If you enjoy saltwater fishing in Texas waters, you’ve no doubt encountered a shark or two through the years. And yeah, we think sharks are cool fish, too. Few species project the power and hunting ability of a shark, and when one gets hooked, they put up a battle worthy of any hard-core angler. Many of us, in fact, enjoy chasing sharks in specific. And if you’d like to target these toothy critters, nigh fishing is the best way to do it.
There are a few specific ways to greatly enhance your night-time shark fishing trip. First off, naturally, all the usual rules apply: use a heavy wire leader so the shark can’t gnaw the hook off (mono leaders usually last about three seconds); chum with finely-ground fish to bring sharks into your area; and use a large circle hook to snag that predator right in the corner of the mouth. But beyond these items, there are a few tactics specific to fishing at night which apply.
First off, set out night-lights. Green is the best color for these, because it attracts more bait than plain white or blue lights. And that’s the whole point of the light – you’re not trying to draw in sharks with it, you’re trying to draw in the bait which will naturally attract the sharks. Secondly, use a conventional rod and reel set-up with a loud clicker that won’t back-lash when in freespool mode. You want the shark to be able to grab a bait and swim for a while before locking up the drag, and the loud clicker will alert you to the bite. More importantly, a loud clicker ratchets against the spool with more force than a subtle clicker. This is important to prevent back-lash. You know how you’ve seen videos where sharks violently shake their head, after grabbing prey? That fast motion can cause over-run on many reels that are in freespool, even with the clicker on, if the clicker is a weak one. Finally, use a brightly-colored main-line. Clear mono is virtually impossible to see at night, even when you have a lantern or lights on, and it’s easy to mistake which way the shark is headed, or if it’s crossed another line. Bright lines are easier to spot in the dim light, and will help you make the fight a successful one.
Then, there’s the safety factor to consider. Do we even need to mention keeping away from those jaws in the darkness? Nah, we’re pretty sure that’s obvious. Just remember to be careful, and a successful night of shark fishing is sure to be an adventure you’ll want to try again and again.