Bull Shark

Know Your Sportfish

Fin identification helps to correctly identify your catch. *Click to enlarge.

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission: MyFWC.com A great many kinds of fish are protected by conservation laws that may include licenses, daily bag limits, possession limits, minimum and maximum size limits, permitting and other legal requirements. Many different jurisdictions and agencies are involved in managing the fisheries—at least a half-dozen in Florida alone, to say nothing of other countries—and their regulations sometimes conflict.

In Florida, information is available from such sources as Florida Sportsman Magazine, county courthouses and many tackle shops. Visitors to Florida or the Islands usually are able to get the needed information from their travel agents, resorts, fishing camps or charter captains. Visit www.myfwc.com www.myfwc.com or www.floridasportsman.com for the most current fisheries regulations.

Bull Shark

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Usually gray to light brown above, white below. Similar to the Sandbar Shark but has a shorter, wider snout. The large first dorsal fin starts above the middle of the pectoral fin, whereas in the Sandbar it starts above the front portion of the pectoral.

SIZE: Commonly runs 6-8 feet and 100-300 pounds, but can exceed 10 feet and 400 pounds.World record 697 pounds, 12 ounces; Florida record 517 pounds.


GAME QUALITIES: A rugged fighter; usually has heft and strength on its side.

TACKLE AND BAITS: Although more appropriately matched to medium ocean outfits, the Bull is one of the pet targets of adventurous spin, plug and fly cast- ers, especially in the lower Florida Keys. Will take a variety of dead fish as bait, and especially likes fresh- cut Barracuda. Also can be chummed into a mood for hitting artificials—large flies and topwater plugs being preferred.

FISHING SYSTEMS: Still Fishing; Drifting.


Ground Shark

Cub Shark 

RANGE: More common on all Florida coasts, but also occurs in the Bahamas and around larger islands of the Caribbean.

HABITAT: Primarily coastal. It also ventures into completely fresh water, and has been taken in several Florida rivers, and even in Lake Okeechobee.