The Rhode Island Shark Fishing season is best during late June through late October. ArchAngel Charters also offers inshore shark fishing for children that’s an average of 8 miles offshore. We use light action rods designed by Crafty One Customs. A Shark trip includes bait & tackle and all licenses to fish up to (4 anglers).
The Rhode Island Shark Fishing is amazing experience, we like to target the BIG sharks that are just miles off the coastline. The types of sharks we can encounter are Mako Sharks, Hammerhead Shark’s, Blue Shark’s and Thresher Shark’s. Captain Mike has years of experience fishing for sharks, this is his passion when it comes to offshore fishing.
One of the most exciting elements of shark fishing—aside from the fact that you’re tying on to one of nature’s oldest and most formidable predators—is that you never know quite what you’ll have on the other end of the line…
A typical Rhode Island shark fishing day starts around 0500 as we head out of Narragansett Bay and head to the cooler waters off of either Nantucket or Block Island. The night before heading out we read all the charts from NOAA to locate the desired type of water temperature and certain structure. The big Mako sharks come in late June when the water temperature is around 63 to 69 degrees. As we approach our plotted position on the chart, we begin tending to the fishing rods and get all the gear ready. When we are about one mile from our desired fishing spot, I will put down one of the 5-gallon containers of fresh shark chum tethered to a line.
We will cruise around 1.5 kts for a good 20 minutes to begin getting the scent of the magic potion into the water column. Once we come to a stop, we immediately start cutting off fresh bluefish and bunker chunks and disperse them into the water. While the mate is busy “feeding the sharks” I will set out four fishing rods deployed at various depths and distances from the boat.
The furthest rod is set out about 65-90 feet at a depth of 40 feet by the use of a balloon tied to the line like a giant fresh water bobber, Then I will stagger the rods to the boat so the last rod is roughly 30 feet away and 20 feet down. I also keep a pitch rod, as we call it, that is a stand-up spinning set up designed by Ralph Craft at Crafty One Customs in Portsmouth RI. This rod is by far the funniest way to catch and battle sharks.
As we sit and wait, we usually tell a few stories and jokes and wait for the moment the Finnor Santiago 50w come alive and start screaming that there is a beast on the other end! Shark fishing is a full day of excitement and non-stop entertainment. If you are looking to experience a day of shark fishing and want to put your muscles to the test, give us a call to book that shark trip you have always wanted to do.
1. Is Rhode Island shark fishing legal in the US? Yes, Shark fishing is legal in the United States. We will only harvest certain sharks as long as the client agrees before the trip that they are willing to accept all the meat.
Is shark fishing cruel? No, We practice catch and release and the use of circle hooks help prevent the sharks from being gut hooked. The sharks will swim away tired, but not hurt.
2. What sharks are legal to catch? Sharks are not rare in waters off the Rhode Island coast, especially in the summer, when populations of Mako, blue, tiger, thresher, basking, hammerhead and the occasional great white shark are often spotted and caught by fishermen. These types of sharks are all legal to catch. The shark population seems to be holding strong but with proper catch and release, if followed properly, will allow the shark populations in this region to benefit over time. The hammerhead shark are often seen circling the boat in the late afternoon while fishing.
3. How much does it cost to go shark fishing? The cost for a 12 hour shark charter is $1100.00 ( All bait and tackle is provided) along with cold drinks throughout the day. 20% tip for the mate is also appreciated
4. Are there sharks in Narragansett Bay? In six decades of data collection, the state has no records of a shark attack in Narragansett Bay. “There has not been a recorded attack in Rhode Island state waters since people started recording that type of thing,” he said. Several species, however, are occasional visitors. Spiny dogfish are the most common
5. Do Megalodons still exist? ‘ Unfortunately no they do not, If they did we would be hunting them! It’s definitely not alive in the deep oceans, despite what people think . ‘If an animal as big as megalodon shark still lived in the oceans we would know about it
As the top ocean predators, sharks play an important role in the food web and help ensure balance in the ocean’s ecosystem. With increased demand and exploitation rates for some shark species and shark products, concern has steadily grown regarding the status of many shark stocks and their exploitation in global fisheries. NOAA Fisheries is committed to sustainable shark fishing.
Relative to other marine fish, sharks are characterized by relatively slow growth, late sexual maturity, and a small number of young per brood. These biological factors make many shark vulnerable to over fishing. Sharks are captured in directed fisheries and also as bycatch in other non-directed fisheries. Many shark species have been over-exploited because their fins are highly valued for shark fin soup. Globally, there is a general lack of data reporting on the catch of sharks, particularly species-specific data. For these reasons, sharks present many challenges for fisheries conservation and management.
NOAA Fisheries Role in Shark Conservation
Despite these challenges, we are committed to sustainable shark management. We manage commercial and recreational shark fisheries in the Atlantic Ocean and work with three regional fishery management councils to conserve and sustainable manage sharks in the Pacific Ocean. By conducting research, assessing stocks, working with U.S. fishermen, and implementing restrictions on shark harvests, we have made significant progress toward ending overfishing and rebuilding overfished stocks for long-term sustainability. Shark finning is an illegal practice of harvesting just the fins of shark and shipped to Hong Kong to make shark fin soup. This is a very unethical way to catch and harvest an animal and we frown upon doing the such.
