to fish for Blacktip Shark
Blacktip Sharks can be taken fairly close to shore. Tackle and lines in the 20 to 30 pound class for smaller Blacktips and up to 50 pound for the big boys are generally sufficient for this species, though wire leaders are necessary due to the shark's sharp teeth. Drifting or slow trolling with fresh cut bait is a common strategy, and artificial lures are used infrequently. Chumming with chunked menhaden or mackerel is often used to attract these and other sharks into fishing range. Because of their size and sharp teeth, extreme caution is necessary when boating any shark.
The Blacktip Shark includes in it diet herring, sardines, mullet, and anchovies, but they also eat many other bony fish including catfish, groupers, jacks, snook, flatfishes, triggerfish, and porcupine fish. They are also known to consume squid. Any of these items can be used for bait when fishing for Blacktip Shark.
For smaller Blacktip sharks under four feet, use a medium-action spinning outfits with 20-pound braided line, 3-foot fluorocarbon leaders and 3/0 circle hooks, which yield optimal connections. When you're after larger Blacktip sharks, use heavy spinning gear loaded with 30-pound mono or 50-pound braided line. The braided line allows more backing should you need more running room when a big Blacktip takes off. A crimped length of black, coated, multi-strand wire leader and a 7/0 to 9/0 hook complete the setup.
Offshore, you'll find Blacktips patrolling natural and artificial reefs and any other bottom structure that holds baitfish. Here, your best bet is to anchor up current of the structure and set out a spread of live baitfish. Stagger your spread with half freelined and half fished with just enough weight to keep them down in the water column. Once you spot a few sharks fining, try floating a couple of baits for those cruising topside.
In lesser depths, look for Blacktip Sharks anywhere a shallow feeding zone like a grassflat borders deep water. Channel edges, cuts and passes all offer likely scenarios in which the shark can rise out of deep water to hunt exposed prey on the flats.
They'll patrol your perimeter just within eyesight before suddenly rushing in for a closer look. Despite a highly aggressive nature, these guys are cautious, calculating and very perceptive.
Profiled against the lighter bottom, smaller fish make easy targets. Float live sardines to keep them from hiding in the grass and it won't take long for the shark to find its mark.
However or where ever you fish for Blacktip Sharks, you'll get more action if you season the water with chum. Blacktip Sharks have well-developed sniffers and when they pick up the scent of something edible, they'll beat a path to its origin.
Any fresh cuttings will do, but the dark, oily meat of threadfins for a lasting scent trail work well. Also effective is a frozen chum block in a mesh bag hung from a cleat. Complement the solid stuff with menhaden oil dispensed a couple of ounces at a time or through a dripper bag.
When chumming cranks up their appetite, or when sharks are actively feeding on a bait school, their aggression often extends to a well-presented artificial lure or fly. Bucktail jigs, crankbaits, even streamer flies will all fool a fired-up shark.
Blacktip Sharks, when hooked, can leap and spin like a gymnast. That's all part of the Blacktip Sharks appeal to sportfishermen, attitude, agility and appetite.