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What kind of baits are most effective to atract sharks? What are good spots to find sharks within a 15 mile range of the santa barbara harbor?
Question Date: 2011-10-31
Answer 1:

Sharks can move around a lot, but they tend to hang out where theres plenty of food for them. The sharks with the big teeth that have edges like steak knives eat things like seals and sea lions. The ones with small, pointy teeth eat fish. The biggest shark is the whale shark. It can be 10 meters long. Other than whales, its the biggest animal on Earth. It has hundreds of rows of little teeth, but it doesnt use them. It filter feeds on plankton using its gills. It does visit the Santa Barbara coast on occasion.

I found a list of sharks that may be around Santa Barbara. Some are more common than others:

Broadnose Sevengill Shark
Bluntnose Sixgill Shark
Prickly Shark
Spiny Dogfish
Combtooth Dogfish
Megamouth Shark
Bigeye Thresher Shark
Common Thresher
Basking Shark
Salmon Shark
White Shark
Shortfin Mako
Swell Shark
Lollipop Catshark
Filetail Catshark
Grey Smoothhound
Brown Smoothhound
Leopard Shark
Soupfin Shark
Tiger Shark
Scalloped Hammerhead
Smooth Hammerhead
Oceanic Whitetip
Blue Shark

Feeding wild animals is usually not a good idea. It changes their behavior and may get them into trouble when they learn to connect people with food. This can be dangerous for both people and sharks. If you want to attract wild animals with food, stick to birds.

What kinds of things do you think would determine the range of a shark species (where in the world it lives)?

Answer 2:

Depends on the shark - different sharks eat different things, and live in different areas. I don't know the oceanography of the Santa Barbara harbor that well, though, nor do I know enough of the biology of sharks to be able to provide specific information for you.

Answer 3:

There are a variety of sharks that can be found within 15 miles of Santa Barbara. Depending on what the shark eats, different baits work better of different sharks.

The top predatory sharks in the area such as the great whites, threshers, mako, tiger sharks, and leopard sharks might be attracted best by "chumming" the water. This is when ground up fish are tossed into the water to make a really fish smelling area. Sharks have a good sense of smell and are able to smell the chum from far away and will swim to it expecting a nice meal. I have heard of people surf fishing and catching small threshers, mako, and leopard sharks.

There are other sharks in the area such as swellsharks and horn sharks, do not feed on fish and are found usually in shallower rocky areas or sand flats where they feed on mollusks, crustaceans, and other invertebrates more than fish. I doubt these sharks would be attracted to a chum line but you could possibly fish for them using invertebrate bait, although these sharks feed mostly at night.

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