If you’re an avid fisherman looking for the ultimate thrill, shark fishing in Jacksonville, Florida is an experience you won’t want to miss. With its abundant marine life and breathtaking coastline, Jacksonville offers some of the best shark fishing opportunities in the world. In this blog, we’ll give you an insider’s look into the world of shark fishing in Jacksonville, providing you with expert tips on where to go, what gear to use, and how to catch the biggest fish of your life. So grab your fishing rod and get ready for an adventure you’ll never forget.
Best Shark Fishing Spots in Jacksonville Florida
Jacksonville Florida is known for its excellent shark fishing spots. Here are some of the best locations to try your luck:
- Mayport Jetties: This is a popular spot for shark fishing, with plenty of blacktips, lemon, and bull sharks in the area.
- Nassau Sound: Located just north of Jacksonville, Nassau Sound is home to a variety of shark species, including blacktip, lemon, and sandbar sharks.
- Little Talbot Island: This is a great spot for shore fishing, with a variety of shark species available, including blacktip, lemon, and tiger sharks.
- Fernandina Beach: This area is known for its large tiger sharks, as well as bull sharks, hammerheads, and blacktip sharks.
- St. Johns River: Although not as well-known for shark fishing, the St. Johns River is home to a variety of species, including bull sharks, hammerheads, and nurse sharks.
Types of Sharks You Can Catch in Jacksonville Florida
Jacksonville Florida is home to a variety of shark species that are popular among fishermen. Here are some of the most common types of sharks you can catch in the area:
- Blacktip Shark: These sharks are known for their acrobatic jumps and are a popular target for sport fishermen in Jacksonville Florida. They typically weigh between 40 to 80 pounds.
- Lemon Shark: These sharks are often found in shallow waters and can grow up to 10 feet in length. They are known for their yellow-brown coloration and are a prized catch for shark fishermen.
- Bull Shark: Known for their aggressive behavior, bull sharks can be found in both fresh and saltwater in Jacksonville Florida. They can grow up to 11 feet in length and weigh up to 500 pounds.
- Hammerhead Shark: Hammerhead sharks are known for their distinctive head shape and can grow up to 14 feet in length. They are typically found in deeper waters and are a challenging catch for fishermen.
- Tiger Shark: These sharks are known for their stripes and can grow up to 18 feet in length. They are a highly sought-after catch for shark fishermen, but their size and strength make them a challenging target.
Best Time of Year for Shark Fishing in Jacksonville Florida
The best time of year for shark fishing in Jacksonville Florida depends on the species you’re targeting, as well as the weather and water conditions. Here are some general guidelines for the best times to go shark fishing in Jacksonville:
- Spring (March to May): This is a great time for shark fishing in Jacksonville, as water temperatures begin to warm up and baitfish become more plentiful. Species like blacktip sharks and hammerhead sharks can be found in good numbers during this time.
- Summer (June to August): This is peak season for shark fishing in Jacksonville, as water temperatures are at their warmest and baitfish are abundant. Species like bull sharks and tiger sharks can be found in good numbers during this time.
- Fall (September to November): Fall is a good time for shark fishing in Jacksonville, as water temperatures begin to cool down and baitfish are still abundant. Species like lemon sharks and blacktip sharks can be found in good numbers during this time.
- Winter (December to February): Winter can still provide some good shark fishing opportunities in Jacksonville, especially for species like blacktip sharks and spinner sharks. However, water temperatures can be cooler and weather conditions can be more unpredictable during this time.
Best Baits and Lures for Shark Fishing in Jacksonville Florida
Choosing the right bait and lures is crucial when shark fishing in Jacksonville Florida. Here are some of the best baits and lures to use when targeting sharks in the area:
- Live bait: Live bait is always a good option when shark fishing in Jacksonville. Some of the best live baits to use include mullet, menhaden, and bluefish.
