I have a small boat. Where can I find and catch shark?

Dear Captain "
Where are sharks located and what is the best way to catch these fish ? "

Tampa Bay is an excellent shark fishery. Since you mentioned that you're fishing on a boat, let's talk about catching them everywhere but on the beaches - which are excellent places to encounter huge shark.

Where to find shark

Any bridge from the Skyway to the Howard Franklin are very productive for shark fishing. I find less sharks north of the Howard Franklin. So I would definitely stick south of this area. It is not that there aren't sharks in the most northern part of the bay, but there usually is less whitebait and the salinity is usually much lower.

12 foot great white

What I like to do is find any range marker or tripod marker in the bay holding lots of bait. I will then anchor a short distance down tide from the marker. I will start to chum with cut up live scaled sardines and threadfins. I use shears to cut up the live bait into fingernail size pieces. This works really good to lure sharks in. I use about a 30 lb fluorocarbon leader to start with and 2/0 2x strong long shank hook. No wire until I get cutoff, or the 200 lb sharks show up. I freeline a live sardine on one rod, sometimes adding a split shot. I will use a live cut threadfin on a fish finder rig on another rod, getting the bait down on the bottom or close to it.

If I catch a legal Spanish mackerel I will put it on a stinger rig (wire now) and free line that for a bigger shark. Sometimes I will also cut the mackerel up and use it as chum and cut bait. You can also put out a frozen chum bag, but I find the fresh cut bloody, shiny, oilly live bait works better.

Thanks for your question, and I hope we helped a little bit. For more information and to become part of our community, make sure you sign up for our newsletters and Like us on Facebook.



Captain David M. Rieumont

The Online Fisherman

GHM logo