Shark Fishing In Delaware

Lapping waves land on the soft sandy beaches in Delaware.
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Shark fishing in Delaware is a thrilling and rewarding experience for any angler. With a vast coastline and numerous fishing spots, Delaware offers a variety of shark species that can make for an unforgettable fishing trip. However, planning a shark fishing trip can be overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the sport. In this article, we’ll provide expert tips and tricks on how to plan a successful shark fishing trip in Delaware. From choosing the right gear and bait to knowing the best time of year to fish and the regulations and licenses you need to know, this guide will help you plan your next shark fishing adventure in Delaware with confidence.

Best Shark Fishing Spots in Delaware

Delaware has many great spots for shark fishing. Here are some of the best:

  1. Cape Henlopen State Park: This park located near Lewes, Delaware, offers great surf fishing opportunities for shark species such as sand tiger sharks and bull sharks.
  2. Indian River Inlet: This inlet located near Bethany Beach is a popular spot for surf fishing and offers great opportunities for catching sandbar sharks and sand tiger sharks.
  3. Fenwick Island State Park: This park located in Fenwick Island, Delaware, offers great surf fishing opportunities for a variety of shark species including sand tiger sharks, sandbar sharks, and dusky sharks.
  4. Broadkill Beach: This beach located near Milton, Delaware, is a great spot for shark fishing and offers opportunities to catch sand tiger sharks and sandbar sharks.
  5. Delaware Bay: The Delaware Bay is a great spot for shark fishing and offers opportunities to catch a variety of shark species including sandbar sharks, dusky sharks, and sand tiger sharks.

With these amazing spots to choose from, shark fishing in Delaware is sure to be an unforgettable experience for any angler.

Monster Shark Caught In The Delaware Bay!

Types of Sharks You Can Catch in Delaware

Delaware waters are home to a variety of shark species that can be targeted by anglers. Here are some of the most common types of sharks you can catch in Delaware:

  1. Sand Tiger Shark: Sand tiger sharks are a common species in Delaware waters and can be caught in both inshore and offshore areas. They are known for their impressive size and sharp teeth.
  2. Sandbar Shark: The sandbar shark is another common species in Delaware waters and is often found in inshore areas. They are known for their streamlined bodies and can grow up to 8 feet in length.
  3. Dusky Shark: Dusky sharks can be found in both inshore and offshore areas and are known for their brownish-gray coloration. They can grow up to 14 feet in length and are considered a challenging catch.
  4. Smooth Dogfish: The smooth dogfish is a smaller species of shark that can be caught in inshore areas. They are known for their spiny dorsal fins and can grow up to 4 feet in length.
  5. Thresher Shark: Thresher sharks are an offshore species that can be found in Delaware waters during the summer months. They are known for their distinctive long tail and can grow up to 20 feet in length.

Overall, Delaware offers a diverse range of shark species for anglers to target and provides an exciting opportunity to test their fishing skills.

Best Time of Year for Shark Fishing in Delaware

The best time of year for shark fishing in Delaware is generally from late May through October. During this period, water temperatures rise and attract a variety of shark species to Delaware’s waters.

  1. Sand Tiger Shark: The best time to target sand tiger sharks in Delaware is during the summer months of June through September when they are most active in nearshore waters.
  2. Sandbar Shark: The best time to target sandbar sharks in Delaware is during the summer months of June through September when they are most abundant in inshore waters.
  3. Dusky Shark: The best time to target dusky sharks in Delaware is during the late summer and early fall months of August through October when they are most active and feeding aggressively.
  4. Smooth Dogfish: Smooth dogfish can be caught in Delaware’s waters year-round, but are most abundant during the summer months of June through September.
  5. Thresher Shark: Thresher sharks can be found in Delaware’s waters during the summer months of July through September, with peak activity in August.

Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, targeting shark species during their peak activity periods in Delaware’s waters can provide an exhilarating fishing experience.

