Tag and release sandbar shark

March 01, 2015 by Andrew Herzog

Trip Info


We haven’t been out shark fishing since the giant sting ray.  Waters are still cool.  Most common sharks around are sandbars, black tips and further south sanibel/ fort myers area they are starting to see some smaller bull sharks.  We set out to one of our more successful spots to see if we could tag a few and get a few pictures for an article I am writing later this month to be published summer 2015.  Hoping the rays stay home today we headed out to try to see if any toothy creatures were hungry.

Pressed for time due to windy conditions picking up later in the day we wanted to find these guys quickly.  We anchored up and started getting out rigs together.  Today the reels of choice are the maxel ocean max 10 reels with 80lb line.  Wire leaders and circle hooks.  Bait was some mullet we netted on the way out.  Chumming is super important this time of year.  After baits are cast out we set out some bloodstream chum and then it was a waiting game.  The waters around us seemed very active.  Lots of boats fishing near us.  Even watched a boat hook up on a nice cobia!  Chum seemed to be calling everything in during the incoming tide.  All of a sudden the maxel reel started screaming off the back of the boat.

All of us hoping that this was a shark.  She made a long slow run at the beginning saving her energy for when we got her near the boat.  She took Andrew in circles, over and under the anchor line.  When she finally surfaced we were able to identify her by her dermal ridge she was a sandbar shark.  Common in our area during cool winter months.  These sharks are pretty cool, since they have such a long migratory pattern.  Some of them just venture across the gulf to Texas, others swim all the way around the state of Florida to the North Eastern USA!  I can only hope I get a recapture on one of my tag saying the shark was as far away as New Jersey.  The sandbar shark hold the record for 28 years between tag and recapture through NOAA

We got the shark boat side and I went for the tail rope.  Sharks this large can really tear your boat up so this girl stayed next to the boat.  We measured and tagged.  I took a few snapshots after she was de-hooked she gave us a great burst of energy.  We knew she was ready to swim off.

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