View Full Version : Fishing in the bay for 7 - gill sharks

09-22-2006, 03:23 PM
Do any of you fish with any real success for these creatures?
I am a bay area native that has fished for all the other local specie for years but have never fished for 7 gill. I have read up on it quite a bit but do not know of anyone who does this.

If you have any first hand accounts I'd like to hear about it. I know that Marilyn of the Fury used to do this but I don't know what her status is and would rather experience them on a private skiff.

Thanks in advance for any info ZACK!

09-22-2006, 03:42 PM
ZACK, I would suggest doing a recon with the FURY to learn some areas and techniques. From what I gather, the 7 gills are around yellow bluffs and are deep. Squid is the bait and heavy weights and gear is the deal. Having only caught leopards myself I can't offer much more. Think of it as tuition to go on the FURY.

09-22-2006, 06:51 PM
Me and Tattoofish have also been pondering the idea of hooking up some big sevengills. If anyone has any info or details, please feel free to share.

09-23-2006, 12:17 PM
spend a lil time to go through past post on this forum,and youll find everything you need to know ;)

09-23-2006, 01:18 PM
I've never seen anything too informative on sevengills specificly. Leopards shark yes, sevengills no.

09-24-2006, 09:13 AM
I hear ya. Why anyone would specifically target leopards is beyond me. Pound per pound they don't fight worth a crap. I know they are fun on light tackle like 10 lb test when pot luck for butts and strippers but to sit and wrought anchored waiting on them sounds like a drag. If I am going to set in anchor it better be for a sturge, or hopefully something more exciting like a 7 gill.

It kind of surprises me that more people don't fish for 7 gills? I thought I would have some personal account info by now?


09-24-2006, 08:35 PM
Ive heard there in the deep channels and midshipmen is supposed to be good for them.

09-24-2006, 08:39 PM
Got to respectfully disgaree on the fighting like crap part, Zack. ;)

The only times I have heard anything about 7 gills is when there is a report in the sniffer from frank of the Fury saying how they picked up 7 gills at yellow bluffs using squid. Midshipmen are the bait of choice for leopards. Where yellow bluffs are I have no idea. I read that it involves using 10-16 oz weights to drop in down, so they must be deep.

09-24-2006, 10:25 PM
I must agree .. the leopards that i have caught 40-50+ inches have fought very well ...

speaking of seven gills my uncle has caught 3 in the last 3 trips in san pablo bay lol of all places .. all of them juveniles less than 36".. but kinda weird for them to be in spb ... normally you hear of them over by the bluffs but oh well ...

and you are right the fury does fish them over at the bluffs in pretty deep water over there ... we have tried over there with 10-12 oz's and when the current is movin it doesnt even come close to the bottom without a mile of line out lol ... would hate to see what picks up the bait out there lol .. we were using whole sardines and herring etc .. did not have midshipmen and we were not going out to target the 7 gills but we figured what the heck lets give it a shot ... we would have been sorely outmatched with our lines and poles for one of those 7' plus sharks for sure ...

anyways good luck all ... lets see some pics

09-24-2006, 10:58 PM
Where are the bluffs located,and what are they?

09-25-2006, 05:54 AM
Yellow bluff is just inside the bay not to far from the golden gate bridge. It is right on the edge of the shipping channel. I have fished for seven gills on the fury and have done rather well. they use wire line to get down faster and heavy weight. But it is worth it if you catch a nice fish.

09-25-2006, 07:58 AM
In June four of us must have caught about 25-30 of them out at Oyster point. Most of them were a couple of pounds but we caught maybe 2 or 3 that were 20-25 pounds. We went straight out from Oyster point harbor & caught some anchovies in that boiling water & anchored about two football fields south of that boiling water. There was other boats around but I think they were drifting for halibut. We could not keep our lines in the water more than 5 minutes without either hooking up with a 7 gill shark or on of those rays. I think we caught only one leopard shark all day. The only thing that sucks about that area is it gets real windy come 1 PM.

09-25-2006, 09:18 AM

I was anticipating a little flack over the "Leopard sharks fight like crap"! comment ;D

Seriously though as someone who has fished the bays for years for all specie (minus 7 gill sharks) "pound for pound" Leopards blow!

They aren't as lame as a Ray that starts off full of fire then after a few runs come in like a wet blanket but Leopards peter out fairly fast compared to other fish of their size and “pound for pound” don’t measure up in fight or stamina. Don't get me wrong I enjoy them when I am catching them on 10 lb test while fishing for stripers & butts with live bait *but slaying them ain't no big deal. To see others targeting them with set ups I'd reserve for Sturgeon fishing wouldn’t be much fun to me.

