Party crashers take the bait

Typically, I prefer to fish with lures. However, this summer, I have decided to fish more often with bait. Targeting tarpon and sharks. Tarpon are the primary target species, but sharks usually crash the party.  As it turns out, the party crashers can be a lot of fun.

Recently, I have been locating schools of menhaden as they move along the beach. After netting a few for live bait, I stay with the school and deploy two 30-pound class spinning outfits. One is an unweighted surface line rigged with a 50-pound fluorocarbon leader and a 6/0 circle hook.  The second outfit is rigged the same way with the addition of a quarter ounce split shot lightly crimped to the leader. Both outfits are placed in rod holders and then you hang out, listen to tunes on the stereo and catch up with your friends. When one of the rods violently bends over, you have hooked a fish. This is simple and easy fishing. As it turns out, I like simple and easy.

On Saturday, menhaden were no place to be found. So, the normal mode of operation went right out the window. Thankfully, while searching for menhaden I was able to cast a jig and put a few Spanish mackerel in the fish box. Spanish mackerel tastes pretty good as ceviche, but these ended up being shark bait.

A couple of shrimp boats were pulling nets just offshore. After a quick run to the trawlers, I let the Pathfinder drift and deployed the 30-pound class spinning outfits that were baited with Spanish mackerel fillets. A shark hit the down line (the one with the split shot) almost immediately. It was not particularly large, but it was fun to catch. For the next hour, I was consistently fighting sharks. The bite was still on when I ran out of Spanish mackerel fillets.

On the ride back to the boat landing, I thought, “This is going to be a fun summer!”

Contact Captain Greg Peralta at or call (843) 224-0099.

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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