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blue shark in midwater

Blue Shark, Prionace glauca

Irish Record Fish: 206 lbs 93.44 kgs
Caught: Achill Head 1959
Boat Specimen: 100 lbs  45.36 kgs
Shore Specimen: 50 lbs  22.68 kgs
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Introduction: Arriving in Irish waters, from mid June onwards, with the peak period being mid July to early September, the Blue Shark is not a big species with the average weight at around 27 kg (60 lbs). The Blue Shark is fished for commercially, travels widely, and whilst it is a fast growing species, with up to 20 milllion taken per annum, catch and release is practised.  It is in the Central Fisheries Board's marine sport fish tagging scheme. 

Boat tactics: A 30 lbs rod and reel is a must for shark fishing, even for Blue Sharks.  You could drop down to 20 lbs if you feel up to it!  Wire trace is essential as shark skin (never mind the teeth) are abrasive and can cut through mono or braid.  Normal bait is half or a full mackerel, usually trolled behind a boat with chumming bags over the side.  When a large number of sharks are encountered, you can float or even spin with mackerel baits.  A forged 8/0 or 10/0 hook is essential.  Blue sharks will on occasion eject their stomachs in an effort to break free and unfortunately this is fatal.  Most people now catch and release, often using a tailer rather than a gaff, and whilst experienced charter boat skippers can unhook them with gloved hands, it is not a practice recommended for novices! Slightly rough weather - force 4 and a decent swell - is ideal sharking conditions.

Shore tactics: Shore tactics for shark - surely not!  Blue Sharks have been caught from the shore from several marks in Ireland, perhaps the most famous being the Green Island mark in Co. Clare.  To allow for bite detection at distance, a balloon rather than a float is used as the marker, and again mackerel is the key bait. Most new quality beachcaster rods will hold onto a blue shark from the shore, and you will lots of line (> 500 yards, 450 metres) so a big multiplier reel is vital, something like a Penn 545 GS, or even bigger! Bear in mind that the further south in Ireland and the warmer the weather has been, the sooner the sharks show...