Anglers looking for a tug on their line that turns in to a tough fight to test their angling skills are finding that right now in South Carolina’s lowcountry.
While some anglers find catching a shark is a letdown when they’re targeting another species, it’s a thrill when you’re actually going after sharks, especially blacktip sharks which can really put on a show.
“The blacktips are really biting right now, and they’ll jump and carry on. They’re exciting to catch, and some of the ones we’re catching lately are over 100 pounds,” said Capt. Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters out of Johns Island.
And Bennett said getting to the sharks isn’t too difficult and doesn’t require a long ride out.
“We’re catching them in water that’s 15 to 20 feet deep, and we only have to go one or two miles off the beach. The best way to catch them is drifting menhaden under balloons with a 6-foot leader and an 8/0 circle hook.
Bennett (843-367-3777) likes to drift in the same line that the shrimp boats run, and he said even if no shrimp boats are present, the sharks are still there looking for a meal. He said it’s best for anglers to leave their rods in rod holders once the bait is out.
“Those circle hooks allow the sharks to hook themselves, so just leave the rod alone until it’s doubled over. Sometimes you have to crank the reel very fast once you pick the rod up if the shark is swimming toward the boat. It may feel like the shark has gotten loose, but you just have to reel in the slack, and then the fight is on,” he said.
For tackle, Bennett uses a heavy rod, a 6500 spinning reel, 50-pound braided mainline, and a 100-pound leader. He expects the shark bite to remain hot for quite a while, and said whether you’re trying to get a kid hooked on fishing, bringing someone who has never fished, or are an experienced angler, this type of fishing is challenging, fun, and will want you coming back for more.