- Cut bait: Cut bait is another effective option for shark fishing. Use a sharp knife to cut the bait into chunks, and then attach it to a circle hook. Some of the best-cut baits for shark fishing in Jacksonville include bonito, mackerel, and squid.
- Jigs: Jigs can be an effective way to target sharks in Jacksonville. Choose a heavy-duty jig with a strong hook and attach a piece of cut bait or a soft plastic trailer.
- Topwater lures: Topwater lures can be effective when targeting species like bull sharks and blacktip sharks. Use a lure that mimics a wounded fish or a fleeing baitfish to attract the shark’s attention.
- Chum: Chumming the water can also be effective when shark fishing in Jacksonville. Use a mixture of cut bait and fish oil to create a scent trail that will attract sharks to your location.
Recommended Gear for Shark Fishing in Jacksonville Florida
Shark fishing in Jacksonville Florida requires specific gear to ensure a successful and safe experience. Here are some recommended gear for shark fishing in the area:
- Rod and reel: Choose a heavy-duty rod and reel that can handle the weight and strength of large sharks. A conventional reel with a high gear ratio and a heavy line capacity is recommended.
- Line: Use braided line with a high-pound test strength, at least 80-pound test or higher is recommended.
- Hooks: Circle hooks are recommended for shark fishing, as they are less likely to be swallowed by the shark and reduce the risk of injury to the shark. Use a hook size appropriate for the species you are targeting.
- Leaders: Use a heavy-duty monofilament or fluorocarbon leader with a pound test strength similar to your mainline. Leaders should be at least six feet long to help prevent the shark from biting through the line.
- Shark handling equipment: Have a de-hooker, pliers, and gloves on hand to safely handle and release sharks. Additionally, a large landing net can be helpful for safely bringing the shark to the boat.
- Safety equipment: Wear a life jacket and have a first aid kit on board in case of emergency.
- Additional gear: Consider using a shark fishing kite, balloons, or a downrigger to help keep your bait at the right depth and position in the water.
Best Shark Fishing Charters in Jacksonville Florida
There are several great shark fishing charters available in Jacksonville Florida. Here are some of the best options:
- Team Buck Rogers: Team Buck Rogers is a popular shark fishing charter in Jacksonville that offers half-day and full-day shark fishing trips. They provide all the necessary equipment and offer a variety of shark fishing techniques.
- Wahoo Fishing Charters: Wahoo Fishing Charters is another great option for shark fishing in Jacksonville. They offer half-day and full-day charters and have experienced guides who can help you target a variety of shark species.
- Fish Whisperer Charters: Fish Whisperer Charters is a top-rated shark fishing charter in Jacksonville that offers half-day and full-day trips. They have experienced guides who can help you target a variety of shark species and provide all necessary equipment.
- Jax Fish Inshore: Jax Fish Inshore offers a variety of fishing charters, including shark fishing trips. They provide all necessary equipment and have experienced guides who can help you target a variety of shark species.
When choosing a shark fishing charter, be sure to read reviews and ask about the charter’s experience targeting sharks in the Jacksonville area.
Regulations and Licenses for Shark Fishing in Jacksonville Florida
Shark fishing in Jacksonville Florida is subject to regulations and licensing requirements set by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Here are some important regulations and licensing requirements to keep in mind:
- License requirements: Anyone who plans to shark fish in Florida must have a valid Florida saltwater fishing license. Non-residents can obtain a license online or from a licensed agent.
- Catch limits: There are catch limits for certain shark species in Florida waters. For example, there is a one-shark-per-person, per-day limit for tiger sharks and great hammerhead sharks.
- Size limits: There are also size limits for certain shark species. For example, Atlantic sharpnose sharks must be at least 54 inches in length to keep, while blacktip sharks must be at least 54 inches in length to keep.
- Gear restrictions: Certain gear restrictions apply to shark fishing in Florida waters. For example, the use of stainless steel hooks is prohibited when targeting sharks from shore.
