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Bull Shark

Illustrator
Duane Raver, Jr.
Season
January 1 to May 14

July 16 to December 31

All Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish) not retained must be immediately released to ensure the maximum probability of survival, without removing the fish from the water.

*Special permit required - All private vessel owners/operators recreationally fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic Highly Migratory Shark Species for personal use in Federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean (3 to 200 miles off shore) must obtain an Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling Permit.

Consult https://hmspermits.noaa.gov or call toll free (888) 872-8862 for specific information and permits.
Size Limit
54 inch minimum (measured from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail)
Daily Limit / Person
Boat anglers - only 1 shark of any species per vessel, except 1 additional Bonnethead and 1 additional Atlantic Sharpnose per angler onboard vessels.

Shore anglers - only 1 shark of any species per angler, except 1 additional Bonnethead and one additional Atlantic Sharpnose per shore angler.
Delaware Range
Atlantic Ocean
Abundance in Delaware Waters
Rare - this species is more common south of Delaware.
General Habitat and Food Preferences
The Bull Shark prefers to live in shallow coastal waters less than 100 feet deep. Bull Sharks have been known to swim up rivers.

They primarily feed on fishes, rays, and small sharks.
General Description
Bull Sharks are commonly mistaken for the sandbar shark.

They are very robust-bodied, have a large head with relatively small eyes and an extremely short blunt, rounded snout.

The upper side is dark dull gray fading to a white underside.

They have similar shaped dorsal fins.

Bull Sharks do not have an interdorsal ridge (ridge of skin going down the back between the two dorsal fins).

Their upper teeth are broad, triangular, and heavily serrated. The lower teeth are narrower and serrated.
Did You Know?
Before it attacks its prey, a Bull Shark head-butts the animal. This head-butting habit, along with its short, blunt snout and grumpy personality, led to its name of "bull" shark.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Any bloody fish will work for catching Bull Sharks.

To draw sharks in, chumming is almost a necessity.
Typical Sizes Caught
In general, Bull Sharks can weigh upward of 500 pounds.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Live Release Award
Adult: 66 inches minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 56 inches minimum

Sport Fishing Tournament Award
Adult: 100 pounds minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 75 pounds minimum

Bull Sharks are eligible for the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament and Live Release "Shark" awards, but not currently eligible for an individual species award.
Delaware State Record
825 pounds
Brent Thomas
1981

Bull Sharks are eligible for the general "Shark" record, which excludes mako and the protected shark species.

Bull Sharks are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.