How to Catch Sharks in Destin, Florida Area
Did you know that there are sharks in Destin, Florida? Not only that, but you can also go shark fishing in the area and feel the thrill!
But wait… How do you even catch a shark, anyway? Isn’t that dangerous?
About Shark Fishing in Destin, Florida
Destin, Florida is considered a shark fishing paradise, with so many kinds of sharks in the area. We most commonly find and catch Hammerheads, Bull Sharks, Sand Sharks, and Blacktips. And hey, you might even get to hook Tiger Sharks or Shortfin Makos when in the deep waters, though you should do this with an experienced fishing charter or crew.
Let’s delve into the types of sharks you can catch on the Emerald Coast and the common fishing methods to use on them:
- Bull Sharks are plentiful but quite dangerous, part of the top involved in human attacks. That’s because they are territorial fish that prefer staying close to shore, even surviving in freshwater. We recommend drift fishing or chumming to catch Bull Sharks.
- Hammerhead Sharks are known for their unique head shapes, and it’s a personal favorite of ours. These sharks prefer swimming in schools throughout the day while acting as lone hunters come evening. Florida fishing regulations list these sharks as catch-and-release-only fish and are one of the more popular sharks caught during deep-sea fishing excursions.
- Blacktip Sharks aren’t as heavy as other sharks, but they will put up quite a fight, asking them one of the most sought out varieties when deep-sea fishing. They love all types of bait, so you can lure them quite easily. Plus, these sharks are known for their delicious flavor, commonly found in menus in many Destin-based restaurants.
- Sand Sharks, as the name suggests, are known for how they prefer staying near the shoreline. The first thing you’ll think when seeing the Sand Shark is how mean they look, as they swim with their mouths open and give people a scare on beaches! Like Hammerhead Sharks, the Sand Shark is a catch-and-release-only fish.
- Tiger Sharks are one of the easiest to identify with their unique patterns. Like tigers, tiger sharks form stripes as they mature and grow quite large. In fact, tiger sharks are one of the largest fish caught in Florida, with their size and strength-giving fishers the thrill.
- Mako Sharks are one of the top favorites among anglers because of how exciting they are to catch, particularly in bachelor parties or male groups. These sharks can jump up to 20 feet above the water at incredible speeds, being the fastest sharks in the ocean.
How to Catch Sharks in Destin, Florida
Here are a few tips to learn how to catch sharks in Destin, Florida:
When and where to catch sharks
We highly recommend going to Choctawhatchee Bay or Destin Harbor when catching sharks. Most of the best shark fishing locations in Destin are in offshore places, particularly those with a lot of shark prey around!
As for when, it’s best to catch sharks in Destin from May to August, which is the summer season. That’s because sharks thrive in warm waters; hence Florida is abundant in these fish! Since Florida boasts temperate waters most of the year, you can actually attempt shark fishing any time.
What baits and techniques to use
Sharks aren’t picky eaters, so anything oily or bloody will work. These kinds of baits pique shark noses, drawing them to you. We recommend using fish like mackerel, trout, ladyfish, jack, bonito, and the like. Shrimp, threadfin herring, and cut pilchards work just as well.
As for the fishing techniques to use, deep-sea fishing is the best. Alternatively, you can go for the following:
- Light tackling
- Drift gillnet
- Strike net
Follow fishing regulations
You might have noticed that some sharks are catch-and-release-only. Furthermore, there are restrictions on how many sharks you can catch daily or per season.
While shark fishing is exciting and something to tick off your bucket list, always keep in mind the impact such activities make on the environment. Always comply with the fishing regulations, and better yet, release the sharks you catch rather than take them home. Not only do you help the ecosystem, but you avoid hefty fines and punishments from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Is shark fishing dangerous?
In terms of your safety, you don’t have to worry much about attacks and freak accidents. The chances of being attacked or killed by sharks are extremely minimal compared to being victim to other hazards, such as dog attacks. You have more of a chance of drowning or getting into a boating accident than falling victim to sharks.
Not that we’re vetting you to get into accidents. As long as you’re well-prepared and follow proper safety tips, there’s nothing to worry about.
Hire a fishing charter
Whether you’re a beginner or expert angler, you’ll benefit greatly when hiring a fishing charter for shark fishing. These charters make sure your fishing trip is a safe and smooth one, providing everything one needs for sharks, including the gear, guides, and accommodation!
If you don’t have a fishing license, fishing charters possess one, so you won’t have to hassle yourself availing it. The only thing you need to think of is bringing snacks, sun protection, extra clothes, and yourself!
Wrapping It Up
Shark fishing in Destin is an exciting activity that people of all ages can enjoy. Don’t be intimidated by sharks based on what you see in movies; they’re just like any other fish we catch, and you can have the time of your life as you catch a huge one!
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