View Full Version : Leopard Shark info

06-02-2008, 06:23 PM
Hi guys, I have been fishging for Leopard shark's as of late and I have some questions if anyone could help me out on, that would be great.

1) I was told that when I get a bite , to let the shark run with it when using live bait. Does this apply to all baits?

2) What water conditions do they like best? Tidal preferrences and or fast moving water vs. slow water?

3) I have been going after them at the Bolias Lagoon and I am going to try Tomales Bay here soon...Are there any other spots close by that I should consider? I am not looking for anyone's special spot, just a basic area would be helpful.

4) Do Seals bother the bite? *Those Da@#&! Critters seem to follow me @ the Lagoon. I can"t imagine that they help any.

5) *After catching one, I was told to bleed them immediately by cutting them at the base of the tail down to the Cartilage as to help with the flavor. Is this a good method?

Thanks again for any help, I have just started fishing for these guys and I do not want to waste my time as I don't have much to spare, I have my own business and it's my other woman. I would like to bring home an occasional fish for dinner and leave the rest to get big and fat and make lots of babies...Tight lines, Don

06-03-2008, 08:45 AM
I've always boat fished for them, but I think my input can still apply.
1) I've done both ways; letting them run and setting the hook right away when I see a bite. Both work, but I'm a believer in the immediate hookset. I'm not sure with live bait as I've never used it. I get more hookups when I set the hook right away than when I let them run. I've also noticed that the bite can be different with different kinds of baits. They attack midshipmen. The bite on sardine, roe and squid tends to be a much more subtle tap tap than the big takedown. Of course there are exceptions when they attack a sardine but generally they bite softer with it.
2) smaller tides seem to produce more. I think it allows the scent to be more easily dispersed.
3) As I said, I've only fished from boats. I plan on expanding my experiences here soon to include some pier fishing. I hear that most of the SF bay piers will produce. pierfishing.com has some good feedback on this.
4) I always leave when seals show up.
5) I measure them, if legal and I'm going to keep for dinner then I kill them with a few good whacks from the pursuader then I gut them completely and rinse out the cavity al within about 10 minutes of catching them. I choose to release all females, particularly in the spring and fall when they have babies. Males are easily indentified by the two big prongs down by the vent.

Just one guys .02, I'm sure you'll egt some feedback from others. A beautiful , hard-fighting and delicious fish to pursue. 8-)

06-03-2008, 08:24 PM
so Krome, do you bleed them or do you just whack em and gut em within ten mins of catching? and do you soak em in milk overnite? I have heard alot of comments about soaking them in milk.

06-03-2008, 09:27 PM
Thanks Kromebright I was getting hits and I would leave it for the big take down or run and it just didn't happen for me. Now I will try a quick response because I am fishing with squid for the time being. I will be out there this weekend to put my time in. I went through this with sturgeon and then I got my mojo and I was getting my fair share of success. I am so curious and excited to fish for something new so any info is greatly appreciated. I am going to purchase a Kayak sometime soon and this will be one of the fishes that I will be chasing after....Tight lines, Don

06-03-2008, 09:37 PM
I'm of the school of thought to whack them dead and fully gut them . Be sure and rinse the body cavity out really well.

With squid, you will also get alot of ray bites that will be little taps too.
You can cut down on the rays by using sardine, mackeral or roe(be sure and use some thread to tie the roe to the hook).
Again, they tend to attack the midshipmen but those are hard to find lately at the bait stores.
Best of luck. 8-)

06-03-2008, 10:10 PM
I went through this with sturgeon and then I got my mojo and I was getting my fair share of success.

This should be 99.9999% easier then getting a sturgeon from shore ;)

If you do get a kayak let me know how it works out there. I have been thinking of getting one for the bay. I want the one with the petals.

06-04-2008, 12:44 PM
I don't fish for the leopard much, but twice a year to Dillons produces a few per trip.
I did not keep my first shark. However when I got home I did do a little research. I read that you should kill and clean your shark at time of catch. Apparently there are a few species of sharks that secrete bodily waste through flesh when highly stressed I didn't confirm this a trait of the leopard but it makes sense that they would do that.
I have found that the circle hook and letting it run produces more shark than being to Hasty.
I also know that the best bait to use is in their bellies so make sure you save it. At Dillons they are full of small inch and half round peeler crabs. About 10,15,25 per shark. One should give you bait for a hole day. I also tie my bait with silly string. The first is always caught on Sardine.( my bait of choice to go get fish).
Ive never used milk or better yet, buttermilk to nullify the taste of a shark. I eat them there. At camp as fresh as can be.
Even though these fish stink when you are cutting them up,I have to say that hands down. It is one of the nicest fish to deep fry. Pure steaky yet flakey bliss.
Season to taste ,egg and batter with ritz crackers on super high heat. Oh yeay. I skin and steak them 1.5 inches per steak...
Good luck, and that all I have to say. [smiley=fishing5.gif]

06-04-2008, 04:06 PM
Great point on the circle hooks. I've been wanting to try those for awhile now. I usually use a 5/0 octopus.

06-04-2008, 04:40 PM
I use a 7/0 Octopus with the slider set up. My leader is wire that I make myself (from my sturgeon stuff) and the line is braided, 30#. I use a Abu Garcia Ambassader 6500 with about 250 plus yards on it and a medium heavy 7'6" Redington Graphite one piece that is rated for 3 ozs. but I cast up to 5 ozs. with no problems. I wanted to use the lightest rig I felt safe with untill I get used to battling these guys and then I will go possibly with lighter tackle. I like a challange and that's where the kayak comes in. Almost all of my saltwater fishing experience has been for sturgeon and stripers and now with Leopards abound and Halibut hitting, I feel like I have A.D.D. * But for now I will keep it simple. That's why I have been fishing from shore ( I do have a boat) when I get some free time but the bug has bitten and I have it on the brain. Keep the info coming I look forward to it...tight lines, Don

A quick thought...How hard do you have to wack these guys? I never have dispatched a fish except for a wiggly trout ;D

06-04-2008, 04:50 PM
I went through this with sturgeon and then I got my mojo and I was getting my fair share of success.

This should be 99.9999% easier then getting a sturgeon from shore ;)

If you do get a kayak let me know how it works out there. *I have been thinking of getting one for the bay. *I want the one with the petals.

Consider it done. I work alot and this would be a great way to get much needed healthy exercise and get my line wet. I have been watching a lot of videos on kayak fishing on "youtube" and there is just about nothing you cannot catch on one of those. Skill level and the size of your stones have to be taken into consideration but it sure looks like fun!

06-04-2008, 05:21 PM
I seen some guys out there on the bay in a kayak and they went out into the ruff water with no problems while fishing. I just want one to get out far when the halibut are around. 8-)