A spinner shark leaping from the water is one of the most thrilling sights an angler can witness-especially when your hook is firmly embedded in the shark’s jaw. Rips, weedlines, and oil rigs can all attract spinner shark, but one of the most common places to find them is behind commercial fishing boats culling their catch. Ready to angle for one of the most overlooked predators in the ocean? These tips should get you below the surface, where the big boys hide out.
Spinners feed in various parts of the water column, and most of the ones you see jump clear of the water are fairly large-in the 4′ to 6′ range. But those larger predators often hang lower than their smaller brethren, which are battling for tidbits at the surface. They commonly operate mid-depth, which gives them plenty of room to generate the kind of momentum it takes to push a 150-pound body 10′ out of the water. So if you see big spinners rising high in the sky, a surface bait isn’t necessarily the best way to go. So how do you agitate those big boys, when the little ones are eating all the surface chum? Sink a chum bucket 10′ below the surface. Then take a pail of wet sand and live glass minnow or finger mullet. Clump several baitfish together with the sand, and throw them overboard. The fish will escape the sand balls at different depths, driving the shark crazy. Bait up with a live ladyfish or hardtail, which are too big for the smaller shark to strike. Then brace yourself-because when a 6′ spinner shark blasts through the pack to eat a livie, you’re going to have a serious fight on your hands.