Every March, April and May we have a nice run of sharks running through Fort Lauderdale. The shark species are Hammerhead, Threasher, Bull Shark, Reef Sharks and the occasional Mako. Now all of these sharks are not killed and we release every one. Not everyone lives, but we have a survival rate of over 65% to 70%. The few sharks that we release that dont live are usually hooked deep in the gills and or vitals that the fish does not live. However most sharks that we catch and release swim away with a de hooker and no hooks in the sharks mouth.
Catching sharks can be as easy as stopping in an area and dropping the bait in the water and within 10 minutes we have one on, other times, shark fishing can take one to two hours to raise a shark. The sharks are drawn to the bait by blood trail and the scent of the fish (King Fish) have a very oily scent and the sharks love the kings. The attached photo is a Hammerhead that we caught on Sunday and was a hell of a fight. After fishing the Hammerhead for about 45 minutes just out front of Fort Lauderdale, we were able to de hook the fish and she swam away just fine.
The fun part about shark fishing is that any species can bite (Thrasher, Mako, Hammerhead) and if there are a couple of guys/girls in the fishing party we have everyone share (if they want) in catching the 150 to 300 pound shark. Or if one of our customers out of Fort Lauderdale want to catch the fish all by themselves, great, get ready for a long fishing fight aboard the charter boat Happy Day Today out of Ft. Lauderdale for a nice long fight.
The tackle we use is Penn International and Shimmano Tiagra. 80 pound line class and using 9/0 and 10/0 hooks depending on the size of the bait.
Typically like most of the South Florida fishermen and fort lauderdale fishermen, we use either one circle, or two J hook rigs. That way we are able to release the shark and still have a heck of a fight.
The best bait to use is King Mackerel and Bonito. We stagger the baits from the bottom of the sea floor to the mid bait and the surface bait. The depth can vary anywhere from 100' out to 400' depending on the day, the tide, current, time of year and what sharks are running.
To book a fishing charter out of Fort Lauderdale, FL please contact Capt. Zsak at (954) 439-8106
Thanks and tight lines.
Capt Tom Zsak