Shark Bait -- Where to get?? - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 04-22-2012, 02:41 PM   #1
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Default Shark Bait -- Where to get??

Will be down in SRB on June 2nd - June 9th and will be fishing for shark both from the boat and on the beach.
Where can I get big fresh shark bait?
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:02 PM   #2
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Sometimes Half hitch has whole bonita in their freezers. You will just have to call and see. Another option is catching it. You said you have access to a boat.. Just troll for some kings, spanish, or bonita... All are PLENTIFUL around pretty much all the passes. I like using live cigar minnow or "jigfish" to catch them. Bonita LOVE the jig fish. I rig it with 100lb mono and troll around 6-7 knots. I also LOVE using the yozuri Crystal Minnow (pink and white) rigged the same way and trolled at the same speed. (ones deeper ones right on top if trolling both at the same time) Anyway, That's what I do if im looking for shark bait and can usually catch enough bait in about an hour to do all the shark fishing i want. I remove the tails by butterflying and use the entire fish unless its bigger than 10 pounds then I will cut it in half. It works!! Use sufficient tackle and you should be in business for sure! Good place to start shark fishing is the bridge rubble (on all your local maps and closest public rec to the pass) I see them just about every time I dive. Also, im sure you know snapper season is about to start so if there are a bunch of people just anchor a couple hundred yards away from the actual rec. to give you room to fight the shark without it doing circles around everyone that will be there. I'm extremely confident that if you use the right gear and put a little time in you will have some great pictures to post. Ok im done! Any questions PM me i'll help ya anyway I can.
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Last edited by King Mike; 04-22-2012 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:21 PM   #3
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I just read that you will be in srb. BJ's Bait n Boats right there over the 331 bridge usually has frozen mullet. Just give her a call. Here is the number. 850-835-8856. If you can't get in touch with her let me know i'll call her personal number and see if we can't get you something for sure worked out so you don't have to worry about it and you will know you have fresh bait. Her son is actually a good friend of mine and has all my shark gear at his house. I'd be willing to rent it to you but you would need to put a deposit down sufficient to cover replacement. (refundable of course) Just let me know if you're interested if so i'll make some calls.
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:56 PM   #4
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Thanks a bunch for the help Mike! I do have some king rigs and will try trolling around for bait. I'll pick up a few YoZuris also. Last year in Panama City Beach we tried trolling some big spoons and drifting some cigar minnows but never got a bite. It was our first experience doing any sort of offshore/nearshore fishing. (Did catch some snapper and AJ though!) Hopefully this year we can catch some. I honestly didn't know you could use kings for shark bait but knew bonita were supposed to be really good.

I appreciate the tips on where to shark fish also. I am bringing 2 Penn 6/0 and a Penn 4/0 on boat rods and 50lb mainline. I plan on trying both from the beach using the kayaks to get the bait out and from the boat. I ordered 10 shark rigs from a guy on thehulltruth.com-5 with 400 lb mono and a dropper for a surf weight and 5 with cable for fishing under a balloon from the boat. Think that would be the best way to go about it? Hopefully I'll catch enough bait to use one for chumming from the boat. Also I have a ton of frozen freshwater gizzard shad I was thinking about chopping up and bringing for chum. Think that would be worth the effort?

So, from the boat just anchor up a little away from a reef or wreck and start chumming and fishing under a balloon? That is basically the gameplan as of now.

I will definitely give BJ's a call or contact you when I am there and get some bait fresh bait just in case. Do they have shrimp there also?

Thanks again!
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:26 PM   #5
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Shoot me a message when your heading this way - I might have some frozen bonita I can spare
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:44 PM   #6
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I appreciate that Osborne!
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:09 PM   #7
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Yes, that will work, however, I don't ever use any kind of flotation device on the boat. I use heavy enough baits where I can just throw them out and they will pretty much stay still or atleast flow with the current. FYI baloons are "legal" anymore... They say the turtles were ingesting them and dying. Just letting you know bc we found out the "hard way" by fwc. Thankfully they counted it as a teaching session and didn't give us a ticket. Also, when positioning the boat see which way the current is flowing and anchor up-current for chumming purposes.

Talk to Daryl at bjs. He said to give them a call and they will get you whatever you would like. They don't carry the bonita on hand but if you give them a date you will be there to get them they will have it there for you.

As far as your terminal tackle that should work fine for the boat. For the beach.. I think line capicity will be your biggest issue when hooking into the bigger sharks. We use 9/0's full of braid from the beach and have almost been spooled a few times.

Let me know if you have anymore questions. I'll help ya out however I can. I DO believe in CHUM.. a lot of it! I usually throw whatever little bait that they have frozen at bjs (usally like 2 dollars a bag or something) ad put them in a 5 gallon bucket, then catch some bonita, cut the tails and let them bleed into the bucket with the chum, then take something and smuch the fish up and throw a handful out every few minutes. We ALWAYS catch them or atleast hook them.

Ok. I'll quit babbling!!!
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:38 PM   #8
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Thanks again Mike. I searched around but couldn't find anything that said balloons are illegal to use. Do you have a link?
My leaders are 10' so I won't be able to really cast them. If I can't use a ballon will it spook the shark fishing pretty much under the boat?

That's awesome that Daryl will help me out. I'll give him a call the week we are going for sure.

When you fish from the boat do you pull anchor when you hook a big one or no? If so, do you know a way to quick release with a bouy? I be overthinking this, just don't want to get spooled from the boat.
From the beach I'll just have to hope I catch smaller ones I guess.

Will a frozen bonita still bleed when thawed for chum purposes?
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:44 PM   #9
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Here are my rigs:
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:56 PM   #10
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Wrong section I know, but If I put a live bait on one of the skirted rigs is there a chance of catching a sailfish? How far out would I have to go for that?
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