Short fin Mako shark: (THIS FISHERY IS CLOSED TILL 2024)
The shortfin Mako has a wide distribution. It is found in tropical and temperate waters throughout the world’s oceans. In North America it ranges from Watch Hill to Point Judith and south of Montauk point making it easy for Connecticut anglers to target Mako’s. It is commonly seen in offshore waters from Block island Rhode island to Montauk New York.
The shortfin Mako is a true pelagic species with a primarily anti-tropical distribution. However, they will inhabit the water column in cooler, deeper water of the offshore canyons. With the ability to elevate body temperature, Mako’s are able to maintain themselves in temperatures of 5-11°C. In this sense the Mako’s are somewhat “warm-blooded,” meaning that heat in their blood is conserved within the body and not lost through the gills. They have been recorded at depths 740 m. However, shortfin Mako’s prefer water temperatures between 17-20°C. It has been hypothesized this species migrates seasonally to warmer waters.
This theory has been supported by tag and release studies. These studies have also shown that while shortfin Mako’s follow warm water, they do so within the confines of a specific geographical area especially around block island. Consequently, there seems to be limited genetic flow between these geographically distinct populations. Very little is known about the social habits of the shortfin Mako, except that it is a solitary shark. They can be found from New England to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Thresher shark is also known as the common thresher, fox shark, sea fox, swivel tail, and thrasher.
The Rhode Island Thresher shark, an oceanic and coastal species, inhabits waters around Block Island and south of Block Island. It is most common in the 30 fathom area around Block Island and Montauk. In the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, it ranges from Newfoundland to Cuba and southern Brazil to Argentina, and from Norway and British Isles to Ghana and Ivory Coast, including the Mediterranean Sea. Although it is found along the entire U.S. Atlantic coast, it is rare south of New England and common in the waters south of Rhode Island.
The Thresher shark is a pelagic species inhabiting both coastal and oceanic waters. It is most commonly observed far from the shore of Rhode Island, although it wanders close to the coast in search of food. Adults are common over the continental shelf, while juveniles reside in coastal bays and near shore waters around Watch Hill. It’s mostly seen on the surface but it inhabits waters the water column up to 1,800 feet in depth. Threshers are considered a highly migratory species in the U.S. by the National Marine Fisheries Service for fishery management purposes.
The Thresher shark can be easily identified by the long upper lobe of the caudal fin. The lobe can be as long as the body and gives the tail a slender “whiplike” appearance. It has a moderate size eye and a first dorsal fin free rear tip located ahead of the pelvic fins. The pectoral fins are falcate and narrow tipped. The sides above the pectoral-fin bases are marked with a white patch that extends forward from the abdominal area. Threshers are usually dark brown and slate gray but can be almost completely black. They are white on their underside, but have dark spots near the pelvic fin and the caudal peduncle. The white color can extend above the pectoral fins onto the head.
Bony fish make up 97% of the Thresher’s diet. They feed mostly on small schooling fish such as menhaden, herring, Atlantic saury, sand lance, and mackerel. Bluefish and butterfish are the most common meal. They also feed on bonito and squid. Thresher sharks encircle schools of fish and then stun the prey with their tails. This is often done in groups and/or pairs. They have also been known to kill sea birds with their tails. These shark species are amazing to see come to the surface. Shark fishermen all over the world come to New England in hopes of catching one.
Blue sharks are found in all of Rhode island and New York salt waters they are the most abundant shark fish in the shark fisheries. They are a pelagic species that rarely comes near shore but have been known to frequent inshore areas around block island and locations offshore of Montauk New York. Shark fishermen will only catch and release these beautiful blue sharks
Being a pelagic species the blue shark’s habitat consists of open ocean areas around Rhode Island from the surface to 1,148 ft. in depth. They prefer cooler water ranging from 44.6-60.8°F but are known to have tolerances for water 69.8°F or greater. When the summer heats up Rhode Island waters the Blue shark tends to seek deeper waters with cooler temperatures. This is evident in the offshore canyon off of Rhode Island where the majority of blue sharks are found at depths of 262-722 ft. where water temperatures range from 53.6-77°F.
The Blue shark has a slender, sleek-looking body with a large eye and a long conical snout that is longer than the width of its mouth. It has extremely long, pointed pectoral fins, which generally are as long as the distance from its snout to posterior gill slit. The dorsal fin is moderate in size and set back where it is actually closer to the pelvic fin insertion than the pectoral insertion point. There is a slight keel on the caudal peduncle and the tail is narrowly lobed with a long ventral lobe. The Blue shark’s name comes from its distinct dark blue dorsal surface and bright blue sides. Its ventral surface is a well-defined, crisp white color. This contrast in colors is known as counter-shading and provides camouflage for the shark in the open ocean.
The largest Blue shark on record measured 12.6 feet but they are rumored to get as large as 20 feet. Males are believed to be mature at four to five years of age and at lengths between 6 feet and 9.2 feet . Females mature slightly older ages ranging from five to six years and longer lengths from 7.3-10.6 feet. They are believed to live for more than 20 years.
Small bony fishes, such as herring and sardines, and invertebrates, such as squid, cuttlefish and pelagic octopi that inhabit the waters of Rhode Island and New York, make up a majority of the Blue shark’s diet. They easily feed on certain species of squid that form large breeding aggregations, which allows the Blue shark to leisurely collect its unsuspecting prey. Besides actively hunting for food, Rhode Island Blue sharks are opportunistic feeders and have been known to feed from gill nets and scavenge dead marine mammals.