How to Catch Blacktip Shark: Read This First

March 27, 2021

How to Catch Blacktip Shark: Read This First

The Blacktip Shark is a strong, medium-sized Shark that features distinct black tips on the Dorsal, Pectoral, and Tail Fins. They are widespread and can be found in subtropical and tropical waters all over the world. The Blacktip Shark is often mistaken for a Spinner Shark. This is because both species have slick, torpedo-shaped bodies and exhibit spectacular feeding habits. Recreational fishermen target Blacktip Sharks all over the world. They are powerful and offer a decent fight. So how do you catch Blacktip sharks?

Glad you asked! In this article, we’ll show you exactly how to catch Blacktip Shark as well as tons of Blacktip Shark facts. Let’s get started.

How to Catch Blacktip Shark

Fortunately, Blacktip Sharks can be caught relatively close to shore, and there are numerous ways to target this beautiful species. The most common method is slow trolling or drifting a freshly cut Blacktip Shark bait, combined with a reliable and constant chum. Chumming is essential and should be done as soon as possible.

Sharks have an incredible sense of smell and will smell your chum long before it sees your bait or lure. It is highly recommended to chum fresh bait even if you are fishing with artificial lures. Black Tip Sharks are attracted to Mackerel and Menhaden, and when used as a chum, are proven to attract them to the boat.

Blacktip Sharks have satiable appetites and will feed on Squid, Anchovies, Sardines, Mullet, and Flat Fish. They will also feed on various bony fish, including Porcupine Fish, Triggerfish, Snoek, Jacks, Groupers, and even catfish. Any of these species can be used as bait to target them successfully. Anglers can also use artificial baits like Bucktail jigs, deep-diving hard body lures, vertical Jigs, and Spoons to target this species.

Anchoring for Blacktip Sharks

Another successful fishing technique is to anchor your boat up current from the structure and set out a delectable live bait spread. Float a couple of live bait on the surface and down rig a couple in order to cover the entire water column. Fish structure, reef, drop-offs, and deep holes where a Blacktip Shark can come from to attack your bait.

Shore Fishing for Blacktip Sharks

Although it’s not a popular method, some guys still target Blacktip from Shore. A long-casting surf rod is necessary and requires you to cast your bait or artificial lure just behind the backline. You can also cast a heavy sinker behind the backline and attach a sliding rig that is used for live bait (fish finder rig). This non-return rig allows the fish to swim down your line until it reaches your sinker. Once it reaches your sinker, it won’t be able to swim any further, and while struggling, will give the impression of an injured fish.

They are powerful animals, so your choice of tackle is important. If you are targeting smaller Black Tip Shark, then a 20-30 pound class is required. If you are looking to target a larger Shark, then a 50-pound breaking strain is needed. Due to the plentiful and razor-sharp teeth, a good quality wire leader is a must. When targeting Blacktip Shark under four feet, it is advisable to use a medium-action spinning outfit.

Along with your 20-30lb braid or fluorocarbon, use a four-foot monofilament shock leader with a premium wire trace along with a premium high-quality 3/0 BKK Circle hook. Circle hooks are great because they consistently yield optimum hookups and are seriously strong.

Targeting Large Blacktips

When targeting larger Blacktips, a heavy-spinning gear set-up is required. This can include a 50lb braided Line or a 30lb monofilament line. Braided line is great for targeting Blacktip because it allows more backing on your spool, and these powerful fish are known for hard, deep-diving runs. A 7/0 or 9/0 BKK Circle Hook, premium wire trace, and a four-foot monofilament shock leader will complete your set-up.

When hooked up to a Blacktip Shark, it is imperative always to keep sufficient tension on your line. Blacktip Shark will try extremely hard to get away and will often leap out of the water to try and spit the hook. Keeping constant tension will ensure that your quality BKK circle hook keeps the fish on your line.

Best Rod for Blacktip Shark

The good folk at Burning Shark are incredibly passionate about the species and are respected for manufacturing excellent fishing equipment. This convenient and ultra-lightweight rod is ideal for targeting Blacktip Shark and various other types of saltwater game and sport fish.

It is an innovative telescopic rod that features a lengthened and hollow handle, stainless steel guides, CNC machined aluminum reel seats, and an ultra-lightweight design. Burning Shark Fishing Rods are highly durable and are made of high-density 24-ton fiberglass. It combines a lightweight with advanced sensitivity and offers outstanding value for money.

