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Thresher Shark Fishing in the UK

The thresher shark is instantly recognisable, with it’s extraordinarily long whip-like tail, big eyes, small mouth and large pectoral fins it’s not likely to be confused with anything else.

Thresher – The UK’s most enigmatic shark

Generally they are a summer visitor to our waters and are mainly caught in the south and south-west between June and October. The numbers caught on rod and line each year are relatively small.

The size of these fish varies hugely – a few tiny threshers are caught each year often on mackerel feathers and a few monsters in the 400lb+ category are hooked and sometimes landed. Threshers of this size are arguably the ultimate big game fish for UK anglers to catch.

Success with these fish requires a level of commitment and patience that few anglers can draw on. Blank days are often the norm but those that stick at it will get results.

Thresher Shark Tackle

Thresher Shark Fishing Rods and ReelsThreshers are undoubtedly one of the hardest fighting fish you are likely to encounter in the UK.

We recommend an IGFA 50lb outfit on the basis that if you are prepared to put in the hours you want to be confident of landing the remarkable specimen if you are lucky enough to hook it.

Here is a list of shark fishing tackle and gear we have confidence in:-

Thresher Shark Fishing Rods

We prefer a bent butt stand up shark rod but this isn’t practical on a charter boat with high rails.

Thresher Shark Fishing Reels

Thresher Shark Fishing Line

Hollow-core Braid with a monofilament top-shot allows you to maximise the line capacity of your reel whist giving some stretch and abrasion resistance at the business end.

Thresher Shark Fishing Tackle

Thresher Shark Fishing Traces & Terminal Tackle

Thresher Shark Fishing HooksThresher Shark Fishing Hooks

This quality shark hook gives good hook-ups time after time. It’s important that the gape of the hook is not masked by the bait.

You are relying on the hook being taken into the sharks mouth then finding a hook-hold in the ‘scissors’ as the line tightens when the shark moves off.

Be prepared for some fireworks and acrobatics when your thresher realises its hooked!

As you can see in this photo on the right, the Owner Tournament Mutu hook is lodged perfectly in this thresher’s mouth.

Catch Your Own Thresher

So if you want to catch the UK’s most exciting big game species it’s there to do and probably over a much wider area than most people think. Not a huge amount is known about the movements of these creatures – and it's probably best it stays that way.

Threshers are sighted jumping every summer from West Wales right along the South coast to the Thames Estuary.

Good luck with your Thresher challenge!

Allan Shephard
I've spent a big chunk of my life either fishing, talking about fishing, teaching fishing or working in the tackle trade. My hunger for ever more extreme and challenging fishing adventures continues to grow and can only be satisfied by a regular angling fix! I hold AAPGAI advanced instruction qualifications in single & double-handed fly-casting and have had articles published by some of the biggest UK fishing magazine titles. I consider myself very much an all-round angler. I have fished in over 20 countries worldwide for a variety of species in both fresh and saltwater. Advising people how to kit themselves out with tackle and clothing for their next fishing adventure is always a pleasure – please take advantage of my experience and knowledge.