There’s no feeling like reeling in a catch for the very first time. As you go on more and more trips, though, chances are that you’re pursuing fish that are more elusive than ever. It’s always a goal to not go home empty-handed. But what can you do to maximize your chances of a catch when you’re pursuing something like a shark? 

While you can catch sharks any time of the day, including nighttime, most can be caught on the bottom using cut bait. However, it may take you forever waiting to catch a shark that won’t fall for your bait. In this feature, you’ll get to know what to look for as the best bait to catch sharks and what to do with them. Are you ready to catch your first shark? Let’s get started!

What Is the Best Bait for Sharks?

It is no secret that to attract a shark, you should use a bloody and oily fresh local fish as bait. The only secret here is this: the best fish to use as bait is any local fish. In other words, whatever fish there is in the area where you will catch a shark is the bait!

This is because each fishing area of the country has forage species that sharks feed on. So make your local fish bloodier and oilier! But besides being bloody and oily, there are some other characteristics of shark baits that you should consider to catch your first shark better.

Good Shark Bait is Popular in the Area

Consider what fish is often caught by fishermen in your area? It can be a mackerel, a bluefish, sardines, a spot, or a mullet. Logically speaking, sharks who frequent a certain area are there because that’s where they are able to find food. We can only assume, then, that the local species is to their liking.

Good Shark Bait Can Be Any Size

It is not a matter of the bigger, the better. Sharks, being highly skilled predators, won’t just choose bigger bait. You can bait a shark using a sardine! What truly matters is the condition of your bait. As mentioned before, it should be bloody and oily. Aside from these two top qualities, ensure that your bait is still firm and fresh!

Good Shark Bait Must Be Fresh

Speaking of fresh, see to it that your bait is fresh when you fish with chunks. Sharks only go scavenging when there’s no fresh fish around. Fresh fish are definitely oilier and bloodier. Being great sniffers, sharks can smell even the smallest drop of blood in a large area of water. That is why frozen bait is not a very good choice since it softens up when dipped in the water. There is a tendency for the bait to float off the hook.

Catching Your Shark Bait

As discussed above, the best shark bait is a fresh one, a live one! Distressed live bait is a quick attention grabber from a shark. To make sure it is alive when caught:

  1. Use a net or a hook and line to catch your bait.
  2. Spot the school of fish and cast the net out.
  3. Pull the net back onto the boat. Keep the fish alive by putting it in a bucket. Use the other fish for chum.


As you fish for your first shark, do not forget to treat your prey with respect. They are predators in their own rights. More than that, only fish what you will eat. Conserve them as sharks breed and grow slowly. Release them if you catch more than what you desired.

A Port Aransas shark fishing trip of a lifetime is waiting for you. Come And Take It (CAT) Sport Fishing is the No. 1 Fishing Charter in Port Aransas. Book private offshore fishing charters, bay fishing charters, and guided surf & shark fishing trips with us today!