- Posted by Nick Honachefsky
- On August 8, 2017
No doubt, its shark time in Jersey. The first two weeks of August always usher in all sorts of beasties to the surf line.
Not only are big game sharks around, such as blacktips, spinners, browns, sand tigers, and even a hammerhead or two, but some behemoth rays such as butterfly rays, roughtail stingrays and cow nosed rays will also test the strength and stamina of surf anglers.
Rods need to be heavy duty and able to handle fish up to a 200-pound class adversary. 11 to 12-foot rods are commonplace such as a Shimano Tiralejo TRS120MHA a Tsunami TSAWESS1142XH or a Lamiglas XS 11MHC. Reels need to be brawny and sturdy enough to handle the stress of the beast as well as engage a smooth drag system during ripping runs. Shimano Ultegra 14000 XTD, the old school Penn Spinfisher 9500 or Abu Garcia 6000CTI. Spool up with 65-pound Power Pro green braid as the main running line.
Anglers use various types of rigs for surf beasts. It’s come down to a pretty simple rig to start. Tie a Palomar knot onto a Spro 2/0 130-pound test three-way swivel with sinker clip. On the second eye of the three-way is crimped a 40-inch section of 130-pound monofilament leader, crimped to American Fishing Wire 210-pound Surflon wire leader C210B-0 then crimped to a 10/0 Gamakatsu Octopus or Big River hook. You can also purchase a pre-tied BlacktipH shark rig. Usually a 3 to 5-ounce Pyramid sinker is used for weight.
When fishing the dark hours, don’t forget to clip on Cyalume night light sticks to the rod tips and be sure your sand spike is planted like concrete super securely into the sand, otherwise an unrooted rod will be pulled out of the spike and dragged into the ocean, lost forever. Fresh bunker are the prime baits for sharks but you can also opt to use chunks of bluefish, mackerel or kingfish heads.
Fighting sharks from the surf is no joke as drag systems will be tested with scorching runs, while every fiber of the rod will be stretched to its maximum capacity and bend. Keep your drags moderately set and adjust with little tick twists to tighten down accordingly as the fight drags on. It’s not uncommon to battle a big fish for a half hour or more, so be prepared for the long haul when that rod goes down. In Jersey, it is illegal to possess brown, sand tiger or dusky sharks so if you do happen to hook one by chance, it must be released immediately in the washline. Check your state’s regulations for updated land-based shark rules. All sharks should be released quickly after the hook is taken out, and no shark should be out of the water for over a minute.
TRS120MHA Tiralejo Surf Spinning Rod
The new Shimano Tiralejo Surf Spinning Rods are made with the all new Shimano C4S blank construction which utilizes high modulus blank and wraps 4 outer layers of 90 degree graphite. The C4S construction is a unique design that uses Carbon “C” a 4 layer process “4” and slit carbon tape “S” while using high modulus carbon “HM”.
Spinfisher V SSV9500 Spinning Reel
The Spinfisher V Series reels have many improved features such as the rubber gasket that keeps superline from slipping. Another great feature is the line capacity rings, so you will always know how much line is left during a tough angling fight.
65lb 500yds Braided Spectra Fishing Line Moss Green
PowerPro braided Spectra fiber with Enhanced Body Technology (EBT) gives you awesome handling performance on any reel. Unlike the older style braided lines, fishing with PowerPro is as easy as fishing with monofilament. An incredibly round, smooth, and sensitive line.
BTHSR Blacktiph Shark Rig
Want to use the same shark rig as Josh from BlacktipH? Well now you can using the BlacktipH surf fishing shark rig made in the USA by Tackle Crafters. This rig is comprised of super strong 350lb swivels, #15 single strand stainless steel wire, 400lb monofilament, and a 12/0 circle hook on the business end.