Delaware Bay Land Based Shark Fishing

Best Baits and Lures for Shark Fishing in Delaware

Shark fishing in Delaware requires specialized equipment and bait to successfully target these powerful predators. Here are some of the best baits and lures for shark fishing in Delaware:

  1. Live or Cut Bait: Sharks are attracted to the scent of fresh bait, so using live or cut bait can be effective. Popular bait options include bluefish, menhaden, and squid.
  2. Chunks of Fish: Chunking involves cutting up large pieces of fish and using them as bait. This method can be effective for attracting larger sharks like dusky and sand tiger sharks.
  3. Bucktail Jigs: Bucktail jigs are versatile lures that can be effective for targeting smaller shark species like smooth dogfish. These lures can be tipped with a piece of bait for added attraction.
  4. Paddle Tail Swimbaits: Paddle tail swimbaits are soft plastic lures that mimic the movement of live baitfish. These lures can be effective for targeting sandbar sharks in shallow water.
  5. Wire Leaders: Wire leaders are essential when targeting sharks, as they prevent the shark from biting through the line. Make sure to use heavy-duty wire leaders to withstand the shark’s sharp teeth.

It’s important to remember that some species of sharks are protected in Delaware waters and may not be targeted or kept.

Recommended Gear for Shark Fishing in Delaware

Shark fishing in Delaware requires specialized gear to successfully target these powerful predators. Here are some recommended gear items for shark fishing in Delaware:

  1. Rod and Reel: A heavy-duty rod and reel combo with a high line capacity is essential when targeting sharks. Look for a rod with a stiff backbone and fast action to help set the hook.
  2. Fishing Line: Use a strong braided line with a high breaking strength to withstand the power of a hooked shark. Monofilament or fluorocarbon leader material can be added to the end of the braided line for added abrasion resistance.
  3. Hooks: Circle hooks are the preferred type of hook for shark fishing, as they are designed to hook the shark in the corner of the mouth, reducing the chance of injury to the shark. Make sure to use a size and strength appropriate for the target species.
  4. Wire Leaders: Wire leaders are essential when targeting sharks, as they prevent the shark from biting through the line. Make sure to use heavy-duty wire leaders to withstand the shark’s sharp teeth.
  5. Gaff: A gaff can be used to safely bring the shark alongside the boat or onto the beach for tagging or release. Make sure to use a gaff with a large hook and handle for added control.
  6. Gloves: A pair of heavy-duty gloves can protect your hands from the abrasive skin and sharp teeth of a hooked shark.

By using the recommended gear for shark fishing in Delaware, anglers can increase their chances of a successful and safe shark fishing experience.

Surf Fishing Delaware Beach

Best Shark Fishing Charters in Delaware


Chartering a boat with an experienced captain can be a great way to increase your chances of a successful shark fishing trip in Delaware. Here are some of the best shark fishing charters in Delaware:

  1. Fish Bound Charters: Located in Ocean City, MD, Fish Bound Charters offers shark fishing trips in Delaware waters. They provide all necessary gear and bait and have a knowledgeable crew to assist with the fishing.
  2. Indian River Marina: Located in Rehoboth Beach, DE, Indian River Marina offers a variety of fishing charters, including shark fishing trips. They have experienced captains and offer both inshore and offshore trips.
  3. Pirate King Fishing: Located in Lewes, DE, Pirate King Fishing offers half-day and full-day shark fishing trips. They provide all necessary gear and bait and have a knowledgeable crew to assist with the fishing.
  4. Hook’em & Cook’em Outfitters: Located in South Bethany, DE, Hook’em & Cook’em Outfitters offers shark fishing trips in Delaware waters. They have experienced captains and provide all necessary gear and bait.
  5. Delaware Family Fishing: Located in Lewes, DE, Delaware Family Fishing offers shark fishing trips for families and groups. They provide all necessary gear and bait and have a knowledgeable crew to assist with the fishing.

Choosing a reputable charter will help you to catch more sharks in the long run, as the knowledge you learn will be invaluable.

