How To:

Kayaking Baits And Where To Drop Them


Shark bait and deployment! 

Kayaking baits off the beach is a favorite deployment method of land based shark fisherman all over the world. Here I will explain the best baits to use, how to determine the proper place to drop bait and what weights to use. 

Let's talk bait. I find bloody and oily baits such as bluefish, mackerel, tuna, bonito, cobia, mahi, black drum, jack crevalle, amberjack, whiting, sharpnose, menhaden, mullet and stingray to be the best for catching shark. However, each bait is unique. For instance, bonito and mackerel are too soft to just hook through the body and yak out. You need to bridle them using braid or zip ties. Fish with firm meat like stingray, black drum, mahi, amberjack and Jack crevalle can be cut into chunks and hooked into the meat. With small baits like mullet, menhaden or whiting you'll want to cut them into credit card size chunks and cast them out on surf rods.

Where to drop the bait? One of the questions I get the most is where to drop the bait? I always answer the same, "it depends." Before I go to the beach I check depth charts for the area I'll be fishing.

I memorize where every drop off, every hole, every channel and every ledge is in relation to the beach. You want to drop in deep pockets. Sharks often patrol the edge of deep holes and channels. This underwater terrain can usually be found within 100 yards of the beach in inlets and harbors. If the drop off or channel is 200 yards off the beach, then don't drop at 300 yards or your gear will be completely screwed up by the current. If you drop dead center, then the current will still be annoying but it will be better than dropping past the channel. If it's a gradual drop off, then kayak as far as your line capacity will allow; far enough to get a bite but with enough line left to fight a fish. When kayaking a bait you should be aware of buoys as a shark could break off on one. 

Weights to use for shark fishing. In areas of heavy current, I recommend a 3lb spider weight as a minimum, with mid-size bait (10-20lbs). Don't even drop big baits (20lbs+) in heavy current. In low to 0 current I recommend a 1lb-3lb spider weight for all sized baits.

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