- Prohibited species: There are certain shark species that are prohibited from harvest in Florida waters, including great white sharks, whale sharks, and basking sharks.
- Reporting requirements: Anglers who catch a tagged shark must report the tag number to the FWC. Additionally, all shark landings must be reported to the FWC.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the current regulations and licensing requirements for shark fishing in Jacksonville Florida. For more information, visit the FWC website or contact a local fishing charter.
Where to Stay When Shark Fishing in Jacksonville Florida
If you’re planning to go shark fishing in Jacksonville Florida, there are several great accommodation options available. Here are some of the best places to stay:
- Omni Jacksonville Hotel: The Omni Jacksonville Hotel is a great option for anglers who want to be close to the water. It’s located in downtown Jacksonville, just a short drive from several fishing charters. The hotel offers comfortable rooms and suites, a rooftop pool, and an on-site restaurant.
- Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa: The Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa is located just outside of Jacksonville, in Ponte Vedra Beach. It’s a great option for anglers who want to relax in a resort setting after a long day on the water. The resort offers comfortable rooms and suites, multiple pools, a spa, and several dining options.
- Holiday Inn Express Jacksonville Beach: The Holiday Inn Express Jacksonville Beach is located just steps from the beach and a short drive from several fishing charters. The hotel offers comfortable rooms and suites, a pool, and a complimentary breakfast.
- Hampton Inn Jacksonville Beach/Oceanfront: The Hampton Inn Jacksonville Beach/Oceanfront is another great option for anglers who want to stay near the beach. The hotel offers comfortable rooms and suites, a pool, and a complimentary breakfast.
- One Ocean Resort & Spa: The One Ocean Resort & Spa is a luxury oceanfront resort located in Atlantic Beach, just a short drive from several fishing charters. The resort offers luxurious rooms and suites, multiple pools, a spa, and several dining options.
When choosing a place to stay, be sure to consider proximity to the fishing charters, as well as amenities and price.
Expert Tips and Tricks for Successful Shark Fishing in Jacksonville Florida
If you’re planning to go shark fishing in Jacksonville Florida, here are some expert tips and tricks to help you have a successful trip:
- Use fresh bait: Sharks have a keen sense of smell, so it’s important to use fresh bait to attract them. Freshly caught fish or squid are good choices.
- Anchor your boat: When shark fishing, it’s important to anchor your boat in an area where there is a good chance of finding sharks. Look for drop-offs, channels, and areas where the water depth changes quickly.
- Use heavy tackle: Sharks are powerful creatures, so it’s important to use heavy tackle when fishing for them. A heavy-duty rod and reel, strong fishing line, and steel leader are essential.
- Use chum: Chumming the water can help attract sharks to your fishing spot. Use a chum bag or bucket filled with fish parts or blood to create a scent trail.
- Be patient: Shark fishing can require a lot of patience. It may take some time to attract a shark to your fishing spot, and once you hook one, it may take a while to reel it in.
- Use proper handling techniques: When you catch a shark, it’s important to handle it properly to ensure its safety and your own. Use a de-hooking tool to remove the hook, and avoid touching the shark’s gills or eyes. Keep the shark in the water as much as possible, and release it quickly.
- Respect the environment: Sharks play an important role in the ecosystem, so it’s important to release them unharmed. Be sure to follow all regulations and guidelines for shark fishing, and do your part to protect the environment.
By following these expert tips and tricks, you can increase your chances of having a successful shark fishing trip in Jacksonville Florida.
Jacksonville Florida is a great destination for shark fishing enthusiasts. With its abundance of sharks and variety of fishing charters, there are plenty of opportunities to catch a big one. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, following expert tips and tricks can help you have a successful trip. And when you’re not out on the water, there are plenty of great places to stay and things to do in Jacksonville. So pack your bags, grab your gear, and get ready for an unforgettable shark fishing adventure in Jacksonville Florida.