Sharks provide an angling challenge
Rough weather has recently kept many west coast surfcasters, myself included, at home.
Last weekend was the exception for me. The day started with calm conditions with people landing kahawai in good numbers. I was not so interested in the kahawai; it was the shark species I was after.
Most people avoid the sharks and prefer to land table fish. But for me, sharks provide an opportunity to test out my gear. This weekend, I had a new gimbal belt from Innovative Fishing Equipment. I was keen to try and put a tag or two into some fish as part of the Tindale Marine research programme.
I was able to land one 170cm school shark and two smoothhounds, known as spotted rig or lemon fish. I always use a light wire trace when targeting sharks, and I have found the dusk period to be the most productive. My favourite baits are shellfish baits, especially crabs or cray tails. Unless you plan to eat your shark, let it go as safely and quickly as possible. Don’t be a dick and leave it to die on the beach.
It is probably a good time to remember your beach etiquette with the long weekend before us. Be respectful of your fellow anglers and give them some space – there is enough beach for everyone. Take home your rubbish and be mindful of other non-fishing beach users. People love the freedom of walking their dogs, so be aware of leaving baited hooks where the pooch might find and swallow them.
I’ve witnessed some disappointing and appalling behaviours from several people lately – we can be better than that. Make sure you think of the other beach users.