Regarding 7 gills I too have heard all the usual stuff about them being off of Yellow Bluff, Salmon bellies, and midshipmen for bait. Gear up with a sturgeon style set up and terminal tackle and look for them in deep water but I am shocked that no one here has any personal knowledge of them nor does anyone here fish for them regularly. Plenty of people fish for leopards? I am curious why many of you who are interested in shark fishing haven't targeted the 7 gill. Is it because they don't fight well irregardless of their size, or do they taste like garbage? I personally wouldn't eat any of these resident bay sharks anyway but would like to experience something new that may be over looked right here in my own back yard.


09-25-2006, 01:51 PM
the wife and I fish for 7's alot we have got them in deep water and as shallow as 6 ft. and up to 9ft . we also fish leopards alot . we fish every weekend!!!! catch & release barbless hooks the only way to go!!

09-25-2006, 01:54 PM
I get the feeling that 7 Gills are somewhat elusive and hard to catch :-?

09-25-2006, 02:46 PM
Fence_Man, care to elaborate on your techniques for catching 7 gills. How, when, where? What is your catch ratio per 10 trips along with an average size fish? Do you have any pic's? Do you eat their flesh?

Thanks ZACK!

09-25-2006, 03:13 PM
* I caught a 7 gill not to long ago off of the dumbarton pier on squid in about 4ft of water on high tide. I am going to head out there this weekend & try something new,, I went down to SC & caught me some mackrel cuz I know they bleed more than other bait fish so im gonna give that a shot + for a tip only fish the high out going tide off of the dumbarton with the long shallows the bigger game fish chase the bait in on high tide.


My bait

The first 7gill

Yummy look what i caught lol

If you ever see me out there stop by & say hi I fish there alot cuz my work is right next door.. im 6'5 so its hard to miss me *8-)

09-25-2006, 03:35 PM
check it out here http://www.fishsniffer.com/cgi-bin/forumsyabb/YaBB.pl?num=1156747997

09-26-2006, 12:25 AM
It has probally been 5 or 6 years since I have been out for the 7gills, we fished on a party boat, yellow bluff, used salmon carcusses as bait, wire line, at least one or two pound weights, bounced it off the bottom, these were not no 1 or 2 pound sharks, 80 to 200 pound sharks.
You cannot even compare a leopard with a 7gill for the fight, but leopards are also fun to catch, also alot of people including myself don't have the boat to go out and catch 7gills, like to see some crazy person put a 200lb 7 gill in a 20 foot boat, I am sure it has been done, but its crazy.


09-26-2006, 10:13 AM
It has probally been 5 or 6 years since I have been out for the 7gills, we fished on a party boat, yellow bluff, used salmon carcusses as bait, wire line, at least one or two pound weights, bounced it off the bottom, these were not no 1 or 2 pound sharks, 80 to 200 pound sharks.
You cannot even compare a leopard with a 7gill for the fight, but leopards are also fun to catch, also alot of people including myself don't have the boat to go out and catch 7gills, like to see some crazy person put a 200lb 7 gill in a 20 foot boat, I am sure it has been done, but its crazy.


When we do it I'll be sure to get it on tape ;)

09-26-2006, 02:02 PM
check this link out:


its a nice report about shark fishing, including your 7 gills.

09-26-2006, 02:59 PM
man that was a sweet post

09-26-2006, 05:17 PM
Those were some good size sharks. I've caught them before but not as big as those, mayebe a couple of pounds. BigNick welcome to the boards.

09-26-2006, 06:06 PM
I have never fished for sevengills, but here is an idea...

I think that sevengills predominantly feed on other sharks (not bottom feeders). Next time you catch a legal leopard, cut off a big chunk of it, put it on a hook, and toss it in. Anyone ever tried this?

09-26-2006, 06:58 PM
sandshark is a good bait cut a big chuck off and fish it on a incoming tide at yellow bluff 130 or so of water on the tide change water get going 2 to 4 lbs lead. the bite is lite so you tease them giving line then pull it away afew times then the rod will start to load up then set it . or shallower if you like . to pull that much ancohor is a pain in the @#$%#.

09-26-2006, 07:07 PM
I was thinking that myself...catching some of those smoothounds and cutting them up for bait.

