Game fishing rig 2 – Sinking shark

Northern target species

Tiger, whaler, hammer head and most of the more aggressive northern, carnivore shark species.

Southern target species

Mako, whaler, blue, tiger, hammer head, thresher, and most of the more aggressive southern, carnivore shark species.

Popular baits

Whole or filleted tuna, mullet and squid.

Fishing method

The sinking shark rig is designed to target sharks swimming along the sea floor and is a great method for targeting a large variety of deep water sharks including tiger’s. Large, lever drag reels with large line capacities are preferred for targeting larger sharks with this rig as are short, powerful, stand up styled fibreglass rods. The baited rig should be lowered to the sea floor and the reel set with just enough tension to prevent the line from running out and the ratchet set. Line classes, baits and hook sizes should all be taken into consideration and matched to the size and species of shark targeted. Smaller J styled hooks or circle hooks should be used when targeting sharks for release and larger sharks targeted for record attempts should be allowed to swallow large, strong hooks deep where they will set themselves. Most sharks are targeted for their fantastic sporting abilities these days before being released unharmed to live on. Allowing fish to get baits down properly before setting hooks is always important when game fishing.

Terminal tackle used

Main lines – Nylon 15 – 60kg breaking strain.

Wire leader – Nylon coated wire 400 – 1200lb breaking strain joined to main line with ball bearing, snap swivel. IGFA rules and regulations state that in all line classes up to and including 10kg the leader shall be limited to 4.57m – (15ft ). The combined length of double line and leader shall not exceed 6.1m – ( 20ft ). The leader on all line classes over 10kg shall be limited to 9.14m – ( 30ft ). The combined length of double line and leader is limited to 12.19m – (40ft ).

Sinker leader – The sinker leader should be both heavy enough to hold the weight of the sinker yet light enough for a shark to bite through without feeling any resistance.

Hook – 12/0 – 18/0.

Sinker – The sinker should be heavy enough to carry the large baited rig to the sea floor and keep it there. Large 32 – 50 ounce snapper leads are generally used depending on current flow and the size of bait being used.

Crimps – Large aluminium crimps should be used to connect the hook and to form a loop or Flemish eye for main line or leader connections. Aluminium crimps are designed to be used with nylon coated wire and brass, double sleeved, crimps are designed for use with uncoated wire.

Swivels – Most wire traces should be attached to leaders or main lines with the use of a high quality, ball bearing, snap swivel.

Depth range

Shallow – deep.


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