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Shark Fishing – Best Shark Fishing Locations

Embarking on the quest to find the ultimate shark fishing spot can often feel like you’re trying to solve an ancient mystery, minus the dusty old maps and cryptic riddles. But here’s a little secret that might just tip the scales in your favor: finding a shark fishing location isn’t really all that hard. Truth be told, all you need is a pinch of sand beneath your toes and an endless stretch of water that teases the horizon. So, grab your hat and your tackle box, because we’re about to dive fin-first into the surprisingly simple yet thrilling world of shark fishing locations.

The two most popular states for shark fishing are Florida and Texas since they have loads of both sand and sea. They also have a lot more sharks along their coasts than other states, but that’s not so say that South Carolina, North Carolina and all the way up to New Jersey don’t have their share of sharks. Florida leads the nation in shark bites because there are more sharks per capita than anywhere else, BUT just remember you’re more likely to get struck by lightning than you are to get bitten by a shark.

where to shark fish

Important Location Considerations

As with all types of fishing, you really have to go where the shark bait is. I was a weekend shark-fisher so I was always having to catch my bait before I actually started fishing for sharks. If it took me 3 hours to catch bait – the morale was low. Finding a beach near an inlet or by some sort of structure can do wonders for bait and sharks.

Also find a power plant near the water. Power plants tend to cool their reactors with the ocean water and pump the warm water back into the ocean. The outlets are usually several hundred feet offshore but the bait and shark fishing is second to none. That’s why I drove 3 hours to fish in the Jensen Beach area.

One word of caution when it comes to finding your perfect shark fishing location. Fishing for sharks when there are 100 people around is a bad idea. Find a beach that doesn’t get a lot of traffic. If you do have to fish in a very populated area my suggestion would to be fish early in the morning or in the evening when the majority of people have left the water. The first time your line burns a little kid because a 6′ blacktip made a screaming run on you, you’ll thank me. If the shark you hook up with is larger than the tackle you’ll probably end up several hundred yards down the beach.

Florida: Key West Shark Fishing

I shark fished for nearly 5 years in the Central Florida area. This would include the Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, and Cocoa Beach areas. I also checked out Monster Hole at Sebastian Inlet. I always wanted to get down to Key West.

Occasionally I would drive about 3 hours south to the Jensen Beach / Juno Beach area in hopes to hook up with a bull, tiger, or lemon shark. Unfortunately I wasn’t that lucky. It is also rumored that Key West is some of the best around. I’ve read stories of the great hammerheads tearing a 200lb tarpon to pieces.

If I had to make a suggestion on the best Florida beach to catch a shark, try Ormond Beach. This beach is great for shark because hardly anyone visits, and fisherman own the beach in the morning. This is the beach where I caught my first 6′ blacktip and kayaked through a huge school of tarpon.

Canaveral National Seashore (CNS) is also a great option for shark as it is also not very populated. You’ll have to pay a $10 fee to get into the park, but you get restroom facilities. Also make sure you check the space shuttle launch schedule as the park is closed when it’s on the pad. I personally haven’t had much luck here, but have read many fishing reports saying that sharks frequent these waters.

Beach Shark Fishing in Galveston, Texas

I have not personally shark fished in Galveston, but what I do know is that the Galveston shark fishing is downright addictive. There are several Texas charter boat captains out there who target sharks. Also the Padre Island National Seashore (PINS) is home of some of the greatest Texas shark fishing I’ve ever seen.

I could really use some help with the Texas shark fishing section. If you have information you could share with my readers, please let me know.

North Carolina: Sandy beaches with cruising sharks

Cape Hatteras Light house, which is called Cape Point, is one of the easiest places to shark fish and rated the best location to shark fish on the East Coast due to the sand bars and the guts that run thru them.

The sandbar runs off the north side of the point and continues around to the south side.

At low tide, it runs out about 500 ft. When I first started out, I had no kayak, and at low tide I was able to walk big tuna skirts out on the sand bar and heave over into the third gut, which drops off into about 12-25 ft.of water. I don’t recommend walking the bloody bait out if there are any sharks around.

The best shark fishing experience I have had is anywhere from the beginning of June to the end of August and as far as my opinion, set up about 4 hours before dark and fish all night. The best equipment for this location would be to use a reel that will hold up to 500 yards of 50 lb. test and a heavy action 5-7 foot rod. I generally use a 30 foot, 300 lb. stainless steel liter with a 10/0-14/0 hook (all depending on the size of fish that you are trying to catch). Five foot up from the hook I use a 14 oz. breakaway sinker.

The rip current off of the sandbar when the tides are returning can be a pain. What I mean by “breakaway” is when I am hooked up, the sinker will break loose from the liter line and I am fighting all fish, no dead weight. I use this method for 4-8′ sharks and it has proven to be very productive for me.

If your preference is surf casting versus kayaking the bait, then I would use a heavy action 12′ surf rod capable of throwing 6-14 oz. of lead. The reel would have to hold at least 350 yards of 30lb. test and the only surf casting reel that I know of is a Diawa 50 sha. It’s got a heavy drag line and is built for durability.

The only downfall to surf casting is trying to throw a monster chunk of bait. And at Cape Point, the sharks generally run 5-12 feet and it does not take long to spool a surf casting reel. That is why I recommend having your ducks in a row if you are planning to fish Cape Point for sharks.

Beach Shark Fishing In Myrtle Beach, SC

Anyone know anything about shark fishing in Myrtle Beach? If so, shoot me an email please!

Virginia Shark Fishing

Baby Blacktip Shark Pier Fishing

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is one of the main places that I fish in Virginia. I fish a lot off of the piers because beach access is limited in this area. I fished Virginia Beach Fishing Pier in August of 2008 and it was very productive for monster black tip sharks. It should be mentioned that shark fishing is not permitted off of Virginia Beach Pier, but you can’t help what bites your bait.

We landed about 30 out of 40 blacktips. The largest was about 6′ but I didn’t have the equipment to weigh the fish, but I am sure it would have broke the state record.

The best fishing spot in Virginia Beach is Little Island Fishing Pier, known as Sandbridge Pier. You have plenty of beach access and that is where the big boys run.

Bryan Lester Monster Cobia

Sandbridge Beach Shark Fishing

Off of Sandbridge beach I would use at least a Shimano 30w LRS which holds 580 yards of 50 lb. mono. and a heavy 5’5″-6′ rod.

The best bait that I have used in Virginia beach is live or chunked bluefish and spanish mackeral used the same way.

Virginia beach is limited on sandbars in this area but Sandbridge is located on the southern point of Virginia Beach which is deep water and very swift rip current and sharks love that!

July 26th of 2008, I hooked up on a 65lb. Cobia off of Sandbridge pier while penn rigging. The same day, I hooked up on about a 40lb. King Mackerel while penn rigging. The reason I say about 40lbs. is because while reeling the fish to the pier it exploded out of the water, and could not figure out why. Well needless to say, when I got it to the pier, I only had half of a fish and the one half was 20lbs. It was about a 61/2 ft. bull shark that cut this fish in half. All in all, Sandbridge is one of the best places that I have ever fished.

Check out the rest of the Shark Fishing Guide:

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