Most think of the warmer months when “shark fishing” is mentioned. Many anglers overlook the great winter fishery that we have here in Florida. The power plants discharge thousands of gallons of warm water into the bay and make an excellent nesting ground for all types of residential species. As most of you know, fish are “Ectotherm” animals that warm their bodies by absorbing heat from their surroundings. Fishing the power plants gives you a significant advantage; you instantly have one of the most important factors “location” figured out. Now all you have to do is appropriately present bait that will entice a bite.
Remember, fish are more inclined to feed at high tide, around the new and full moon. We have been catching both spinner sharks and black tips at the power plants. I like to use smaller conventional gear or larger spinning gear for more sport. Light wire leader and an 8/0 circle hook with the barb flattened will help for a quick release. Live fresh baits have been vital, live ladyfish, mullet, grunts, etc.… will do just fine. Hook them in the top of the mouth and cast them a short distance from the boat. There is no need to cut the bait; sharks have excellent senses and will have no trouble picking up on the impulses of the fish in distress.
They typically hit the bait with a vengeance, so your immediate reaction may be to set the hook or not allow them to run for a few seconds. Try to avoid the urge to act prematurely and give the shark a minute to swim before flipping the lever or applying pressure. Once you feel tension, often, the sharks will put on quite an aerial show. Try and avoid over-tightening the drag; you don’t want to break the line, pull the hook, or bring a “green” shark boat side. I also recommend using a shock leader, not only does it help with abrasion, but it will allow stretch for when the sharks jump. If you follow these few tips, you should catch a significant quantity of fish; remember to treat all fish, including smaller sharks with the utmost respect.
They, too, can inflict great bodily harm if you aren’t cautious. I recommend purchasing a large de-hooker; this will increase your odds of finishing the evening with all of your fingers. Do you have any tips or suggestions that you would like to share? If so, please do. Until next time, tight lines!
Check out this video, catching sharks at the power plant in the winter; we also have numerous other videos. Be sure to check out the YouTube page for more action: