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Salmon Shark?

12465 Views 17 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  BIRSSMAN
Has anyone on here ever caught a Salmon Shark? I have seen guides in Alaska advertise trips for them and heard of people around Bella Bella catch them but has anyone ever seen them in the Strait? I would love to try and catch one day... being a relative of the Mako and somewhat warm blooded they should be a great fight.
have funk, Jason
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Hey! Hey! Hey! :shock:

For someone who loves swimming while out sailing or boating in the strait what are you talking about with respect to these sharks?!?! Mako relative??? How "close" a relative?? How big do these guys get??

Dammit Jason!! :shock: :D :wink:

Okay...hang on....now I know this shark. I saw a show on discovery about sharks in Canada or something like that. Looking at the other names I now know what you are talking about.......but I hope they aren't in the strait


and the second last point heading in the following link does NOTHING for me... :roll:

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Iv'e seen them up around Port Hardy. Think I recall one caught around Powell River/Lund some years back.
always thought they looked like a mini great white....... :shock: can u imagine unhooking a fish and that thing coming up and grabing your hand?

Salmon Sharks to the untrained eye DO look like a mini great white..I've seen 'em myself along with Thresher Sharks at Langara Island. I got a rare look at about an 8 footer which was snagged on the side of the mouth. They are FAST cuz I'm not seen a salmon buzz out line like that before.

They're actually pretty common particularly in late July and August...you get these leaders bitten off quite regularly..and we're NOT talking dog fish...
Speaking of sharks, a couple of years ago, we pulled a really big six-gill up at Sherringham Lighthouse. It was well over 150#, and it had room for my head in its mouth. Not that I checked :lol: . This big old-timer must have made his living off long-liners, 'cus he had five or six circle hooks in his face, and a mouth full of scars. Natually, we let him go.

Interesting, they seem to be along our entire coast! I wish I knew this sooner. Ever since I arrived in BC nearly 2 years ago, I have asked what shark are in our area, to be told - on every occassion - that there are no shark anywhere around here! I did know about the 6 - gills, but not about any other.

It seems I keep meeting fishermen here that have not got much of an idea what their local fisheries really consist of (present company excepted). Seems to be quite a few that know one or two things, but then little else, but still remain adamant in their minor knowledge that what they think/know is RIGHT.

Hmph, sorry about the rant, just letting off some steam after a pretty frustrating couple of years trying to learn as much as possible about the local waterways and not always getting very far. On a positive note, I have learnt an awful lot from this forum, so many thanks to all who've contributed.

Anyway, back to the Salmon Shark - yes please! Hey Jason, fancy having a go for them off your little inflatable? :shock:
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Here's an idea:

What if the decline in Salmon and Steelhead stocks could be attributed to a rising number of Salmon shark? If no-one knows that the Shark are here, then no-one will be fishing for them therefore their numbers may have been on a rise for sometime.

Hmmm, I wonder!

Hey David,
there is a really good book put out years ago by DFO or an agence similar... it has every fish ever documented in BC waters in it - from albicore to yellow eye rock fish. The name is something like marine fishes of Canada's West coast it is about 1000 pages and I have only seen it in libarys... posibly you could getting a U book store. Funny thing about this 40 or more year old book is it has all the invasive warm water species brought by El nino.
I think some of the problem with asking what is in the water around he is because we have two very diferent water in BC. The coast water of the inside strait and inside passage which is greatly effected by tide tubulance and fresh water and tremperate Pacific. For example if you look at the intertidal life in the gulf is. compared to Howe Sound, in the gulf is. you will find tube worm, sea anemomies, ext. that you will not find in Howe Sound do to the amount of fesh water run off. In the inside strait you will also be hard pressed to find any other types of rock fish aside from quill back, copper, china, vermilinon, tiger, and yellow. Yet the closer you get to open ocean - starting around Pender Is. and Victoria the greater the chance to find bacaccio, black, brown whether that is to do with salinity or temprature I am not sure. The futher off shore you go the warmer the water... as fishingmagician can atest seeing blue shark off Languara. Then there other big eddies of warm water that can bring albicore, sunfish and leather back sea turtle. In short it is very hard to know what should be where as we are on a edge.
As for sharks you can assume that only two are encountered in the strait that often dog fish, and six gill (six gill only cause they cause a stir when caught or seen)... cat shark, I have never caught nor seen one, rat fish not actually a shark or ray, and skates - defining shark broadly. But if you are off of Bamfeild in late sept of a El nino year, all you temprate shark... white, blue, thersher, salmon, possibly mako.
I go in my inflatable for salmon sharks any time, I worry more about dropping a rock fish on the tubes than a sharks teeth... anyone want to come, Canada has not band white shark fishing yet, and I got a surf board that acking to raise a big fish.
Have fun, Jason
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there is quite a few sharks off the west coast, we use to see them all the time (when i worked on the boats), ive caught many blues as far south as cape flattery, seen others that we didnt know what the were (more than likely salmon sharks) and a good friend was on the hali boat that got the great white off bamfield. great whites allthough rare do frequent the waters up here because they are the only sharks that can regulate their body temperature so colder waters are not that bad for them.
you would probably not find any sharks in the staits because the current flow seems to come south down the inside of the island and back out the juan de fuca strait. the water off sooke/victoria is usually colder than the waters 40 mile west just outside the strait
Mako, salmon, white, and I think thresher are somewhat warm blooded.
However, many of the tunas (giant blue fin, big eye, albicore, yellow fin), sword fish and large blue marlin will save heat by moving from hot to cool water to hunt. Of course the true tropical fish like marlin and yellow fin are moving from tropical 25C' to 19C' and back. But blue fin tuna will move into 10C' and to 2000ft deep to hunt. Blue fin in the atlantic actually make circle from the gulf of mexico in Feb to of NS in Aug, Sept and can be found off Ireland in Dec... to bad they are all but extinct in the pacific.
Have fun, Jason
Sharks abundant...

