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Land Based Texas Shark Fishing

By Kastking | 22 January 2018 | 0 Comments

If you are looking for big off the beach fishing action try Texas shark fishing.

 

 

SHARK! Your first thought may be Jaws, teeth, or just fear, right? Not me. For me it’s all about Texas shark fishing. I think of screaming drag and a good time down on the beach. For more than a year I have been dedicating over 90% of my fishing to targeting these majestic creatures, tagging, and successfully releasing them alive. Let me tell you, hands down, without getting on a boat and going offshore, it can be the fight of your life. Land based Texas shark fishing is a whole different breed of fishing with ever changing conditions and hazards. Luckily enough for me, before I ever hit the beach for my first official shark trip, I found several places for information, as well as a local shop in Corpus Christi, Texas that specializes in shark fishing to get the scoop on what I was in for. Nothing prepared me for the last year of challenges, except just doing it.

 

Multiple things come into play when you’re trying to put a shark on the sand. Yes, you can just throw a line out and hope, but there’s much more to it than just that, especially here. Quite a few things come into play, but let’s start off with what lets you reach out and touch one. Your fishing tackle, equipment, rig or your personal set up that’s being used; it’s important, so important, that without it, you’re goofing off on the beach drinking a beer, which is a good time, but we’re after sharks after all, right? You’ll need heavy duty everything, but at the same time, you can be cost effective until you are sure you want to dive in all the way; which can be very rewarding in the end.

 

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Spider weights typically used in land based Texas shark fishing.

You have to get the bait out and casting is the fastest easiest way. You can cast from piers, jetties and from the beach, all of which to get a bait out with practice. In no time, you’ll be fine. My personal set up for Texas shark fishing casting is either a KastKing® RXA90 on a 80 pound class rod with 50 pound KastKing® braid backline and a 50 pound

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KastKing RXA 90 as used by the author for Texas shark fishing

mono topshot of 200 yards or greater, or a Avet LXMC with the same line set, but on a 130 pound class rod. Both of these reels put out 20 pounds of drag. If you don’t know what a spider weight is, don’t fret. I didn’t know either when I came to Texas. Learn how to use spider weights as part of your fishing tackle. Here on the Texas Gulf coast we have strong shifting currents and a high buildup of sea weed during most years. A spider weight will help keep your bait in place instead of flowing off into the distance or ending up back on shore. Spider weights also help in casting out the leaders; I typically use a 9 foot leader. The spider weight hangs above the hook, so run your hook through the bait, then hang up your hook on the spider weight (if you haven’t guessed they have legs). Suddenly, that 9’ leader is a bit over 4’ and more manageable if you just use a pendulum style swing and boom. It also brings up butt preference. Stop laughing. I’m serious. A longer butt allows you a wider hand stance that’s more shoulder width for power and still allows you to be accurate with a ten ounce weight, including bait, to cast. Roughly 26 inches, including gimbal, is a solid length for me. Although, I know some Texas shark fishing anglers who use a 36 inch and 19 inch as well.

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KastKing Superpower braided fishing line in 65 lb – 150 lb is 8-strands and ideal for Texas shark fishing.

 

Run outs. Let’s face it, if you want to get a monster shark on the sand with you, you’re going to have to get 600 – 1,500 yards out off the beach with a bait. To get your bait far off shore you can use a jet ski, zodiac, or a kayak. I’m cheap, so it’s a kayak. After having used a few different types of kayaks I like the 9’ 6” ocean frenzy, I’ve been spun sideways, had a breaker hit me, and keep the plastic side down in it. It is slow but very stable. Please remember always, always wear your PFD while kayaking. Use a sturdy leash (no 440 cord) and a 1 piece paddle. It can mean your life. I’ve taken out the wrong kayak in the wrong conditions during Texas shark fishing trips and come away with my pride hurt but alive because of those 3 items. To the reels! I use a KastKing® Pro Series Ecooda Ocean Master conventional reel because of the 55 pounds of drag it has and good spool capacity and mount it on a 130 pound class rod cut down from the tip, as well as the Avet LXMC I mentioned before for some drops. However, to really get it out there you need capacity and strength, a 80w, 50w or 30w can reach out and touch with strength to pull in, but of course you can go to a 130 if you really want. Your rod? Well… at this point, put it on whatever you want. Here in Texas, Harrington rods are popular and they are great for the heavy class reels. Now you’re dealing with fishing line in the 100 pound plus category. I use KastKing® braided fishing line for my 100 pound braid for the fact that it’s not a 6 strand braid, but rather, an 8 strand braided line (all KastKing® Superpower braided fishing line is made with ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE, UHMW) from 65 lb through 150 lb is 8 strand) meaning it has a higher abrasion resistance and stands up to the weed here. It is extremely tough line. Even at that, you can still pack on as much as other brands, but for a lot less cost for an excellent quality fishing line. Your reel will comprise of roughly 800 plus yards of braid line and 200 yards minimum of monofilament line, and as the leader a 21’ longline is my preference. For longlines you use a needle to thread the drops (steel cable or wire your hooks are on) through the bait before hooking it. That’s right, run the lines through the bait pulling all but the business end into your bait. Here whole fish and rays are used; big bait means big fish with most species. For long drops racks come into play to keep the tip of the rod elevated much higher. This helps keep your main line from being pulled across the sandbars and getting torn up. You can do it without them it’ll just save some heartache. As with all this there’s places everywhere to get the Texas shark fishing tackle you need to catch bait and the shark you want, I get both from 2 places. I get most of my reels and line from Eposiedon.com and I get my leaders from a HardLife, the local shop I mentioned earlier.

