What kind of precautions do we need to take before bringing a shark onto the boat?

Once it’s on the hook – what kind of precautions do we need to take before bringing a shark onto the boat?

The first precautions you need to take after your shark is hooked and before it is brought onto the boat, actually begins before you ever leave dock.  It is imperative that you have no less than three people, and preferably more, onboard your boat to ensure a safe shark fishing expedition.  There is no way anyone can safely run a boat, struggle with a fighting fish, manage to wire it, and/or cut this fish loose safely, if you are alone.  Be sure you have at least three people able to be actively involved on any shark fishing expedition.  Almost every time a boat leaves shore someone gets seasick.  To make sure that nobody is sea sick.  Everyone should take sea sickness preventives the day before they go out on the open sea to be sure nobody is incapacitated during a dangerous moment.


Use good, common sense, and be vigilant.  Watch what is going on around you, be aware of what could go wrong, and have the right equipment to ensure safety.  Be aware of the capability of your quarry.  A shark that can bend head to tail can bite you even if you are at his tail.  Gaff the shark from the back of the head, and say well behind the dorsal fin region. 


Use protective clothing, and use a wet towel when handling any shark out of water.  Do not attempt to remove a hook by hand.  Have cable cutters handy, in fact have several pair of cable cutters handy.  Regular wire cutters will NOT suffice.  When working near a shark’s mouth or cutting an entangled friend free, you want to be certain the first cut counts.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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