To say that there there is a possible salmon issue because of sharks is bogus.

Actually...speaking of salmon sharks....I recall talking with a commercial long liner that has put down a few spreads and while bringing it back up..a salmon shark chomped down on the lead somewhere..and by the time they got it in..they shark hooked it with a massive Scotsman and the shark broke off...this was west coast Graham Island in August. They couldn't see the shark..the Scotman disappeared...

At any rate, one of the lodge heli's was out cruising after a major service and they found the shark...and the Scotsman washed up in a shallow bay.the shark was dead..they retreived the Scotsman..the shark they estimated at almost 16 feet long. It was a Salmon Shark.

True story I believe as there was a guide that spotted the buoy while hali fishing and saw it and got a look at the shark.

This goes back to '99 I believe.

kellya said:
Dont think salmon sharks get to 16 ft?

Well...if that's the case..the guide was lying, the helicopter pilot and mechanic were lying etc...

Anyways..the Scotsman in question apparently had a 3 foot diameter. That's no small Scotsman.

According to the 'net, salmon sharks have been documented up to 11 feet. Not to say there's not bigger ones out there. Just like Salmon, there's a few in the 80's, not to say that ones bigger than 120 lbs don't exist etc..

I've seen some weird fish in my years, including netting an Opah at 100 lbs off Langara Island at almost 10 pm at night. I've seen salmon sharks from 6 feet to 8 feet, and let's just say when you seen one of those suckers beside your boat within a few feet, it's not exactly commonplace...

As for their claim of 16 feet, I believe it.

I was out hali fishing off Langara one year when a guide had a hali about 100 lbs or so. He harpooned it, and cut it's gills to bleed it out to pull it on board. I headed over to show my guests what a decent Hali is like in the water and what's involved. Unfortunately, about 10 or so 6 feet plus Blue Sharks had a mid afternoon snack on that Hali.

There wasn't too much left of that hali before long, let me tell you that.

At any rate, what's believable is one thing, what happens and what the truth is another.

At any rate, if you've ever seen an eight foot Salmon Shark beside your boat, it's a scary thing, because it's not something you're expecting.
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Have no experience with salt water fishing but curiosity got me and I googled this topic. Here's what I got:

from:Florida Museum of Natural History (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/Descript/SalmonShark/SalmonShark.html)

Size, Age, and Growth
The salmon shark has a maximum total length of about 10 ft (305 cm) and maximum weight of over 992 lbs (450 kg). There are unconfirmed accounts of salmon sharks 12.1 to 14.1 ft (370 to 430 cm), but these may have resulted from confusion with the larger white shark. In the eastern North Pacific, female salmon sharks can live to at least 20 years, males to at least 27 years.

In the western North Pacific, males mature at about 5.8 to 6.1 ft (177-186 cm) in total length and 5 years, and females mature at about 6.6 to 7.3 ft (200-223 cm) and 8-10 years. Salmon sharks in the eastern North Pacific appear to have a faster growth rate than those in the western north Pacific and mature at an earlier age. In the eastern North Pacific, males mature at about 5.2 ft (158 cm) and 3-5 years, and females at 6.7 ft (205 cm) and 6-9 years. Also, females in the eastern North Pacific are in general larger and heavier bodied than those in the western North Pacific.
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Hey Jason, I'm up for it. I'll bring my Sturgeon gear - that should do the trick!

Let me know if you really fancy it. :wink:

Tight lines

Yes........Salmon sharks.Fished Tasu on South Morsby a couple of years ago,we were fishing the gap at the end of the inlet.Hooked into many many Salman sharks while power mooching for springs,even had one surface beside our boat while stripping out some herring.............scared the crap out of me...must have been 5 ft long.They tend to roll up when hooked got a little tiresome after a while just about ran out of bait! One boat we were with had one on for over an hour,rolled up on his line,actually got it up beside the boat,they estimated it at around 6 or 7 ft! Very scary looking sharks (same family as Mako and great white ) Wanted to hook-up some steel leaders on my Halibut gear and see if we could land one.Lodge manager got wind of our intentions .He didn't want any part of it ....... Too bad ! Looked like a new fishery in the making
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