Sharks – ‘the tax man’, ‘men in grey suits’ or an expletive-riddled combination of both. Whatever you call them, they can ruin a day’s fishing.
Over the course of 400 million years – give or take a few – sharks have perfected hunting in oceans and rivers. Their powerful noses easily detect electrical signals from marine life, combine this with lightning speed and rows of sharp teeth and it peaks their odds on finding a meal.
Unfortunately, their meal can often be the prized fish on the end of a line. As the fish fights, it sends out distress impulses which can act as a dinner bell for nearby sharks.
In some cases, once one fish is attacked, multiple sharks will congregate in that area and commence a feeding frenzy on any hooked fish. Many WA anglers on boats who experience this are forced to pull in the lines and change location, meaning more time is spent finding shark-free spots instead of getting the most out of a day’s fishing.
For fishers who don’t move location and decide to battle it out against mother nature’s most ancient marine predator, it can see a high fish mortality rate and a burnt hole in the pocket from lost rigs.
In what could be a potential game changer to reduce fish mortality, fishers are reporting good results from the new shark repellent gear coming on the market like ‘Sharkbanz’ – one of the products tested as part of DPIRD’s recent shark bite-off study.
Essentially a powerful magnet, Sharkbanz is simply attached to the bottom of your fishing rig around one metre above your sinker. Its manufacturers claim it overwhelms a shark’s powerful nose sensors as it zones in on your catch.
At $100 a pop, they’re an expensive investment to lose if a shark tears through your rig. It’s a purchase you don’t want to make repetitively after each fishing trip.
With this in mind and given the Sharkbanz magnet needs a unique rig setup to work at peak efficiency, we asked Ashley Ramm, owner of Tackle World Miami in Mandurah, to explain the best rigging tips for using Sharkbanz to minimise the loss of your gear and fish.