Description: There are approximately 400 species of shark but there are some features common to most sharks found in the waters off Key West: broad head with a flattened snout, much lighter underbelly than the body and a distinctive dorsal fin commonly seen skimming the water’s surface, paired pectoral fins located near the front end of the shark, paired pelvic fins located behind the pectoral fins. The upper half and the lower half of a shark’s tail are not equal in size; the upper portion is usually significantly larger than the lower.

Aliases: Shark! No alias needed.

Habitat: Adults are most often found OFFSHORE and can be found near the surface although some species and young sharks can be found INSHORE even in the surf.  All ages are known to travel in schools during migration.

Tackle Used: Tackle type depends on the species being hunted; conventional medium to heavy tackle offshore, trolling or conventional light tackle on the flats

Fight: Sharks are the kind of trophy catch all deep water anglers look forward to for a great time. Lemon Sharks run long and fast, the Bull Shark shows its sheer size & strength while the Spinner Shark, Shortfin Mako and Blacktip Shark put on a show with their acrobatic leaps.

Vital Stats: There are species of shark which mature at 8 inches and some to 60 feet.

State Records: Atlantic Sharpnose Shark – not currently eligible for state record

Blacktip Shark – 152 lbs.

Bonnethead Shark – not currently eligible for state record

Sandbar Shark – not currently eligible for state record

Shortfin Mako Shark – 911 lbs. 12 oz. caught near Palm Beach

Limits: 1 per harvester or 2 per vessel per day (whichever is less), 54” fork for all sharks except Atlantic Sharpnose, Blacknose, Blacktip, Bonnethead, Finetooth and Smooth Dogfish.

In addition, harvest of the following shark species is prohibited: Atlantic Angel, Basking, Bigeye Sand Tiger, Bigeye Sixgill, Bigeye Thresher, Bignose, Caribbean Reef, Caribbean Sharpnose, Dusky, Galapagos, Lemon, Longfin Mako, Narrowtooth, Night, Silky, Sand Tiger, Sandbar, Sevengill, Sixgill, Smalltail, Whale, and White

Flavor: This trophy fish is most often released unharmed