Updated: Nov 7, 2022
By David Graham, 1-25-22
Went out solo for sharks over the weekend for the first time in a long time. For the last couple years I have said I wanted to commit to shark fishing more here in Florida - but it hasn't panned out. I feel obligated to take advantage of the bigger game here in Florida, but I continue to opt for more accessible, and easier to target freshwater fish,
Still, despite some 'chilly' weather, wind, and intermitted rain - I took some gear out to Sanibel in hopes of finding a decent shark bite. This time of year the Sandbar sharks migrate through the gulf coast beaches. Its a lesser known migratory push in Florida, not as renown as some of the big bait runs, tarpon migrations, or even the blacktip run of the east coast. I should also mention, the sandbar shark is a Federally protected species - victim to overharvest and exploitation of their fins, so you shouldn't be targeting them anyway. Nevertheless, they aren't the only sharks in the surf.
I sold my kayak a couple years ago and now only own canoes - but for the purpose of bait deployment on bigger conventional gear, canoes just don't really get it done... especially in wind, rain, and strong tides. The conditions were too poor to try to send a bait further with the canoe. Rather, I set up on an area where a deeper channel is relatively close to shore and just casted out chunk bait with my spinning tackle.
I managed one decent sandbar shark that was about as much as I care to contend with on spinning gear, but also lost something much much stronger. One fish put the surge of an outgoing tide behind its shoulders and headed out in the direction of a fishing pier that was couple hundred yards down current of me, ultimately making it around the pier and breaking me off. I do hope to get out more this winter with my heavier gear and bring in the better sized fish.