Blacktips providing exciting catches close to shore

Blacktip sharks are providing plenty of fun for anglers within sight of shore.

Blacktip sharks put on exciting shows

For pure, drag-screaming fun, it’s tough to beat shark fishing, and that’s especially true this time of year. Capt. Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters said summer is the best time to put anglers on the biggest fish of their lives. And it doesn’t take up a full day to do it.

“Blacktips provide just about the most exciting fishing you’ll find without heading to the Gulf Stream. We catch these sharks, which range from 30 to 150 pounds, within 3 miles of the beach,” said Bennett.

To find these sharks, Bennett follows the shrimp boats. The big blacktips aren’t far behind, so he casts out a live menhaden, pierced through the nose with an 8/0 hook, then places the rod in a rod holder.

It usually doesn’t take long for a shark to thump the bait, then go on an impressive run. Once the angler has the rod in hand, Bennett will follow the shark so the angler can reel in the slack line.

“Once I get within about 30 feet of the shark, I put the outboard in idle and let the angler and shark go at it. This is a thrill for the angler and it wears down the shark. That makes it easier to land,” he said

Blacktips often go completely airborne

A fight with a blacktip goes beyond feeling a good tug on the line.

“They put on a big show. Once they realize they’re hooked, they will go completely airborne. They will usually jump five or six times. It’s an exciting show,” Bennett said.

His preferred gear for landing this fish includes a 4500 series spinning reel spooled with 65-pound braided line. Next comes a leader of fluorocarbon, then a single-strand of steel wire.

“I used a 3-foot section of 100-pound fluorocarbon, then a  3-foot section of wire, then the hook. You have to use that wire to keep the sharks from biting through it. And it also helps when they wrap around the line. It can easily cut if not using steel,” he said.

Bennett said this bite continues well into the summer, and usually stays hot until the fall weather turns the water temperatures down.

“These trips can result in some of the most memorable fishing trips for anglers of all ages. And it’s when most will catch the biggest sharks of their lives,” he said.

Want to see what it’s like to wrangle one of these big sharks? Give Bennett a call at 843-367-3777.

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About Brian Cope 1949 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at

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