A Highly-Requested Fish.

One of the most common fish I get requests for are sharks. There is an excitement that you get from going hand to (fin), mano a mano, human vs beast with such a powerful toothy critter. Sharks are so incredibly powerful, and most of my clients are winded after catching just one!

Customers often have to take turns fighting the same shark as they cannot handle the raw strength of these magnificent sea beasts on their own!

The sharks we catch here in Pensacola include but are not limited to Atlantic Sharpnose, Blacktip, Spinner, Sandbar, Dusky, Silky, Bull, Hammerhead, Tiger, and Nurse. Some are more common than others, and certain times of the year will produce different species.

Each species of shark we encounter in Pensacola  is interesting in some unique way, fun to catch, and make for great photo ops.

While we can take a few of the smaller species out of the water, most of the larger species are protected; therefore, we have to leave them in the water.

Luckily, sharks take great photos in the water, too, once they are beside the boat! 


When Clients ask about shark fishing, I usually tell them three things:

1. Fighting a shark feels like being attached to the back of a truck, on a steep hill, with a driver that’s letting off the brakes now and then.

2. When you get tired and need a break from the fight, you will have to hand the rod to someone else besides me because I don’t want any part of the back-wrenching fight!


The techniques that I use vary depending on the size of the shark we are targeting. There are two primary styles of Shark fishing I offer, offshore and inshore.

Offshore Shark Fishing Charters

When we are offshore fishing, 99% of the sharks we catch weigh 100-300 pounds; therefore, we typically reduce the number of lines we have in the water and increase the bait and leader size. The leader generally is about 6 feet of coated 135lb steel leader with 80lb mono for the mainline.

For bait, we commonly use Bonita, but sharks aren’t picky, so if it is legal to use as bait, we will send it down for them.

Offshore shark fishing is sometimes a gamble but can be worth it if you are looking for a catch of a lifetime. You also can typically catch Snapper, Triggerfish, and other species while shark fishing offshore.

Inshore Shark Fishing Charters

Surprisingly to some, we catch even more sharks inshore in Pensacola Bay. While they are typically on the smaller side versus offshore sharks, that is not always the case. We have caught sharks as small as a 12 inch Atlantic Sharpnose, up to a 10-foot hammerhead in the bay!

My technique for shark fishing in the bay is different than offshore since the average shark is 20-50 pounds (the perfect size for one person to fight). For Inshore shark fishing, we increase the number of lines in the water and downsize our bait and leader material. Most of our inshore shark fishing rods consist of a 2-foot 60lb wire leader with a 40-60lb braided mainline.

For inshore shark fishing, we use small strips of cut bait (typically Bonita). We usually send down one big rod as well in case any monster hammerheads are lurking around!

Another species of fish we commonly catch while shark fishing inshore is stingray. Stingray can be extremely difficult as most of the ones we hook weigh 60-80 pounds and can suction themselves to the bottom, making them very challenging for the angler to reel in.

Inshore shark fishing is much more productive, but the sharks we find are typically smaller, and you do not catch other fish while you are shark fishing inshore.

In Closing

Ultimately your goals for your trip and the conditions on the day of your trip will be determining factors in whether we should go inshore or offshore shark fishing. Shark fishing is pretty good all year round save a couple months where it may slow down.

Well, I hope you found this article informative and interesting. If you wish to fish in the Pensacola, Pensacola Beach, Perdido Key, or Navarre beach area, I would be happy to get you out on the water and rip some lips with you soon!

Tight Lines, Captain Austin.

A great trip is just a call away.

Tell Captain Austin what your fishing goals are so he can craft the perfect private fishing charter to meet your groups needs.

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(850) 516-0071