to fish for Tiger Shark
The tiger shark is often found close to the coast, in mainly tropical and sub-tropical waters, though they can reside in temperate waters. Tiger sharks are the second largest predatory shark other than the great white. The shark's behavior is primarily nomadic, but is guided by warmer currents, and it stays closer to the equator throughout the colder months. The shark tends to stay in deep waters that line reefs but does move into channels to pursue prey in shallower waters. The shark has been found in deep water but is also known to move into shallow water that would normally be considered too shallow for a species of its size. It is also frequently found in river estuaries and harbors.
Tiger shark fishermen must treat this shark with the utmost of care and respect. Tigers will sometimes try to ram or jump into a boat, often before they are even hooked, to reach the source of the chum that drew them to the boat in the first place. They are tenacious, acrobatic, and terribly strong when hooked. These sharks provide even seasoned big-game fishermen a full test of skill.
To successfully fish for Tiger Sharks you need to set a good chum slick. For Tiger Sharks you can use either bunker chum or your own ground up fish chum . Bunker chum is ground up bunker which is then frozen in large tins. Bunker chum is very oily and produces a slick on top of the water. If you grind up your own chum you can use any oily fish like herring or mackerel. Grind the fish until its like porridge and fill a plastic milk carton then freeze it. When your ready to use it poke several holes in it and drag it behind the boat. You can use a chum bag for the bunker or you can just punch holes in the tin can itself to get the chum to leak out. You should be aware that sometimes the sharks will attack the chum bags and tins, themselves.
The best baits I have found are live bluefish , bluefish filets, mackerel, mackerel filets and tuna filets. Use different baits on each of your rigs. You should also have a heavy leader of 10 to 15 feet and 100 lb. test monofilament, a wire leader, a pre-rigged leader all work. The usual hook size is 6/0 to 10/0. Another important item is your float. You have to float the baits at different depths. Common floats to use are pieces of styrofoam or balloons. Fish one line about 50 yards from the boat and another at 75 yards. and one in close as well right up behind your chum bag or milk carton.
For Tiger Sharks you need heavy tackle. Many shark anglers use the Penn International Reels with heavy shark or tuna rods. The Penn 50's or Penn 80's have been popular for Tiger Sharks with a line test somewhere between 30 and 80 pound test.
When fishing around bridges or piers 20 LB spinning gear or 30 LB conventional gear is required. For open water tarpon fishing and smaller tarpon you could drop down to 12 or 15 LB light tackle depending on the size of the Tarpon in the area. A medium to heavy 7 foot rod is a good choice depending again on the size of Tarpon in the area.
A Tarpons body and gill plates are abrasive and can damage line in hurry. A light leader set up for Tarpon fishing would be 3 feet of 60 LB fluorocarbon leader tied to 10 feet of 40 LB leader attached to 15 or 20 LB doubled main line. For bridge or pier Tarpon fishing try 6 to 10 feet of 100 to 125 LB leader tied to a heavy barrel swivel or directly to a doubled 20 or 30 LB main line.
If you are tarpon fishing with 20 pound test line set the drag at 4 to 5 pounds. A good way to be sure of the drag setting is to use a hand held scale to double check your setting. Because the size of Tarpon varies greatly by area pick your line test accordingly. Tarpon are strong fighters and having your drag set accordingly is important. Just remember with Tarpon you need to tire the fish, you cant strong arm a Tarpon to the boat or you will break your line.