Author: Reel Smooth Fishing Team
How To Keep Your Shark Bait From Washing Up On Shore
So you’re ready to go shark fishing. You go through your checklist: Rod, check. Rigs, check. Pliers, check. Bait, check. Bricks, check. Wait, bricks? Why the hell am I bringing bricks shark fishing? Let me tell you why.
When you’re shark fishing, you want to be able to keep your bait down in strong currents. On the other hand, you want to make sure anything that bites won’t feel too much resistance from the weight keeping the bait down or else it might drop it. This is where breakaway weights for shark fishing (i.e. bricks) come into play. I prefer breakaway weights over sliding or fixed weights for shark fishing because of this more natural presentation. Yes, it is harder to set up, but I’m not going to take the chance of having a once and a lifetime fish drop my bait because something didn’t feel right. Sharks are portrayed as monsters that devour anything and everything, but in reality, they can be picky, especially the bigger ones.
So you have your normal rig, and attached to the eye of the hook you can add light mono (or twine) attached to a weight. When the shark bites, the breakaway line breaks, and the fish has the bait with no resistance, serving as the most natural presentation. Lead weights tend to get very expensive, especially the heavier ones needed where there are strong currents. Bricks run around 50 cents a piece, and they’re heavy as can be. Your bait won’t be moving anywhere. Winner: bricks.
This strategy is obviously used for conventional setups only when you are paddling baits. Try casting a 5 pound brick on a surf rod and tell me what happens. With the surf rod, stick with a pyramid or spider weight.
So you have your bricks, now what? You should have 10-15 lb monofilament(Bullbuster of course!) to tie around the brick and to the eye of the hook. Even better would be light twine (Home Depot sells some) to be more environmentally conscious. Sharks don’t have good eyesight, I promise, but if you think the twine is too visible tie a trace of mono to the end of the twine using a simple line to line knot, and the mono to the hook (using a uni, clinch, or whatever you prefer). The goal is to put as little artificial material in the ocean as possible.
*Tip: Do not let the twine get wet before using. Keep it as dry as possible. It will lose its integrity and likely snap in the current, forcing you to paddle out baits again.
The best bricks are the ones with holes in them. Sprinkler donuts are by far my favorite, though they run on the more expensive side (unless you steal them from your neighbors, then they’re free!). The regular bricks with holes in them tend to be rough on the interior, so you may need to make a couple wraps with your line to spread out the pressure before tying your knot to make sure the brick doesn’t cut the line in the water. If you are using regular bricks, you can grind grooves into the brick to tie your line so you only have to wrap the line once. If you just use a regular brick without making grooves, make sure to wrap the line around multiple times before making your knot so the brick does not slip through. There is more than one correct way to tie these bricks; make something up.
If I’m paddling short, I like to use 10 lb mono, or lighter twine as paddling out is easy in case it breaks. When I start paddling 300+ yards, I like to go to 15 lb mono, or slightly thicker twine as I am not trying to make that paddle again any time soon. The only downfall to this is the possibility of the line not snapping when you need to reel in for the night, and you have to reel in a brick 300 yards back in. The brick is only five pounds, and it sounds easy, but trust me on this one, it will leave you sore the next day. It is up to you to judge the current, and to judge whether you want to sacrifice either paddling out again or reeling in a brick.
The best part of using bricks is the strange looks you get from passersby of pure confusion and amazement. It is typically followed by:
-Passerby: What are those bricks for?
-Me: Oh, yeah, we use them as weights for shark fishing.
-Passerby: THERE’S SHARKS HERE?
Make sure the brick is part of your shark fishing arsenal. You will learn to love them, though you won’t learn to love carrying them down the beach. If you fish a certain spot frequently, make sure to swim out there and check out the cool artificial reef you created with all the lost bricks. Brick up.
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