Porbeagle sharks are instantly recognisable as a ‘proper’ shark by the general public – they have the mean, moody menacing looks shared by makos and great whites. Some would be surprised to learn that this a relatively common species that is present in UK waters for most if not all of the year. For a sports fisherman they tick all of the boxes – they fight hard and dirty and grow big enough to test both shark fishing tackle and eager anglers to their limits.
For me they have always been an elusive species, I’ve seen them close to the boat mooching around the chum slick and I’ve watched enviously as my shark fishing buddies have tangled with them with mixed success. These are not fish to mess around with – everything has to be the best it can, porbeagles will find any weakness in your gear. It really helps if you are fishing with a skipper that knows these fish well, can second guess what will happen next and has a few tricks to turn an interested shark into a hooked shark.
My best chance of hooking and landing a porbeagle came recently on a trip out with Andrew Alsop on the now legendary Whitewater. He has been having an amazing run of success with porbeagles of late getting over 60 to the boat at the time of writing. I was accompanied by Duncan and our good friend Rob from WildFin Creative. Rob designs Rok Max press adverts and promo material and is currently working on a very cool design for an all new Rok Max T shirt – watch this space! Cold sea temperatures are keeping the numbers of blues down giving the porbeagles more time to find the baits.
The day was forecast fine and settled with light cyclonic winds – as it turned out there was a bit of residual swell from the day before making the outbound journey to the Celtic deeps a bit bumpy. On the way out we boat spooked a thresher shark making it jump a short distance from the boat – I’ve not seen one of these amazing creatures for many years. I’d love to tangle with a thresher some day!
Once we arrived at the chosen spot we got the chum in the water and the tackle deployed, a neat line of floats stretching away from Whitewater at sequentially increasing depths. We didn’t have to wait long for the first enquiry – the second float bobbed and popped up again. Duncan was first up. Andrew had seen this before and expertly advised Duncan what to do – wind! This worked like a charm and a curious shark very quickly became a very angry hooked shark. After an energetic struggle Duncan had the shark under control and ready to boat. It was a real beauty quickly measured (to give a weight of 176lbs) photographed and slid back into the water.
My chance came next with a smaller fish around the 80lb mark – small but beautifully formed! They really are powerhouse fish. As Andrew says they have the profile and muscular physique of one of the tuna species – making them a real predator not to be messed with. Rob had his fish an hour or so later. I managed to sneak in a second slightly bigger sample of around 100lb. Rob rounded the day off with a nice 70lb blue and all too soon it was time to start the engines, clear the decks and head for home.
A great day – big thanks to Andrew Alsop for yet another top day’s fishing. I can’t wait to get back out there.
Our Porbeagle Shark Fishing Tackle
Reels– I'm sure you won't be suprised, but we used our trusty Avet EX 30 Wide fishing reels in Blue and Shocking Purple!
Traces– We'd be silly not to use our own specialist gear, so we used Rok Max Ocean Predator rubbing leaders and bite traces.
Headwear – You guessed it... a Rok Max Fishing Cap! (What else?)
Sunglasses – Without doubt, a high quality pair of polarised sunglesses is a MUST... I used the fantastic Costa Blackfin Fishing Sunglasses with blue mirror lenses.