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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am just looking for some really detailed explanations on fishing for big game off of the Wilmington coast. I am doing this fishing from a 12 foot kayak and from the surf only. I really wish to target some shark but i really need some pointers. Pointers on just about any kind of fish of size i can catch around the Wilmington coast would be greatly appreciated
 

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For sharks get a big bloody chunk of fish on a 14\0 to 20\0 circle hook with a spider type weight, kayak it just past the surf and drop it off. Someone should be on shore holding your rod and feeding line out. Come back in and wait. Make sure your rod and reel has enough capacity and strength or else you'll usually be spooled in short order.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What about line capacity and wight? Leaders? Time? Which beaches in particular? Tides? Also what type of rig? Thank you for all the help sir!
 

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My shark rod is a 80-130 class rod with roller tip. Reel is a Penn 9/0 with about 900 yards of 80 pound power pro and 200 yards of 80 pound mono shock leader. Its connected to a 10 foot leader or weed whacker line then a homemade copper spider weight. 5 feet of steel cable comes off of that to a 20/0 mustad circle hook.

I fish topsail for the most part. Look for bait in the water, wash up on shore from trawlers or near piers current of the fish cleaning stations.

Tide doesn't seem to matter too much, but if I had to pick, I'd take top of the tide on a full moon night. Its nice to be able to see when kayaking baits.

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Get you a few 6-8" mullet in the summer and live line them. Late July August September and October you can catch kings 100yrds off the beach. Spanish will slam them too.
 

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Get you a few 6-8" mullet in the summer and live line them. Late July August September and October you can catch kings 100yrds off the beach. Spanish will slam them too.
I didn't get a chance to do this last year but definitely want to when the Spanish and big blues come back around. Do you use a wire leader?

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Have caught Sharks from the surf while targeting other species.
This summer lost 2 topwaters in back to back cast to Sharks.
Been on boats fishing around Shrimpers culling their catch using jigging rods with spinning reels.

View attachment 68739 View attachment 68740 View attachment 68742 View attachment 68741

Pictured are rigs used to catch them, nothing in as big as 80 - 130 class Blue Fin Tuna rod.
You can see how far off the beach we were in the boat & the thin wire leader with 8.0 hook.
From the surf no wire used, 60#mono bite leader with 8.0 circle hook.

Hope this helps. ...... ICM
 

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I am just looking for some really detailed explanations on fishing for big game off of the Wilmington coast. I am doing this fishing from a 12 foot kayak and from the surf only. I really wish to target some shark but i really need some pointers. Pointers on just about any kind of fish of size i can catch around the Wilmington coast would be greatly appreciated
130 lb class rod with an avet 80 wide, 130lb jerry brown hollow core braid (600 yards) with another 600 yards of spliced in 100lb suffix superior mono with a 15 ft 400lb mono leader and a 2 foot steel leader bite leader. Fighting belt with harness. Waiting for spring tigers which I am hoping will be here in early May if we have an early spring.

Going after king mackeral btb with friends when weather permits. Just catch a blue and use a big bobber to float out baits. Never go out in the yak alone far from shore.

Other than that its just light rods and jigging for spanish Mackeral and blues, or inshore for reds and flounder. You can't get too detailed on which beach at what time because any day could be different. My suggestion is before you splurge on thousands of dollars worth of gear link up with some shark fishing peeps and some kayak fishing guys.
 

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Fishing from a kayak, you aren't going to need monster gear for sharks.
Number one, it's not like you'll be landing 8 footers. Number two, the kayak is mobile. You actually would use the yak itself to wear the shark down by side slipping, not 30 pounds of drag on a reel.

The setups being explained here are beach based using a yak to paddle bait out.
My philosophy is simple. There aint much you can do with big fish from a yak ESPECIALLY if you are inexperienced. The guys you see doing it on Youtube know the fish and have been doing it a long time. They have perfected a technique and there is usually more to it than what a Gopro is showing you.

Last. I wouldn't take just any kayak offshore. It's going to have to be suited for it.
There are ocean kayaks and backwater kayaks. You'll have some that are kinda inbetween.
You have a coupla directions you can go. Speed and maneuverability versus stable. If it kicks up I don't want to be paddling a log.

On a nice day you'll wind up taking a wave. Is your self bailing up to it? If you took a wave that swamped the cockpit, the next wave that hits is going to roll you. So the idea is to shed water fast before the next wave. This is where the differences in yaks start to come out.

I would be more concerned about gearing up the right yak to go offshore than I would be on what rod and reel setup to use. The rod and reel is pretty far down on my list. Getting back is on the top of the list.
 

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I guess I was under the impression you weren't trying to catch the sharks from the kayak, rather just use the kayak to deliver baits.

Maybe some here have done it, but I highly recommend not trying to handle the shark from the kayak. I've seen how they do on land when you try to unhook and release them. I wouldn't want to do it in a small boat where the shark has all the power by being in the water.

Definitely listen to DR on kayaking the ocean. I'll only do it on the calmest of days in mine and even then it can get hairy coming through the surf.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I was not trying to fish for shark from yak, just mainly paddle out baits. I do have a very stable kayak. Ascend FS12T. I would also consider fishing from the yak for maceral but i wouldnt dare try shark especially since ive never handled the larger ones. Any of you guys in wilmington area, id love to catch up with you sometime this summer to learn.
 

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Fishing off the coast is is where I got confused.
I do some sharking in the summer months from the surf and will do alot of it in August when I go on vacation.
I primarily fish Fort Fisher because the bottom drops off pretty good.

