Author: Terra Firma Tackle
Species Profile: Sevengill Shark (Notorynchus cepedianus)
The Sevengill Shark (Notorynchus cepedianus) is one of the largest and most sought after sharks in Southern California. They belong to a very small family of sharks with only a few surviving species alive today. Long lived and slow growing these fish are not numerous and as a result can be a challenge to locate and catch, making them all the much more prized as gamefish. Easily distinguished by its lack of dorsal fin and anguilliform body, these large sharks are spirited fighters and grow to nearly ten feet in length. Their mouths are adorned with a plethora of comb shaped cutting teeth allowing them to feed on nearly anything they encounter! They are flexible and acrobatic and are even capable of biting their own tails when attempting to free themselves from capture.
Giller, Cow Shark, Sandbag, Broadnose Sevengill, Seven
How To Catch Sevengills:
Most sevengills are caught by surf fishermen, usually on chunks of finbait on casting tackle. However, some of the larger specimens are known to consume bat rays and other smaller sharks so these are all worth considering as bait, especially when doing kayak dropped presentations. Sevengill are known to bite tentatively for their size, with most bites starting as mere “nibbles” before the fish finishes eating the bait and runs off.
Sevengills, while large, are not the most powerful fighters when compared to other shark species. The fight is best described as large head shakes, jumps and a few runs, but not at all like most other pelagic sharks. For this reason smaller tackle is usable and all but the largest of sevengills will be quickly subdued on any tackle of the 40lb class and above. Most anglers opt for a braided line such as Bullbuster Braid (https://bullbuster.net/braided...) with a long “rub leader” or shock leader of monofilament. This shock leader is important as a result of the Sevengill’s tendency to roll in the fishing line. Usually 10-12 feet of heavy mono such as Bullbuster Leader Material (https://bullbuster.net/grander...) is used as a rub leader to make sure the angler lands their quarry.
From the surf rigs like the Loop Rig, Pulley Rig, or even the basic Carolina/Fishfinder rig are all good options. These rigs should be made with wire or cable to prevent the large comb shaped teeth of the shark from cutting through the rig and getting away. Unlike smaller sharks more cable than usual should be used since these sharks can and will bite their own tails, if too little cable is used the main line or rub leader may find its way into the sharks mouth resulting in a lost fish. When it comes to a fish as hard to find as a sevengill, losing one is heartbreaking!
Where To Find Sevengill Sharks:
Sevengills can be found all along the Southern California coast, but San Diego and North Los Angeles County both seem to have the highest concentrations of these prehistoric critters. When seeking locations to target these fish, search for areas with rocks and kelp close to the shoreline, as these structure filled areas will produce more fish than the typical barren sand beaches.
When To Target Sevengills
Spring time is the best bet when searching for sevengills. These sharks often pack up for breeding purposes and at times they may swarm a beach for several days making for some epic fishing opportunities! Capitalize on this when possible, as these fish can be absent for the majority of the year!
Thanks for reading! For more information and rigs for targeting these fish please check out our own website at TerraFirmaTackle.com!
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