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thresher shark in midwater

Thintail Thresher Shark, Alopias vulpinus

Irish Record Fish: none listed none listed
Boat Specimen: 120 lbs  54.34 kgs
Shore Specimen: 50 lbs  22.68 kgs
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Introduction: If you catch a Thintail Thresher Shark, you will be probably the only person who will do it this year, but they are out there.  These monsters can reach > 350 kilos (800 lbs) in weight!  It is easily identified by its extravagant scimitar-like tail. This sword of a tail is used to round up bait fish into a tight knot, usually by several sharks working in co-operation, before they all sweep in together on the neatly 'focused' ball of prey.  Who'd be a mackerel!  Several sightings of Thresher Sharks have been made in Irish waters in the recent years, perhaps due to the global warming and/or the Gulf Stream, as these are a sub-topical oceanic sharks.

Boat tactics: A 30 lbs rod and reel is the absolute minimum  for Thresher Shark fishing, and again a move up to an even stronger rig, even up to 130 lb IGFA standards, is recommended.  Wire trace is essential and the standard shark bait of a full mackerel is a bit on small side - Thresher Sharks will as readily feed on Bonito and small Tuna as they will Mackerel.  

With the advent of Tuna charters along Ireland's coast, and the long distance overnight trips available from skippers like Derek Noble in Co. Kerry, a record fish over 50 kilos (120 lbs) will soon be captured, but the most recent confirmed and reliable sightings have been by oceanographers on seabed mapping duties off the Mayo coast (October 2001).  It remains to be seen if the proposed gas pipeline will inspire an intrepid record hunter!

Shore tactics: Don't go into the water!