The “elasmobranch” fish group includes over 500 species of sharks ranging from apex predators such as the Great White Shark, Shortfin Mako, Tiger Sharks, and others to tiny deep water species. Sharks are ever present in the northern Gulf We encounter sharks of many species on every fishing trip. For all you fish heads out there we recommend an excellent paper in the June issue of Marine and coastal Fisheries Vol 10 Issue 3. Six years of longline sampling were presented documenting the numerous sharks species encountered in the Northern Gulf.
Mako | Tiger | Bull | Hammerhead
Shortfin Mako Shark – Lamnidae oxyrinchus
One of, if not THE fasted fish in the world, the shortfin mako can swim up to 60mph and jump 20ft+ in the air. Known for its unique blue color, elongated snout, and vicious teeth, makos get fairly close to the coast in spring and are found gulf wide throughout the year. That said, Makos are fairly rare creatures and sighting or catching one does not happen every day.
In 2009, the Necessity caught an 800 lb monster just off the coast while cobia fishing!
Tiger Shark – Galeocerdo cuvier
These striped monsters are the largest of the sharks regularly found in the Gulf (Great whites are larger though far more infrequent). Tiger sharks prefer warmer waters and like feeding at night where they are known to be omnivores eating practically anything that gets in their way.
Great Hammerhead Shark – Sphyrna mokarran
These large, prehistoric-looking sharks have the tell-tale ‘Hammer’ shaped head. Larger specimens are nomads and roam the seas looking for their next meal. Oftentimes, they hold near underwater structure in deep water trying to pick up an easy meal.
In 2017, Necessity released one of the endangered sharks that was in the neighborhood of 700lbs!