Florida Keys shark fishing has become the ultimate adventure for sport fishing enthusiasts.
Why? Because sharks are everywhere. In the bays, the Key West flats, the ocean deep, and even in freshwater.
However for many people, just the sound of the name shark makes their blood run cold. They envision heartless, merciless killers who stalk, rip and tear. They see blood dripping from horrible gaping mouths.
In truth, not all types of shark are like this. Some, like the spinner shark and blacktip shark, are even kind of cute. Nor are all sharks dangerous - well at least not very dangerous.
However all sharks are becoming in varying degrees, an endangered species worldwide. The reason for this is over fishing, and it's usually the recreational fisherman who is responsible.
This is one of the reasons why most fishermen opt to go fishing for shark with a qualified fishing guide.
Florida Keys fishing charter Captains know what is allowed and what isn't. They also believe in safety first. As important as that word is when out on the water, it's takes on a whole other level of meaning when you're shark fishing.
The fact that these Florida Keys fishing guides have the experience, and the necessary fishing equipment so you can have a fun, productive and safe fishing experience is important - for you AND the shark.
Why are Sharks Endangered and Common Shark Facts
Over fishing is the primary reason why sharks are becoming a threatened species. This is partially due to the fact that people typically don't have an affinity for sharks. They'd sooner kill one then leave it out there to kill them.
Second, sharks are plentiful, or so we thought. They're typically found in saltwater but both the bull shark and river shark can handle freshwater.
Shark can be found when Key West flats fishing, or while Florida deep sea fishing at depths of 6,000 feet or more! Unfortunately the once large numbers of shark are shrinking substantially each year.
Third, Florida Keys shark fishing is easy, especially if blood is involved. With their keen sense of smell, shark are rather like the blood hound of the water. If you supply a source, they'll come and gladly get dinner.
Their sense of smell is so fine tuned that they can detect the scent of 1 drop of blood in 1 million drops of seawater. The nurse shark's olfactory senses are even more developed as they have nasal barbels that are located outside of the nostrils and mouth. These barbels give the nurse shark an almost catfish type of appearance.
Fourth, you can go Florida Keys shark fishing anywhere. You can wet a line off a bridge or a pier. You can even catch one while sipping a beer in your own backyard.
Of course if you go Florida Keys shark fishing in deeper water you'll catch the bigger shark. Closer in you'll still bring in some big Florida shark, although the average length is around 2' - 5' in the coastal areas.
Last but certainly not least, is the thrill you get when shark fishing in Florida. A hooked shark is about as crazy as it can get at the other end of a fishing line. The thrashing and fighting will have your adrenalin pumping for days as you relive each wrenching tug.
As of late 2011, it was determined that two very popular shark species were highly endangered. Both the hammerhead and tiger shark are now under a protected government umbrella enforced by Florida Keys shark fishing restrictions.
However, until more fishermen adopt the catch and release mentality, it will take some time for the different shark species to make a strong comeback. Til then, they'll stay on the precipice of danger.