Best Reels for Blacktip Shark

Okuma Solterra SLX-20II Level Drag Reel

This is a fantastic reel from Okuma. It is visually appealing and offers loads of modern features. The Solterra SLX-20ll features stainless steel main gears, shafts, and pinion gears. The spool is forged from aluminum and comes with line indicator rings.

This reel also features a Carbonite Drag System, which includes Cal’s Universal Drag Grease. It offers five ball bearings plus two additional roller bearings. All ball bearings are stainless steel shielded. Handle turning force over 50 % is drastically reduced by two thrust bearings.

Burning Shark Trolling Levelwind Reel

This reel is not only nice to look at but is also strong and durable. It offers a 40lb drag, has a gear ratio of 4.4:1, and weighs approximately 1.3lb (600g). The Double Dog Ratchet System prevents the handle from reversing.

The spool is machined from aluminum with Bakelite Side Plates. The gears are made from stainless steel for long-lasting durability. The handle is spherical with a smooth reel seat. The frame is lightweight and corrosion-resistant with quiet action. The Burning Shark Saltwater reel has been designed to catch big fish.

Interesting Facts About Blacktip Shark

  • The oldest Blacktip Shark ever recorded was 15.5 years old
  • All the fins on a Blacktip Shark feature black edges except for the anal fin, which has a white edge
  • Blacktip Sharks have poor eyesight but have an incredible sense of smell. They can smell one part fish in 10 billion parts seawater
  • The largest Blacktip Shark on record was a female that measured an impressive 6.8ft (2.1m)
  • Blacktip Sharks are notorious for leaping out of the water to perform spectacular spins. They have been recorded rotating three times before landing back in the water.

More On Blacktip Sharks

When feeding, they will attack small schooling fish or larger solitary fish. When doing this, they spectacularly leap out of the water and perform several spins before landing back in the water. Black Tip Sharks live over Coral reefs and off beaches.

They can, however, also be found in Estuaries, Natural Water Systems, and Bays. Schools are generally small in size and are segregated by gender. Black Tip Sharks are a migratory species and are known to swim long distances. They can achieve lengths of 1.7m (5.5ft) and can weigh up to 25kg (55lb), females grow larger than males, and the largest on record had a length of 2.1m (6.8ft).

They feature specialized cells in their snouts called Electroreceptors. These cells allow the Black Tip Shark (and all Sharks) to detect a potential meal’s electric energy that may be close by. Bony Fish make up the bulk of their diet, but they are known to also feed on Shrimp, Crustaceans, Stingrays, and Cephalopods.

They are also known to display cannibalism, particularly towards smaller Black Tip Sharks. Black Tip Sharks are notorious for feeding on discarded by-catch from trawler nets and fishing boats. They are the most abundant large species along the Gulf of Mexico Coast and are often cited by anglers, swimmers, and surfers along the world’s coastlines.

Eating Blacktip Sharks

Blacktip Shark meat is highly regarded and are commercially targeted for the Mediterranean, Indian, American, and Mexican markets. Their fins are highly sought after in the East Asian markets and can be considered quite valuable. The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) lists the Black Tip Shark as “Near Threatened”.

This has resulted in mass overfishing, combined with mass habitat destruction. Black Tip Sharks are born and grow up in inshore nurseries. Without any protection, these nurseries are often disturbed by bottom trawlers and boats.


Blacktip Sharks can be found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world. They can be targeted inshore, over coral reefs, around sandbanks, in estuaries, and bays. Blacktips are medium in size and feature a distinct black marking on the edge of their pectoral, dorsal, and tail fins. They have powerful torpedo-shaped bodies and, when feeding, leap spectacularly out of the water.

Blacktip Sharks have satiable appetites and feed on various fish, Shrimp, Crustaceans, Stingrays, and Cephalopods. They can be targeted using live bait, dead bait, and artificial lures. The best bait is the smelliest and oiliest bait you can find. Blacktips have an excellent sense of smell but have poor eyesight, they are far more likely to smell it before seeing it. The best lures are vertical jigs, spoons, and deep-diving hard-body lures.

The most popular and possibly the most successful fishing technique is trolling over reefs and sandbanks. This can be done using live bait, surf fishing with dead bait, or artificial lures. Anchoring up current from reef or structure and vigorous vertical jigging with big heavy spoons and vertical jigs is also a great way to target this species.

They can also be targeted from the shore or from a pier, especially at low tide. Getting your bait or lure behind the backline is vital. This species is highly sought after and targeted by commercials for its meat and fins. The IUCN has Blacktip Sharks listed as “near threatened.” This is the result of overfishing and habitat destruction.

We hope you enjoyed this article on how to catch Blacktip Shark. 

Happy Hunting!

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