09-27-2006, 09:27 AM
here's a thought, Bayareafisherman is rallying the troops down on the striper boards for an October 22nd trip on the Fury for leopards and stripers. Frank is the go to guy for the 7 gills. What if a shark triip was organized? I'm sure if there was enough interest in 7 gill and leopards that Frank would do a shark trip. Call it 80.00 tuition. Get a feel for the gear and some spots before heading out in a private boat.

09-27-2006, 09:40 AM
Nice Post and Welcome to the Board Big Nick :)

09-27-2006, 11:07 AM
Krome, that's not such a bad idea. There would have to be a couple of people interested in doing this in order for Frank to go for it. He targets 7gills in fall and winter time so it would be perfect.

09-27-2006, 11:35 AM
Lets do it, I'm definitly up for a Sevengill/Soupfin trip.

09-27-2006, 01:13 PM
down if we are extensively targeting 7 gill sharks. I haven't been on too many charter boats but some kill me when they say we are going after one specie and quit after a few hours and put us on some other crap!!!

Let me know when it is prime time and when you all are available and we'll hook up and do it. ZACK!

Below pic's were taken a few weeks back while vacationing in Maui.


<a href="="_blank"><img src="http://img66.imageshack.us/img66/7492/mauifishingam8.th.jpg" border="0" alt="Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us" /></a>


09-27-2006, 01:21 PM
I can't even throw in a couple of those leopards?? ;D ;D
I'm slammed, barely enough time to make the occasional post, but when I get a chance or if someone else gets a chance, make a call to the Fury and run this idea past them. Probaly need ten or so to go.

09-27-2006, 02:26 PM
Yea Im only down for Sevengills/Sixgills/Soupfins exclusivly. Leopards are easy to go catch on your own

09-27-2006, 06:33 PM
I was deckhand years ago on the Fury for both Bill Gould and Ernie Tritto. Sevengill fishing was a seasonal thing. Usually starting around late fall and ending in late spring. I believe that some fish are around all year, but as as reliable fishable numbers it was a winter thing. Frankly, during my time on the boat we never caught squat at Yellow Bluff, although the fish are there. It's very deep and very fast. Extremely difficult to anchor and keep lines down during peak conditions. Sevengills love fast tides.

The spot that was a tue consitent producer was between Alcatraz and Angel Island in 45'-65' of water in incoming tides only. When that wall of blue ocean water comes through on the tide change and points the butt of the boat towards Berkeley....look out! A good day was 2 or 3 sevengill from 30 to 80 lbs. An exceptional day was a fish over 100 lbs. or 6 or 7 nice ones in the box. Here's the catch...fishing would only be good for an hour or two. Yeah, yeah, I know. All fishin's that way. But you could set your watch by the guys. Peak current of incoming and the after that it was scratch at best. Mind you we caught tons of leopards, sticklebacks, and smoothies too at the same time. I was just a dumb kid then, but I remember the captains more on the current charts than the tide charts. The talk was always about wanting to fish the deepest, fastest water but most of the time it physically impossible due to either weather or tackle restrictions.

As far as leopards fighting ability...pound for pound they suck. But when you get into schools of 20 lb. + fish (which was often), they made up for it in numbers. Also, the fight is better on the heavy gear. Just lay the screws to 'em and horse 'em. They tire quickly so prolonged battles are no fun. By the time they finish peeling off line they're tired. I liked catching them on the sevengill tackle of 90 lb. wire.

Baits. One bait and one bait only...squid with a cube of "redfish" on the hook. Not big baits either. 1/2 squid with a cube od salmon bel....eerrr, redfish, on the hook is all it took. Midshipman are more for leopards and soupfin (even more elusive than the 'gills). We tried kingfish chunks with limited success, but for some reasons skates love kingfish more than anything so usually one of them was on before anything else.

09-27-2006, 06:56 PM
Excellent info Satchell. Thats some very good first-hand, experienced information.

09-27-2006, 07:19 PM
thanks, satchell ;) 8-)
schools of 20# leopards...............big toad sevengills....fun 8-)

10-06-2006, 08:32 PM
Here is a pic of my sevengill.http://img168.imageshack.us/img168/4912/scan0123largevl4.jpg *http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/4871/scan0122largerk1.jpg

10-11-2006, 09:43 AM
Here is another amazing post by my man, Matty.



10-11-2006, 10:42 AM
Awesome reports...I soo wanna get out there and get some!

10-11-2006, 02:39 PM
http://img175.imageshack.us/img175/8776/1001344hd6.jpg * * *

*http://img148.imageshack.us/img148/5220/1001343ny9.jpg *