tarpon Springs. He can be contacted at lighttacklecharters.com or at (727) 944-3474.

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