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ballooning for sharks from the shore

Permanent Linkby kieran on Thu May 14, 2015 9:31 am


To date we have discovered, always the hard way, that match stick releases are a pain in the ass when you have to cast the whole rig out and down from the shore. They are ideal when you can drift off a boat and gently drop them in to be swept downtide but from the shore, they are a disaster. The impact of the whole Pollack bait (porgies in winter) is enough to smack the balloon off the water and if it hits an incoming wave wrong, off it floats and the bait nosedives into conger territory...

We've been trying various options. One was even a kite purchased online from New Zealand. It was launched into a strong offshore breeze, and promptly did a 180 and smashed itself to sh*te into the cliff behind us = still pulling the piss out of poor Peter - "the pilot" - this six months later.

The best we've got to date is a modified zip slider rig. Wire trace (130 lb IGFA) to choice of hook (8/0 bronzed Shaughnessy) holds the kilo pollack flapper. Swivel to 5 metres of rubbing leader, in my case 100 lb mono. On this is fitted the zip slider. 100 lb mono is tied to 60 lb shockleader which is tied to the braid (600 metres, no fish hooked is going to swim off the reel!) I have to do it this way to avoid swivels because even a small one would make sh*t of the rings on the rod - remember the whole thing has to be cast out about 40 metres to get it into the offshore wind and currents. I'm using a second hand Shimano Beastmaster BX 10 oz from a Bristol Channel wrecker who used it for congers. Tough as old boots. The reel is an ancient Senator 6/0 - massive clunky but again tough as old boots. It's not delicate kit.

At present, I have the zip slider rigged to have 5 metres of 15 kilo line on a swivel, to which is attached the balloon. It's stoppered by a big bead which stops it at the top of the 5 metres of rubbing leader (knot to 60 lb line), so the bait is swimming about 6 metres below the water surface. We reckon that is about right for the marks we are trying - its very rough ground, vicious drop offs, lots of white water... so it's not easy to cast. I have to let the 5 metres of line to the balloon lie coiled on the rocks behind me and use an otg cast with the Pollack bait. No lead required obviously. The beachmaster is a 9 footer, so there's enough room on the drop, but its all a bit messy.

Can anyone improve on this please? Would the paravanes they use in pike angling be better, I've never used one?

I've been told that old plastic 500 ml coke bottles make excellent paravanes...

Last edited by kieran on Thu May 14, 2015 9:40 am, edited 3 times in total.

Kieran Hanrahan

Time spent fishing is never time wasted...

2015 targets - a triggerfish, a specimen bass, a three bearded rockling to complete the set and something big and toothy from certain north Mayo deep water marks
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Re: ballooning for sharks from the shore

Permanent Linkby ninted on Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:07 pm

Hi Kieran,

the best I can think of to get your bait out there is 1- use the outgoing tide 2- use an offshore breeze and a sail-float or 3- a radio controlled boat (heavy duty and completely sealed so it doesn't conk half way! For the kite effort I would recommend a large box kite with plenty of tails for stability. Basically its a four rectangles put together like a box with bin-liner or similar streatched over I'd say you'd need it to be maybe 6'x2' or so to take the weight and if you can you'll need to stay on top of or away from cliffs- they create sink if the wind is blowing over the top and this will suck your kite into the cliff or it just won't take off! Best of luck though. We're planning a similar shore tope session sometime next year!
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