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Shark Fishing from a Pier: The Ultimate Guide

Fishermen can target sharks from a boat, pier, and even from shore. Some species prefer open oceans, while others prefer to patrol reefs, sandbanks, and estuaries. If you’re reading this, you probably want to learn how to fish for sharks from a pier. So what are the best tips for shark fishing from a pier?

Glad you asked! In this article, we’ll go over our top tips for shark fishing from a pier. We’ll also go over what gear is best for shark fishing from a pier, as well as other top shark facts

Let’s get started.

Shark Fishing from a Pier: Get Proper Tackle

Sharks are equipped with teeth that will easily bite through braided, monofilament, and fluorocarbon lines. Therefore it is essential to use premium quality wire-leaders. There are many variations available today.

They are offered in various thicknesses and also offered in different breaking strains depending on the size of Shark you are looking to catch. Secondly, it is a responsible practice to ensure that Sharks aren’t left swimming around with large hooks in their mouth.

Author Note: The hook will begin to rust and could cause an infection to the animal. By using a quality wire leader, you will be in a position to remove the hook before releasing it.

Shark Fishing Hooks

The type of hook you decide on is essential, and it is advisable to invest in a premium brand. The most popular hook for targeting large sharks is the Circle Hook. This is an excellent hook for a number of reasons. They are seriously strong and will stand up to big Sharks.

They are manufactured from quality materials, are ultra-sharp, and corrosion-resistant. The Circle-hook is designed to only hook the Shark in the corner of the mouth or lip. This is great when removing the hook from its dangerous jaws.

The most attractive feature of the circle hook is that it eliminates the chance of a Deep-Hook. A Deep-Hook is when the hungry Shark engulfs your entire bait, which results in the hook setting in its stomach. When this happens, it is impossible to retrieve the hook, and generally results in the shark dying.

Shark Fishing Rods

Choosing the correct tackle is also essential. Sharks are extremely powerful, and heavy-duty tackle is necessary. A Heavy-Rated 10-15ft (3-5m) conventional or spinning rod is ideal for targeting small to medium-sized Sharks.

When surf fishing, a large spinning or conventional reel is required, it should feature a substantial drag. You will need 400-600m of mainline, a 40-80lb braided line is a good option. Targeting larger sharks can be done from a pier or boat, using conventional tackle.

You will need a stronger and shorter rod and a Heavy Duty Reel with about 400-600m of 80-200lb braided line. You can gain leverage on a large shark by employing a fighting belt or harness. This relieves a substantial amount of drag pressure that these strong fish cause.

Shark Fishing Reels

The PENN General purpose Level Wind Conventional Fishing Reel is ideal for targeting sharks and a wide variety of saltwater species. This quality reel features a counterbalanced handle with oversized paddle knobs to offer comfortable and fluid cranking.

It also features the innovative HT-100 Carbon fiber drag system, a machined aluminum spool, bake-light side plates, and stainless steel gears for long-lasting durability. This level wind fishing reel delivers toughness, reliability and excels across all saltwater conditions.

In addition to this, there are other types of fishing tackle that you will need. If you are targeting sharks from shore, you will need a durable surf spike to hold your rod in the sand, heavily wired sinkers to hold your bait on the bottom (anglers can use normal sinkers if heavy wired sinkers aren’t available).

You will also need fresh smelly baits, a measuring tape, gloves, unhooking tool, wire cutters, and heavy-duty pliers. If you are targeting sharks from a boat you will require party balloon floats.

Best Techniques for Shark Fishing from a Pier

When targeting sharks from a pier, the most popular and successful method is the “Sliding” technique or using a shark rig. This is a simple technique and can be used by anybody. Attach a heavy wired sinker to the end of your line and cast it as far as you can behind the backline. It’s a modified version of the fish finder rig.

Place your rod in a rod holder while maintaining a good tension, and attach a quick release sliding rig. This rig has been designed to be fished with live bait and offers a non-return function but can also be fished with dead bait (it is important to put the rig in the correct direction; otherwise, your bait won’t go anywhere).

