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Land-based Shark Fishing - Species


Author: Bullbuster Team

Land-based Shark Fishing Target Species


Picture by #BullbusterAmbassador Iconic Fishing


In this article we are going to cover each of the main shark species that you can can catch while landbased shark fishing (Blacktips, Lemon Sharks, Bullsharks, Tiger Sharks, Hammerheads, and Makos).  We are going talk a little bit about each one, how you can identify them, what tackle you need, what is the best bait for each shark, etc.  

**SCROLL TO GET STARTED WITH EACH SPECIES **

Fishing For Blacktip Sharks


#Bullbusterambassador JD Fagan of Team Ninja Sharkers poses with blacktip that he caught on conventional gear.

General Description:

Blacktip sharks are one of the most common land-based shark fishing catches.  They do not grow as big as many of the other sharks, however they can be great fun on medium to light tackle. Blacktip’s have become famous for their annual migration off the coast of singer island, but they can be found throughout the gulf coast and most of the east coast of the United States.

Below is a video of posted by Youtube personallity Josh Jorgensen  of Blacktiph catching blacktips from the beach offshore Sebastien Inlet.  Josh introduced the Blacktip as a gamefish to the world through his pioneering youtube channel. 


Identifying Factor:

The black “tip” on the tip of the dorsal fin, pectoral fins and others. 



How To Tell A Shark Is A Blacktip
The black at the end of the tip of each fin are a sign you have caught a blacktip.


Max Size:

6+ Feet:

Tackle Required:

When targeting blacktip sharks from land, we recommend using a conventional reel with at least 50Lb monofilament, or a spinning reel with 40-65Lb braided fishing line.

Hooks:

6/0-10/0 circle hooks (See Choosing Shark Hooks

Shark Rig Materials:



3-4 feet of 19 wire with 10-12 feet of 400-500Lb grander leader material

Fight Style:

Blacktip sharks have an impressive take, they usually make an extremely fast initial run.  They are known to take long fast runs and often make some jumps while they are at it.  

Important Tips For Release:

Small blacktips may be taken for table fare (however we recommend releasing them).   Blacktips tend to bang themselves on the sand a lot due to their unbridled energy.  When catching and releasing blacktips do not be hesitant to gain control of the fish as soon as you can, the faster the release the better the sharks chance of survival. (Find Out How To Prevent Shark Fatalities)

Fishing For Lemon Sharks


Lemon Shark
#BullbusterAmbassadors Luis & JD from team Ninja Sharkers pose witha nice beached lemon.

General Description:

In general lemon sharks tend to like shallow water areas,  flats near mangroves tend to hold lots of lemon sharks, however this is not to say that lemons cannot be found on the reef.  Lemon sharks are thinner than most sharks their length and tend to be very aware.  It is not uncommon to have a lemon shark that tracks you with its eyes as you go to remove the hook.  When releasing these sharks take great care as they have been known to reach all the way back to their tail for a bite.

Below is a video posted by "Shark Fishing With LASharkHunter" of an older gentleman catching a fairly big lemon shark. 


Identifying Factor:

Lemon sharks have two really pronounced dorsal fins.  This is an easy way to distinguish them from a bullshark.



You can tell that a shark is a lemon shark and not a Bull Shark by the two really pronounced dorsal fins. This picture is of #BullbusterAmbassadors Luis and Jonathan from Team Ninja Sharkers.


Max Size:

11+ Feet

Tackle Required:

Lemon sharks are not extraordinary fighters, they have neither of the exciting runs that a blacktip will display or the brute power of a bullshark.  We recommend using 40-50Lb monofilament if you are using a conventional reel and anywhere between 40-65Lb braid if you are targeting them using spinning tackle.

Hooks:

6/0-10/0 circle hooks  (See Choosing Shark Hooks

Shark Rig Materials:

3-4 feet of 19 wire with 5-10 feet of 400-500Lb grander leader material

Fight Style:

Lemon sharks do not have the intense fast runs of a blacktip shark, or the brute force of bull shark.  Instead these sharks often use change of direction as a tactic for escape.  It is not uncommon to fight a lemon shark from the beach that tries to swim along the shore line causing you to duck under multiple rods along the way.

Important Tips For Release:

Lemon sharks do not display intense amounts of stress when from a fight like other sharks. Our number one recommendation with a lemon shark is to be careful! These sharks will track you with their eyes and have been known to attempt to bite you while out of the water.  

Another interesting thing about trying to release a lemon, is they will often try to slither like a snake back into the water.  There is no question that of all of the sharks, the lemon sharks is one of the most clever.  Keep your eye on them, and keep their bodies under control when removing a hook from these fish. (Find Out How To Prevent Shark Fatalities)

Shark Profile: The Bull Shark


Bullshark
#BullbusterAmbassador Jesus from Team Ninja sharkers poses with a fat Bull!

General Description:

The Bull shark is a powerful and aggressive shark. If you want to target a bullshark specifically, put out the biggest bait you can find.  The Bull shark will have no problem picking up a 50 Lb amberjack that you put out whole. When you are hooked up, HOLD ON!  These sharks have some torque!  They are great fighters.  

One cool thing about targeting these sharks is that they are very prevalent in back waters and even rivers.  Some bull sharks have even been known to venture their way well up the Mississipi river.

Identifying Factor:

Smaller bull sharks can be distinguished from lemon sharks by their single dorsal fin.  While larger bull sharks can be identified by their single dorsal fin, as well as well rounded  body.

Max Size:  

10+ Feet

Tackle Required:

For best results use a conventional lever drag reel with at least 125LB test monofilament.  Bullsharks can be landed with lighter mono and star drag reels like Penn Senators, however the fight is usually extended which greatly reduces these sharks chance of survival.

