Fly fishing in New Orleans Louisiana
Fly fishing in New Orleans Louisiana
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BULL SHARK

Carcharhinus leucas

 

Habitat
Common apex predator that inhabits estuarine, nearshore and offshore waters of both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Florida. Commonly enters estuarine waters and is one of the few shark species that may inhabit freshwater, sometimes venturing hundreds of miles inland via coastal river systems.

Feeding
Versatile and opportunistic feeder. Stomach contents have included a variety of bony fishes and invertebrate species, sharks, rays, dolphins, sea turtles, and sea birds.

Reproduction
Gives birth to live young. Litters contain 1-13 pups. Size at birth about 2.4 feet. Utilizes shallow bays and coastal lagoons as nursery areas.

Size/Age
Maximum size about 11 feet. Matures at approximately 14-18 years of age (about 6.5 feet) and is estimated to live 24+ years.

Human factors

Constitutes only a small portion of the commercial shark fishery. Hardy species; does well in captivity. One of the more dangerous shark species, accounting for the third highest number of attacks on humans.

 

 

Sandbar Shark: Carcharhinus plumbeus

Appearance:

 

  • Snout broadly rounded and short
  • First dorsal fin triangular and very high
  • Poorly developed dermal ridge between dorsal fins
  • Brown or gray in color with white underside
  • Upper and lower teeth finely serrated

 

Habitat:

Sandbar sharks are a nearshore fish typically found at depths ranging from 60 to 200 feet.

Behavior:

These sharks are both predators and scavengers.  Feeding occurs chiefly near the bottom on fish and shellfish.  Sandbar sharks migrate long distances and they mature at about 6 feet in length.

State Record:

This species is not currently eligible for a state record.

Fishing Tips and Facts:

 

Additional Information:Sandbar sharks are similar in appearance to the dusky shark, Carcharhinus obscurus; and the bull shark, Carcharhinus leucas.

BONNETHEAD SHARK

Sphyrna tiburo

 

Habitat
Abundant in nearshore Florida waters. Commonly seen over shallow sand and mud flats. Moves into deeper coastal waters during the colder months.

Feeding
Feeds primarily on crabs, shrimp, mollusks, and small fishes.

Reproduction
Gives birth to live young. Litters contain 4-16 pups. Size at birth about 12 inches.

Size/Age
Smallest member of the hammerhead family. Maximum length about 3.5 feet. Matures at approximately 2 years of age (about 30 inches) and is estimated to live 7+ years.

Human factors



Edible, but marketed mostly as crab bait. Good sport fish; use light tackle with live shrimp or cut-bait. Harmless to humans. Often displayed in aquaria.

 


 

 

TIGER SHARK
Galeocerdo cuvier

 

Habitat
Common throughout Florida and occurs worldwide in tropical and warm-temperate waters. Found in a variety of habitats including river mouths, shallow bays, and open ocean.

Feeding
Voracious feeders that will eat just about anything. Stomach contents have been reported to include sea turtles, many species of bony fish, marine birds, other sharks, porpoises, skates, rays, conchs, crabs, and garbage (for example, pieces of coal and wood, burlap bags, small barrels, cans).

Reproduction
Gives birth to live young. Litters contain 10-80 pups. Size at birth 27-34 inches.

Size/Age
Maximum size about 18 feet in length and a weight of 2000 pounds. Matures at approximately 7-10 years of age (about 10 feet) and is estimated to live 16+ years.

Human factors

Valuable commercial species with marketable flesh, hide, fins, and liver. Recognized by the International Game Fish Association as a big-game fish. Tiger sharks are second only to the Great White shark in the number of attacks on humans worldwide.


GREAT HAMMERHEAD SHARK

Sphyrna mokarran

 

Habitat
A common tropical and subtropical shark that inhabits the open ocean and the shallow coastal waters of both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Florida. Favors continental and insular coral reefs but is often associated with inlets and the mouths of bays. Nomadic and migratory, with some Florida populations moving north along the Atlantic coast in summer.

Feeding
Feeds on a stingrays, grouper, sea catfish, a variety of bony fishes, sharks, crabs, and squid.

Reproduction
Gives birth to live young. Litters contain 13-40 pups. Size at birth about 2 feet. Utilizes shallow bays and coastal waters as nursery areas.

Size/Age
Maximum size about 18 feet. Matures at approximately 7-8 feet and is a long-lived shark (20+ years).

Human factors

Taken in the commercial longline fishery mainly for their high quality fins. Considered to be dangerous, ranking seventh in unprovoked attacks on humans (often confused with more abundant Scalloped Hammerhead shark).

 

 

BLACKTIP SHARK
Carcharhinus limbatus

 

Habitat
Common in Florida's coastal waters, bays and estuaries. A very active, fast-swimming shark often seen at the surface. Often forms large schools during annual migration times. Migrates southward and into deeper coastal waters during winter months. May leap out of the water and, like the related spinner shark, spin around several times before dropping back into the sea.

Feeding
Feeds primarily on fishes but also eat small sharks, some rays and skates, squid, crabs, octopus, and lobster.

Reproduction
Gives birth to live young. Litters contain 1-10 pups. Females swim into shallow bays in spring and early summer to give birth. Size at birth 22-28 inches.

Size/Age
Maximum length about 6 feet. Matures at approximately 6-7 years of age(about 5 feet) and is estimated to live 10 + years.

Human factors

Valuable commercial species with marketable flesh, hide, fins, and liver. One of the most commonly collected sharks in the commercial fishery. Fished for sport on light tackle and often leap out of the water when hooked. Has been implicated in attacks on bathers.

 

LEMON SHARK
Negaprion brevirostris

 

Habitat
An abundant, inshore tropical shark that inhabits both estuarine and nearshore waters of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Florida. Commonly enters estuarine waters and often ventures into freshwater areas, but does not penetrate as far up rivers as the Bull shark. Migrates southward and into deeper waters in the winter months.

Feeding
Feeds on a variety of bony fishes, crustaceans, mollusks, rays, small sharks, and occasionally on sea birds.

Reproduction
Gives birth to live young. Litters contain 4-17 pups. Size at birth about 2 feet. Utilizes shallow bays and coastal lagoons as nursery areas.

Size/Age
Maximum size about 10.5 feet. Matures at approximately 11-12 years of age (about 8 feet) and is estimated to live 27+ years.

Human factors

Constitutes only a small portion of the commercial shark fishery. Does well in captivity, with young individuals being favorite subjects for physiological and behavioral studies. Has been involved in only a few attacks on humans.


NURSE SHARK

Ginglymostoma cirratum

 

Habitat
An abundant, coastal, tropical and subtropical shark that inhabits nearshore waters of both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Flordia. Often seen lying motionless on the bottom. Preferred habitats are coral reefs, rocks, and mangrove islands.

Feeding
Feeds mainly on bottom invertebrates such as spiny lobsters, shrimps, crabs, sea urchins, squid, octopi, and marine molluscs; also feeds on some fish species, especially grunts.

Reproduction
Gives birth to live young. Litters contain 20-50 pups. Size at birth about 1 foot. Mating aggregations reported in Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas, often in very shallow water. Juveniles utilize shallow coral reefs, rocky areas, grass flats, and mangrove islands as nursery habitat.

Size/Age
Maximum size about 9 feet. Matures at approximately 7 feet and is estimated to live 24+ years.

Human factors

Valued in the Caribbean for its high quality hide, but is considered a nuisance species in most North American longline fisheries with fins and meat of little value. Does well in captivity and has been used in many physiological and immunological studies. This sluggish bottom-dwelling shark has been involved in only a few attacks on humans, most of which were provoked.

 

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