Author Note: Once attached, this rig will slide down your mainline towards your sinker. Live bait will struggle at the bottom trying to get free, and dead bait will lie down there, releasing oils, blood, and smell to attract large predators.

Catching Large Sharks from a Pier

Larger sharks are generally caught offshore in deep water, but you can get them off a Pier too. It is important to have a plan on how you are going to land, handle and release the fish. Often Piers are built on rocky structures, and if the tide is full and the swell is up, it can be tricky. Sharks are some of the hardest-fighting fish in the world.

Catching and releasing from a tall structure can prove difficult, particularly for the Shark and your fishing tackle. Having a clear idea of where you can do this before you start fishing will save more Shark and Human lives.

Another fishing technique to target shark from a pier is the float system. This system involves a wire trace, live or dead bait, and a large-sized float. Attach a six-foot, 100lb monofilament leader to a quality wire trace. Then add the floater to the other end. Attach the float to your mainline and bait the hook.

It is important to survey the ocean and look for a holding spot. This is a spot in the ocean where the waves don’t break. You are looking for this area because you don’t want your bait to be washed in towards the shore with the incoming waves. Getting your bait into the holding spot will ensure it spends more time in the water and increase your chances of a giant shark.

What is the Best Bait for Targeting Shark from a Pier?

White Shark

Sharks will eat almost anything that is presented to them, but there are a few species that they seem to enjoy more than others. Freshly caught Mackerel, Tuna, Croaker, Mullet, Stingray, and fish heads have been consistently catching sharks for a long time.

It is recommended that you keep them on ice. These species are generally easily accessible and are not in any way threatened or endangered. If you cannot obtain these baits, you can use any species that can be found within their habitat. The key to successful Shark Fishing is by taking advantage of the sharks super sensitive sensory organs.

Author Note: They have small eyes and poor eyesight and are more likely to smell or pick up on your bait’s electrical field before they see it. Always use the oiliest, bloodiest and smelliest bait you can find.

Are Sharks Endangered?

Numerous species of Sharks are on the brink of extinction. For centuries people have been using sharks for vitamins, medicines, and food. Shark Teeth were used for weapons and jewelry, and the skin was utilized to produce sandpaper.

Shark meat is a direct and primary target for commercial fishermen, the meat is extremely popular, and the fins hold high value in the East. Thousands of Sharks are also caught as a by-catch and get snagged in nets that are being used to target other fish.

More Shark Facts

Sharks can be found in tropical, subtropical, and polar waters around the world. They can be located in estuaries, natural water systems, inshore and offshore. They have a long life-span, slow growth rate, and slow reproductive rate. Sharks are ectothermic (cold-blooded), they breathe with gills, have fins, and their skeletons are made from cartilage.

They feature the classic fusiform body, which is rounded and tapered at both ends. This design reduces drag and requires less energy when swimming. They feature sandpaper-like skin, razor-sharp teeth, five gills on each side of the head, and large pectoral, dorsal, and caudal fins. Sharks can be targeted from a pier, off a boat, and in the surf. They will feed on almost anything, but the most popular baits are freshly caught Mackerel, Tuna, Croaker, Mullet, Stingray, and Fish Heads.

It is vital to have the correct fishing tackle when targeting these powerful fish. The most successful method to catch Sharks from a pier is by using the “sliding” technique. This technique involves casting a heavy wired sinker behind the backline, attaching a non-return sliding rig with live or dead bait, and sliding the rig down your mainline towards your sinker.

When at the bottom, your live bait will imitate an injured fish while struggling to get free. Your dead bait will stay at the bottom, releasing oils, blood, and an irresistible smell to attract hungry Sharks.


While sharks may be a ton of fun to catch, we hope that you treat them with respect and release them back into the ocean. They aren’t good to eat, and a released shark can be caught again by another fisherman. We hope you enjoyed this article on shark fishing from a pier.

Happy Hunting!


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