A battle with a 400+Lb bull shark on a Penn Senator can be up to an hour, while that same fish can be landed in 20-30 minutes using a 2 speed 80 wide size lever drag reel with mono.

Hooks:

12/0-24/0 size circle hooks  (See Choosing Shark Hooks

Shark Rig Materials:

3-4 feet of 19 wire with 10-12 feet of 500-600Lb grander leader material

Fight Style:

Bull Sharks are full of torque!  They are strong fighters will a lot of pulling power, they are not super fast like the blacktip shark, but instead tend to take steady and powerful runs!  If you can turn their head the battle has turned to your advantage.

Important Tips For Release:

Like with most sharks it is important to release a bullshark as soon as possible. In the spring months, if you see a bulging in a bull shark’s  belly, she may be pregnant.  If this is the case, keep your bull shark in the water to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the pups. (Find Out How To Prevent Shark Fatalities)

Shark Profile: The Tiger Shark


Tiger Shark
#BullbusterAmbassdor Joey Polk & team mate Will from Team True Blue pose with the ILFSA record tiger



General Description:

Tigersharks are one of the most sought after and rarest land-based shark fishing targets.  These fish are literally not scared of a thing and their whole demeanor reflects it.  If you are targeting tiger sharks beef up everything when it comes to your tackle.


Identifying Factor:

These sharks are not hard to ID, like a tiger they have large stripes and their face is a lot squarer than most sharks.  Their teeth have a unique shaped made to tear through pretty much anything.  For this shark you want to use single strand wire because it is a lot harder than cable.

Max Size:

15 +ft

Tackle Required:

Reels:

Big game reels (14/0 Penn Senators, 80-130 wide Lever Drag Reels)

Fishing Line:

125Lb -300Lb monofilament top shot with 130-200Lb braided backing.

Hooks:

12/0-24/0 size circle hooks  (See Choosing Shark Hooks

Shark Rig Materials:

3-4 feet of 19 wire with 20 feet of 600-1000Lb grander leader material

Fight Style:

Like we mentioned earlier, these fish really are not scared of a thing and their fight style reflects it. They are strong when they want to be, but will sometimes swim as if they don’t even know they are hooked.  They may come all the way in toward the beach and then head 400-500 yards offshore.  They usually swim slowly and deliberately.

Important Tips For Release:

Since tiger sharks are not scared of much they don’t stress themselves out too much.  Take your pictures, but get this shark in the water as soon as you can.  (Find Out How To Prevent Shark Fatalities)

Shark Profile: The Hammerhead


Hammerhead from the Beach
#BullbusterAmbassador JD Fagan of Team Ninja Sharkers poses with a nice hammerhead he caught from the beach.

General Description:

The hammerhead is probably the most iconic shark due to its hammer shaped head and intense fighting stamina.  In general hammerheads are very inquisitive when coming in for a bait, they may circle it aggressively for 5-10 minutes, come back in and pick it up, and then drop it and never come back.  

A hammerheads great size makes it an intimidating figure to pretty much any fish that swims in the ocean. Hammerheads have been known to eat tarpon over 100 Lbs, blacktips, and even Bullsharks.

Since hammerheads grow to absolutely massive sizes they have become part of the folklore of many an inlet. Hammerheads have been given names like Big Moe and Old Hitler, and Ole Leadermouth.  When one sees a hammerhead of this size you will know why.

In Florida, this is the most iconic landbased big game species, inspiring tournaments like the Big Hammer Challenge, as well as whole angling communities like the South Florida Shark Club and the Northeast Florida Shark Club.

Identifying Factor:

Hammerhead and huge sickle like dorsal fin.

Max Size:

20 ft +

Tackle Required:

Big Game Reels:

80-130 Wide Level Drag Reels:  This is simply to put intense heat on these big fish.  The faster you land them the better they will survive.   

14/0 Senators: Upgrade your drag washers, upgrade your handle and put the pedal to the medal on the bad boys.  

Fishing Line:

125Lb -300Lb monofilament top shot with 130-200Lb braided backing.

Hooks:

12/0-24/0 size circle hooks  (See Choosing Shark Hooks

Shark Rig Materials:

3-4 feet of 19 wire with 20 feet of 600-1000Lb grander leader material

Fight Style:

Fast, hard, and long runs. These fish have a secret energy pack installed into their DNA.  Turn their head and get them in as quick as you can.

Important Tips For Release:

We recommend using  80Lb + drag on these fish and keeping them inside the water for the release.

Check out this video posted by #BullbusterAmbassador Landshark Fishing about properly releasing a hammerhead.  (Read The Full Article Here)


Shark Profile: The Mako Shark


Mako Shark
#BullbusterAmbassador Joey Polk from team True Blue poses with a 700LB+ mako he caught on the beach.

General Description:

Mako sharks are one of the rarest landbased catches.  Although #BullbusterAmbassador Team True Blue seems to have them figured out.  These fish are not only extremely strong and acrobatic fighters but they have some tasty steaks!

Identifying Factor:

Blue skin tone, and wild teeth!

Max Size:

15+ ft

Tackle Required:

Big Game Reels:

80-130 Wide Level Drag Reels:  This is simply to put intense heat on these big fish.  The faster you land them the better they will survive.   

14/0 Senators: Upgrade your drag washers, upgrade your handle and put the pedal to the medal on the bad boys.  

Fishing Line:

125Lb -300Lb monofilament top shot with 130-200Lb braided backing.

Hooks:

12/0-24/0 size circle hooks  (See Choosing Shark Hooks

Shark Rig Materials:

3-4 feet of 19 wire with 20 feet of 600-1000Lb grander leader material


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