Releasing Prohibited Sharks In The Surf In Delaware



releasing sharks in delaware, prohibited sharks, sand tiger shark,delaware, sussex county
Controlling a Sand tiger to remove the hook on Saturday July 9th … Cody Gallien on the tail

Lot of people catching sharks, some are targeting sharks, while others are just fishing for whatever bites.  Dead fish on a hook is a good way to catch a shark, something anyone can do.  How you release the shark is the real challenge.  DNREC advises that if you don’t know the shark species then let it go.  You are supposed to release the shark in the safest manner for both the angler and the animal.  This way you aren’t removing a prohibited species from the water.  Now how do you get the hook out of the shark’s mouth if you have to leave it in the water.  The simple answer is to cut the line, and let the hook rust out and call it a day.  The more involved answer is to get in the water with the shark and remove the hook there, in their house.  That takes a crew and is rather involved, but is not necessary.

DNREC  … “Anglers are prohibited from landing and keeping protected sharks, including sand tiger and sandbar sharks. Due to their low reproductive rate and overfishing, possession of either species is prohibited. Hook-and-line anglers cannot remove from the water any sand tiger shark or sandbar shark, or any other prohibited species of shark. Prohibited sharks must be immediately released in a manner that will ensure maximum probability of survival.”


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delaware, surf fishing for sharks, land based shark fishing, sussex county, sand tiger shark
Sand tiger shark about to have the hook removed .. Cody Gallien

One thing that has everyone confused.  You don’t have to get in the water to release a shark.  You can just cut the line.  The reason Cody Gallien, Ethan Henry and crew gets in the water is to either remove the hook if they can, if not they cut the line close to the hook, or even cut the hook.  They could just get the shark as close as possible or allowed and then cut the line and let the shark swim away.  But the shark will have a lot of line hanging out of its mouth, even though the hook will rust out in no time.  That line can cause serious problems for the shark.  Going in the water to remove the hook is better for the shark, but the jury is out on how much “better” it is for the angler.  I will admit it is a bit of a thrill to be that deep with a large sand tiger shark, but it is also a thrill to catch one in a boat.  Either way some fish for the thrill and others fish for the fun.  Doing it responsibly is the key factor.  If that means you get in the water with the shark so you feel better about the release then go for it, just make sure you know what you are doing. You don’t have to release a shark this way, just cut the line.

Fish On!!

Rich King

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