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Saltwater Fish Species of The Gambia

Shark - Fish Species Identification

Shark Types:
Mostly requiems, Lemon, Sandbar,
Sand Tiger, Blacktip etc

Gambian Names:
Scientific Names:
General Catch Size:
50lb to 300lb

Best Baits: Large live and dead fish baits, Bonga, Spanish Mackerel, Nine Bone, Mullet, Cuttlefish, Goats & small children!!!

Top Tips: The Gambia estuary sharks are mainly requiem sharks i.e. Lemon, Dusky, Sandbar, Sand Tiger, Bull Head & Nurse with Black Tips being the only prominent surface feeder. Fresh live and dead baits rigged on long 80lb to 100lb mono flowing 3ft-4ft traces with 2ft to 3ft of 100lb - 150lb wire trace fastened to a sharp 7/0 to 10/0 strong hook & 50lb main line & 50lb class rod with a large multiplier is where its at. Sharks can be fished from the anchor as well as on the drift. A range of live and dead baits fished on floated & free lined surface live baits together with mid-water & bottom fished baits. This is used in connection with rubby-dubby & chumming methods. The key to fishing shark with this method is to set your baits in a constant unbroken scent trail which attracts the sharks.

When fishing from anchor it is important to keep a constant unbroken trail down-tide from your boat both on the surface & mid-water down to the bottom whichever depth you are fishing the baits. Use a mixture of chopped-up chunky fish pieces of any oily fish like bonga or herring mixed with some mashed or ground fish paste of the same & adding a few handfuls of sand with sawdust or bran & topped off with a bottle of cod liver oil or pilchard oil bound together as the rubby-dubby mix.

In slow moving water & on neap tides or slack water, this mixture can be ladled or chummed into the water. The chunks & sand tend to go to the bottom whilst the bran/sawdust with the paste tends to settle mid-water to the surface. If the tide is strong it will take time for the chum to sink & can often do so a long way from the boat & your baits. An alternative method is to take a plastic carry-bag & tie a heavy 4lb plus weight into the bottom & & line-run from the led to a stout boat rod. The bag is filled with the fish mix, free spooled down-water & pressure exerted closes the bag tight around the fish mix therefore allowing it to be lowered to any depth or the bottom at which point it can be stopped and a heavy couple of cranks on the rod will invert the bag tipping out the mixture.

The bran or sawdust floats to the top soaked in the fish oil & covered in paste while the chunkier, heavy mixture is deposited on the bottom closer to the boat up-stream from the baits. When drifting, it is important to keep the attracted fish mix around the boat & close to your baits. Using a finer fish mix or rubby-dubby placed in an onion sack & tied off the corner of the boat together with a second weighted bag lowered close to the bottom will follow the boat as it moves along in the current. Sharks are quite sensitive feeders often grabbing & holding a bait before chomping it down. Drags should be set loose allowing the shark to run with the bait without resistance. Once the line is peeling steadily, crank up the drag & strike hard two or three times & hold on tight. Sharks often make a long first run across the current and then settle into a powerful anti-clockwise dogging fight!

Recommended TACKLE

Rod: 50lb to 80lb Boat Rod
Reel: Large Multiplier
Main Line: 50lb to 80lb mono or braid
Trace Line: 150lb-250lb mono with 100lb-200lb wire
Swivels: 200lb
Hooks: 5/0 or 6/0 strong

African PompanoJohn Wilson & Mark Longster - Lemon Shark

Guinean Barracuda
Captain Fish (Threadfin)
Spanish Mackerel

Mark Longster




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 Gambia Fishing Trips - Fish Species Identification                       Copyright (c) www.african-angling.co.uk 2010-2015