Most of the time I'm fishing small scale but have landed several sharks over 100 pounds on "light" tackle.
ABU Garcia 6500 with 30 pound braid on an 11 foot surf rod.

If I were going to go with a setup any bigger than say a 7000 series ABU I wouldn't stop until I got to a 9/0 Penn.
Primarily what you after is line capacity and an 80 class rod.

A 6500 will hold 300 yards of 30 pound braid.
A 7000 will hold about 400 yards of 50 but you would be just as well or better off to go down to a 40 or even a 30 pound for the capacity.
You have to look at it like this, depending on how you set the reel up internally you are looking at roughly 15-20 pounds worth of drag on an ABU which is pretty common across the board in that class. So if you have 20 pounds worth of drag there isn't much need to have 80 pound test line because you can't stop the line from going out. You can try but you'll burn your thumb off in 2 seconds flat. I've done that dumb move and still had an hour and half left to go in that fight. It wasn't pretty and didn't feel good.....until I turned up the wick on the Evan Williams.

The secret is patience. When a fish runs hard, let him run. When he slows get that head turned towards the beach. This where the rod and the braid comes in. My rods are sensitive and braid only adds to that sensitivity. I can literally feel the fan of the tail on a shark. It's give and take. You gain some and lose some and this could go back and forth for awhile or it can just last a couple of minutes.
Last summer when I landed a 100+ pound nurse shark on 30 pound test I had to deal with 2 hard runs and a couple of half hearted runs. 15-20 minutes later I landed the shark.

Alot has do with shark species too. Nurse sharks are like bulldozers with that big shovel head but they aren't brutal fighters. Sand tigers are pretty docile as well.

I pick my battles. Last summer I had a 10 footer pick up on me in daylight. He ran hard and fast and grounded on a sand bar which is how I got a good look at it. If he hadn't dropped my bait, I would have cut the line and I had 500 yards of line in reserve. It was just the wrong rod for a shark that large. A long rod will work the snot out of you on the bigger fish. But there is a trade off. I cast a lot of shark baits rather than paddle them out which requires the long rod.

A sweet setup ran into me today and I haven't made up mind if I'll jump on it. A 50 wide Penn International and an 80 pound class rod.

What I would do if you have never sharked before, start with a good 7000 ABU and see what you can do. That reel will do double duty for other species as well like the bigger drum and tarpon.
Get the hang of it, play around with some leaders, and baits.
You'll catch alot of the 15-50 pound class anyway.
Last year fishing for a SOLID week , and it was a great week for fishing period, I probably waded through 20-30 sharks in that class before I got to anything 5 foot or more.
Every shark is not a big shark.

I would make up a tail rope as well. You aren't going to get much of a shark up on dry land without going in the water after him. The idea is to get it on land quick, cut the hook with a pair of bolt cutters if you have to and get the shark back in the water.

My other suggestion is make your own leaders.
Some guys like solid copper wire, I prefer 49 strand stainless 400 pound test. Some guys claim it kinks bad, I've never had that problem but I use thimbles where alot of guys don't. My whole rig will be rated 400 pound test from the swivel to the hook. I swage with a bolt cutter style swage tool instead of the little hand held swage tool.

My resource for terminal tackle. Wire, beads, thimbles, crimp sleeves, hooks, and the swage tool is SRMO. Shark River Mail Order. You can order online and have it in 2-3 days. I've never seen a cheaper price on the swage tool. They sell them for around 85 dollars last I looked. Most places are in the 120 dollar range for it.

Last thing is the most important. Know your sharks. Know what is pelagic and what is not. Know the state and federal regs on sharks if you intend to keep one. If you do keep one, process it immediately. There is only one shark that can pee and that is a Mako (I think). They expel urine through their skin. So if you don't process immediately, urine winds up flooding the meat.

I usually just eat dog fish and they are the same way.

The majority of your land based sharkers are catch and release fishing.

I just play around with the whole shark thing. I've landed some nice ones on the larger tackle but I personally have more fun in the 4-6 foot range because I don't have really do anything special. I can get some lines out and sit back with some cold ones. It's some great fun with 2 or 3 guys. Some of the little 3 footers will wear the inside of your ankles out with that tail.

But let me tell you, I used to do alot of catfishing. Big catfish aint got nothing on a shark. People complain about a bait click not being loud enough sometimes. Let a nice shark get hold of that reel. You'll think your reel is about to explode. That clicker is plenty loud. You just got have the right fish on the line.
 

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Check out sharksonthesand forum. Lots of good pictures of rigging and such there. When it gets warmer around may, get up with me and I'll definitely be up for some shark fishing.

It can't be stressed enough though, have the right gear. Everything from the rod and reel, to the rig, to the kayak and then the means of releasing the shark. Bolt cutters, large channel lock pliers and a tail rope. And at least a couple people to help hold down the shark and get it back in the water. Safety is key.

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for such a detailed post there, i love thorough tips like that. Also, i will keep this thread in mind for when i get back home to try to hook up with some of you locals and maybe show me the ropes. Shark are the most fascinating fish to me.
 

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^Hard to get better tips than that. You sure do know your surf fishing.
Thanks, but there are plenty of surf fishermen better than I. I've picked up a few things here and there through people teaching me or just trial and error. YouTube helps a lot too.

I'm the lazy surf fisherman. I throw some lines out and wait, but I might stay out there 12 hours or more at the time.
You can't help but to see or learn a few things.
 
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