Shark

Shark

About Bay Area Fishing
  • There are a large variety of shark that are popular for sport fishing and eating. These include leopard shark (most common), seven gill, soupfin and blue shark.
  • Be careful when retreiving shark! Large sharks can be especially dangerous and do serious damage to fingers, hands, and any body part that come close to their bite. If you plan on keeping yuor shark catch, you should kill it while it is still in the water using a bang stick or fish club. Deal a sharp blow to the shark’s head while it under water. Extra cautious anglers will tie off any shark over 5 feet in the water and tow it back to port.
  • For best taste, immediately bleed any shark caught by cutting in the tail area.

Catching Leopard Shark

These are the most plentiful and easiest to catch of all Northern California shark. They are about 4 feet long and average between 10 to 20 pounds (with some weighing up to 30 pounds). They have distinctive black spots and crossbars on their back.

Technique

  • Bottom fish from an anchored boat using a sliding sinker rig. Bait the rig and toss it out.
  • Watch your rod tip carefully (or hold your rod). When the tip moves or you sense a bite, point the rod at the fish and then set the hook hard.
  • Prime spots include depressions or deep holes in the bottom.
  • Good times to fish include incoming tide, a couple of hours before highest tide, and occassionally on outgoing tide.

Tackle & Equipment

Use sturgeon, striped bass, rock cod or salmon fishing tackle. Basically, any tackle that can handle 20 to 30 lb test monofilament line and an 8 oz sinker will do.

You will also need wire leaders, a gaff,  and a fish club.

Bait & Rigging

A variety of bait will work including:

  • Anchovies
  • Squid
  • Salmon bellies
  • Grass shrimp
  • Whole midshipman and mudsuckers

 

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Best Bets

Best action is around the San Mateo Bridge, the area off Point Richmond, Hunter’s Point off San Francisco, the channel near Dumbarton Bridge, outside the Alameda rockwall, and in the deep-water channel near the San Rafael and San Francisco Bay Bridges.

Catching Seven Gill (Cow), Soupfin & Six Gill Shark

These shark have gray or brown backs with small dark spots and all white bellies. These shark are in the 200 pound range.

Soupfin shark have light brown to gray backs and white bellies. These shark up to 90 pounds and 6 feet long can be caught.

Six gill sharks have emerald green eyes and jet black bodies.

Technique

  • Bottom fish from an anchored boat using a sliding sinker rig. Bait the rig and toss it out. Prevent your line from slacking.
  • Watch your rod tip carefully (or hold your rod). When the tip moves or you sense a bite, point the rod at the fish and then set the hook hard.
  • Locate prime spots such as shelves or deep holes at the bottom using a depth finder.
  • Good times to fish include either at high or at low tide.

Tackle & Equipment

Use a 6 1/2 foot medium action rod with heavy roller guides matched to a 4/0 reel and 90 pound wire line.

You will also need wire leaders, a gaff,  and a fish club.

Bait & Rigging

Good bait includes:

  • Whole or portions of stickleback and leopard shark
  • Salmon
  • Squid
  • Saltwater perch
  • Rockfish

 

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Best Bets

Best action is around the south and east sides of Angel Island, “Big Hole” just west of Angel Island, near the Harding Rock buoy, the “Green House” just off the Marine Shoreline south of Sausalito, and the channel from the San Francisco Bay Bridge to the San Mateo Bridge.

Catching Blue Sharks

Blue shark are typically caught in the 80-150 pound range.

Technique

  • Chum (scatter bait) with a basket full of ground up frozen fish (such as anchovies) or fish carcasses (such as rockfish, stripers, and salmon)
  • Fill about 2 or 3 half gallon milk cartons with the processed chum and freeze solid. Once at sea, remove the cartons and place the frozen chum blocks in a floating panfish basket. Drop the whole basket of the back of the boat on a short rope. This will attract the shark.
  • Hopefully, several blue shark will congregate. Pick out the one you want to wrestle with and cast to him.
  • Blue shark are good to eat if bled immediately after landing. Or you can release the shark by simply cutting the wire leader.

Tackle & Equipment

Use light tackle with 12 to 15 lb monofilament or medium freshwater bait casting or spinning equipment. Your rod should have good butt strength, good reel drag capability, and line capacity of 250 yards.

You will also need wire leaders, a gaff,  and a fish club.

Bait & Rigging

Good drifting bait includes:

  • Anchovy
  • Small rockfish
  • Jacksmelt
  • Mackerel
  • Frozen squid

 

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Best Bets

Best action is at the deep canyon below Monterey Bay starting at Moss Landing about 1 or 2 miles out in the ocean. Head southeast out of the harbor until your boat is over 150-200 feet of water.

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