DESCRIPTION: Gray above, white below. Tips of dorsal and pectoral fins are black, as is the lower lobe of the caudal fin. Short snout and stout body. Dorsal fin begins at a point above the rear portion of the pectoral fin.
SIZE: Common from 5-30 pounds; seldom reaches 100 pounds, but reported to 200 or more. World record 270 pounds, 9 ounces; Florida record 152 pounds.
FOOD VALUE: Very good.
GAME QUALITIES: Pound for pound, probably the scrappiest of sharks. Wages a wild battle on light tackle, marked by long runs and frantic jumps, especially in shallow water.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Spinning and baitcasting outfits; also fly outfits. Takes shrimp and any sort of fresh cut bait. With good presentation (Sharks have poor eyesight, and you have to put the lure very close to them), they will also hit a variety of artificial lures, especially topwater plugs and flyrod poppers; large (for purposes of visibility) streamer flies; slow-swimming jigs and underwater plugs.
FISHING SYSTEMS: Casting; Drifting; Still Fishing.
RANGE: All Florida coasts, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
HABITAT: Occurs from the open sea to the coast. One of the most familiar sharks in Florida, where it is often seen on shallow flats and along beaches and shorelines. Also plentiful around passes and inlets.
There is more information on this and other sport fish in “Sport Fish of Florida.” This handy book features 231 species, all illustrated in full color. Also included for each fish are detailed ranges, habitats, game quality, food quality and record sizes.