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KastKing Pro Series the Ecooda Ocean Master sold by Eposeidon

Local fishing tackle shops can help you out with tracking down all the need to know with your coastline, fishing reports, and gear for what you’re doing. as always social media can help you track down specific shops that outfit for shark fishing. These places are full of valuable information and I’m always walking away with more knowledge than when I went into the shop. This is a good thing as we all know the ocean and conditions are always changing. Not only is it a good place for knowledge; it’s a good place for beginners. Lucky for me, the shop I use in Texas is run by a LBSFA record holder, so my 4 leaf clover came in handy. These shops are great for meeting new people to fish with who can teach or help point you in the right direction. Not to forget you can buy your leaders and everything while all of this is happening so it serves multiple points to a trip whether or not you are shark fishing.

 

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80lb KastKing braided line was used to catch this 7 ft, 1in bull shark in a battle that lasted 2 hours. Photo courtesy of Julian Rich

Now it’s off to set up on the beach to start wave watching. We spend time driving up and down the beach looking for rip currents, jack crevalle, and other bait fish in the water as a sign of where we want to stop to fish. Surf size and definition is always a play on where you stop. Inconsistent times between waves that are non-stop breaking means that you most likely have flatter slope with less guts and sand bars, but it also means harder time to get out in big surf. Defined breaking waves with time in between towards shore means more defined guts and sand bars which is good and also means it’s a bit easier to get out. While paddling in the gut you have less chance of being in breaking waves. Rip currents mean an easier way to paddle out, you can tell by the waves, but it is also dangerous. Rips are like fish highways on how to move from the breaking waves out to the 3rd gut or farther. Once you’ve done all of this and found your spot it’s time to set up. It can take a while or it can go quick, but no matter what, you have to be thorough. Make sure you have bolt cutters, long handled hook removers, a friend or two, and other items needed such as a tail rope.

 

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This shark was caught on a Texas beach, photographed, measured, tagged, and released

After you’ve finally had a chance and get your shark on the sand in front of you… it’s something else. I’ve been Texas shark fishing long enough to be around when small sharks have been landed and a few large ones. It always draws awe from everyone around you; it will stop people driving down the beach to watch for hours as you battle from a fixed point. However, it’s also your responsibility to keep people far enough back to be safe. I’m lucky enough to go fishing with a group that practices healthy CPR (catch, photograph, release) and tagging. I’m also for the healthy harvest of the whole shark. You can find out more about local shark tagging programs online. Here it’s through Texas A&M as well as Harte institute. After measurements are taken and other info is added it gets released to grow and do shark things.

 

 

For me, hands down, Texas shark fishing has been one of the most challenging fishing adventures I’ve undertaken to this point. You have to challenge yourself physically for the payout and it’s worth it. The people you’ll meet and are fishing with might look rough, but who doesn’t after 4 days on the beach? Shark fishing is  a great time out with good friends and tight lines, what more could you want? Always remember, ‘Good things come to those who bait.’

 

—  By Dane Creach

 

Dane Creach is active in land based Texas shark fishing and also participates in shark fishing tournaments and fishes for many other Gulf saltwater species. He also fishes freshwater.

 

About Eposeidon:

eposeidon, fishing, tackle, logoEposeidon (www.eposeidon.com  Eposeidon Outdoor Adventure, Inc.)  brings a fresh, innovative approach to anglers by offering quality fishing tackle products at the best prices and no cost, or low cost shipping. Eposeidon’s goal is to exceed expectations through outstanding customer service and superior product value to their customers. Eposeidon is continually expanding its product lines, which include KastKing® fishing line, fishing reels, and fishing rods, MadBite fishing lures, KastKing® Ecooda Pro series reels, and other fishing tackle products, to meet individual fishing equipment needs. Eposeidon is headquartered in Garden City, NY, USA and sells fishing tackle products globally.

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