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Hey guys,

Like many of my brethren around here, I have the desire to fish for shark. However, before I progress up the food chain and haul monsters out of the surf, I want to fish for something I can put on the table - little blacktips or bonnetheads. I'm also a bit of a foodie, so I'm looking forward to this.

Anyway, I've been doing a lot of reading about the requirements and the tackle, and I've come up with 2 questions that I can nail down answers to.

1) For SMALL shark fishing 2 to 4 feet, what kind of hook would be best? I'm thinking something in the 10 or 11/0 circle hook range, a 4 ft. wire leader, 50 yard / 50lb test top shot, and then 30lb braid on a spinning or heavy baitcasting reel. Does this sound close to right?

Now, here's why I suggest that - I'm going to be surf fishing (obviously, hence the forum) without a kayak, ski, or any way to really get baits 400 yards out. Question 2) with a mono topshot and a 4 ft wire leader, how does one go about CASTING a shark rig? I can see big barrel swivels catching rod eyes and taking out seagulls flying around. So - how is this done? Thanks, guys!

-R.
 

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For the topshot just connect it to the braid w/ an albright knot, then reel it onto the reel (no swivel), and I use 9/0 owner circle hooks and love them.. A 4 ft leader shouldn't be that bad to cast after that..
 

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OSOK
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If you are strictly targeting that size shark, casting it a long ways isn't that important. If you can get it into the trough in front of the sandbar, there are plenty of those guys in that area, plus some bigger ones. What Penn said as far as the top shot if you are going to use one, but for that application I think just braid to wire would be fine. I'm no expert but I have caught plenty of sharks, both big and small. For sharks that size, a slab of bonita about half the size of your hand should do, and I would go a little smaller on the hook size with about a 5/0 or 6/0 because of the smaller bait. I'm also a fan of the seven strand wire because it performs more like a fishing line than wire. Just my .02
 

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Neptune calls me "Daddy"
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The shoal just west of the pass is FULL of small sharks. Anchor up, chunk up some chum, put a big ole piece of something dead on the bottom, then put a big ole hunk of something dead on a balloon so it stays near the top. You can WATCH the smaller blacktip and spinner sharks come up and take the bait.

Jim
 

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Tight Lines has tons of bonita right now ranging from 1lb up to 15lbs... Just get one and use it as you need it.
 

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Blowhard extrordinair
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The shoal just west of the pass is FULL of small sharks. Anchor up, chunk up some chum, put a big ole piece of something dead on the bottom, then put a big ole hunk of something dead on a balloon so it stays near the top. You can WATCH the smaller blacktip and spinner sharks come up and take the bait.

Jim

No boat, but thanks for the tip. :thumbsup:
 

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Your rig sounds ok though I would use 9/0 circles max for small sharks, and I don't use topshots on casting rigs only my kayak rigs use topshots. Just put 2feet of 100lbs test wire on the end of a 4-5 foot section of abrasion leader (heavy mono or weedeater string) you don't need to reach 400 yards to get into sharks, I have caught sharks both large and small within casting range, heck I nearly got chomped once in 2' of water by a 4 footer chasing mullet that swam between my legs!! Use a long rod to throw these long leaders, trying to cast the knot through the eyes of the rod always screws up casts.
 

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I can save you some time, effort, and a few dirty words. :) Use a section of heavy mono, 50 - 80 lbs between your braid and the wire leader. With an 8 ft rod I used about 4-6 ft of heavy mono. Reason being that when toothy picks up your bait and heads for Mexico with it, his tail is most likely gonna swipe your braid and cut it almost instantly. Something I learned the hard way. Hope this helps and good luck.
 

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^ I have had blacktip tails swipe right through 80lbs mono, 200lbs leader grade mono holds up MUCH better on long fights, and yes a 5 foot blacktip will fight like the devil. You will think you hooked a torpedo the way they pull, big spinners will really give you a run for your money too.
 

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Other than bonita what is another good bait to use? Mullet is too damn hard to net, and I dont want to buy the stuff they sell at wal mart. I hear ladyfish and spanish are great to use, but how do you bait the hook? Do you just cut the fish into chunks like a steak, or what?
 
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