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01. Shark Fishing Orientation

Chris Deaver with 8'9" Tiger Shark

To become a QUALIFIED SHARK FISHERMAN, you are going to need the following resources:

– Good friends;
– A little money, but not too much;
– An open mind and a passionate curiosity;
– A little drive and determination until you figure this out;
– An investment of time;
– Good places to fish;
-A willingness to bet on yourself and think big, while avoiding the knockers.
– Sew the seeds, be patient, and the flowers will bloom.

All of these elements work together. If one is missing, you may get stumped in development. Anyone with a reasonable amount of intelligence and the desire to do this can catch some nice fish and have a good time. Let’s talk a little more about each one of these elements before we get to the “HOW-TO”.

Good friends make shark fishing possible. I have fished alone and landed nice fish by myself. I could never land a great fish by myself. You need to find at least one fishing partner that will head out with you and dedicate a whole weekend to shark fishing for each trip. You might consider introducing your fishing partner to the sport by taking him to a pier for a whole weekend before taking him to the beach for an extended trip. A pier could be a place to make friends and find other guys that want to fish hard. The Internet fishing boards are another place to find fishing partners.

Good friends will celebrate your successes and victories. Don’t forget to celebrate theirs. There are enough sharks for everyone. Another man’s success is evidence of good conditions, determination or both. Enjoying the fact that another person catches a good fish is positive programming for the deeper parts of your mind.

Money is essential to acquire quality gear. For about $1,000 a new guy can buy an Ocean kayak “Frenzy”, two Penn 9/0 fishing rigs, a bait rod and some camping gear. It sounds like a lot of money until you consider many guys spend $15,000 just on a boat to catch black bass or trout. A note on gear: good things are not cheap and cheap things are not good. Spend a little extra buying the good stuff the first time and you will not have many second thoughts.

An open mind and passionate curiosity fuel your progress and growth. There is a lot to be said for watching and listening to other fishermen. Some of them know what they are talking about and others know what they are talking about part of the time. Listen critically and try to discern the truth a nugget at a time. You can learn something from almost anyone. Furthermore, nobody has all the answers even if they act like it. There are no fishing gods, only fishermen.

tiger shark

At first there seems to be a lot to learn, but after assimilating the basics, your mind begins to unravel the patterns and you start to aggregate a mosaic constellation of living knowledge and your fishing intuition will awaken. If you pack your mind with enough knowledge and time on the sand, you will begin to see the patterns and will fish with the deeper parts of your mind. The mind has immense creative power. Learn to listen to your intuition and you will catch more fish.

There is no substitute for time on the beach. There are many people cruising the fishing message boards that know about this and that. They are very helpful in answering questions, but trust the ones that put in the time on the sand. Sometimes people make the leap from taking some unproven theory as fact…that is a natural tendency, but take the time to critically review the information you are taking in. Sometimes people don’t or won’t tell you what you really need to know. Many people don’t have the answers but want to make conversation.

Blacktip Shark at South Padre Island.

Putting time in on the beach will load your subconscious mind with experience. The Internet will take you only so far. The Discovery Channel will only take you so far. Biology classes may help, but they are probably too general. At the end of the day, you have to hit the sand and figure out the pieces and put it all together. Usually it will take less than a handful of trips to get the basics down.

As in the rest of life, you will occasionally run into unhappy people with low self-esteem. Many times they will have the skill but don’t pay the price for success. When you out-fish them, they will resent you. Misery loves company. Do not let them infect your mind with their self-doubt.

Success in shark fishing is very achievable to the average man that is persistent, diligent, and willing to approach this like running a marathon instead of 100 yard dash. All the really strong shark fisherman share the common quality of tenacity, not physical toughness. The muscle that requires the strength is the one between a man’s ears.

CLICK TO GO TO NEXT CHAPTER: BUILDING A CREW