Regulations and Licenses for Shark Fishing in Delaware

Shark fishing in Delaware is subject to various regulations and licensing requirements to ensure the sustainability of shark populations. Here are some of the regulations and licenses you need to know before going shark fishing in Delaware:

  1. License: Anglers over the age of 16 are required to have a Delaware fishing license to fish for sharks in state waters.
  2. Minimum Size Limits: Delaware has minimum size limits for some shark species. For example, Atlantic sharpnose sharks must be at least 54 inches in total length to be kept.
  3. Possession Limits: Delaware has possession limits for some shark species. For example, a recreational angler may only possess one sand tiger shark per trip.
  4. Prohibited Species: Some species of sharks are prohibited from being caught or kept in Delaware waters. For example, white sharks and basking sharks are protected and may not be targeted or kept.
  5. Reporting Requirements: Delaware requires all recreational anglers who catch and release sharks to report their catch to the National Marine Fisheries Service.

It is important to stay up to date with the latest regulations and licensing requirements before heading out to shark fish in Delaware.

Shark Fishing In Delaware

Where to Stay When Shark Fishing in Delaware

If you’re planning a shark fishing trip in Delaware, you’ll need a comfortable and convenient place to stay. Here are some great options for lodging near popular shark fishing locations in Delaware:

  1. Bethany Beach Ocean Suites: Located in Bethany Beach, DE, this hotel is situated right on the beach and is a great choice for anglers looking for a comfortable stay near the Indian River Inlet, which is known for its shark fishing.
  2. Atlantic View Hotel: Located in Dewey Beach, DE, the Atlantic View Hotel is just steps away from the beach and a short drive from popular shark fishing locations like the Indian River Inlet and Cape Henlopen State Park.
  3. The Avenue Inn & Spa: Located in Rehoboth Beach, DE, The Avenue Inn & Spa is a great choice for anglers looking to stay in a comfortable and convenient location. It’s within walking distance of the beach and a short drive from several shark fishing locations.
  4. Beach House Dewey: Located in Dewey Beach, DE, Beach House Dewey is a beachfront hotel that’s a great option for anglers looking for a comfortable and convenient place to stay near popular shark fishing locations.

No matter where you choose to stay, be sure to check for any special deals or packages that may be available for shark fishing enthusiasts. These hotels are great options for any angler planning a shark fishing trip in Delaware.

Expert Tips and Tricks for Successful Shark Fishing in Delaware

If you’re planning a shark fishing trip in Delaware, here are some expert tips and tricks that can help increase your chances of a successful catch:

  1. Choose the right bait: Sharks have a keen sense of smell, so using fresh and oily bait like menhaden, mackerel, or bunker can attract them to your hook.
  2. Use heavy-duty tackle: Sharks can be powerful and put up a strong fight, so it’s important to use heavy-duty tackle like a stout rod, reel, and strong fishing line to handle their strength.
  3. Fish during the right tides: Shark fishing is often most productive during the incoming or outgoing tide. Look for areas with deep drop-offs or strong currents, as sharks are often found in these areas.
  4. Be patient: Shark fishing can be a waiting game, so it’s important to be patient and wait for the shark to bite. Once you get a bite, be ready to set the hook and reel the shark in quickly.
  5. Practice catch and release: Sharks are an important part of the ocean ecosystem, so it’s important to practice catch and release to help preserve their population. Make sure you handle the shark carefully and release it quickly and safely back into the water.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to a successful shark fishing trip in Delaware.

Surf Fishing For Sharks Lews Delaware

Conclusion

In conclusion, shark fishing in Delaware can be a thrilling and rewarding experience for any angler. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, Delaware offers plenty of opportunities to catch a variety of shark species. By choosing the right gear, bait, and location, and following expert tips and tricks, you can increase your chances of a successful catch. Additionally, make sure to be mindful of local regulations and practice catch and release to help preserve the shark population. With the right preparation and attitude, a shark fishing trip in Delaware can be an unforgettable adventure.

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