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Great Hammerhead 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
78 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 Great Hammerhead Shark ranges from shallow inshore waters to deep, wide open waters.

Sting rays are a favorite prey, but they also eat fishes and crustaceans.
General Description
The top of the Great Hammerhead Shark is dark brown to light gray or even olive in color fading to white on the underside.

Its hammer-shaped head is relatively straight across the front.
Did You Know?
Great Hammerhead Sharks search for food hidden beneath the sand, swinging its head back and forth, much like the way we would use a metal detector.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Whole bluefish or mackerel are excellent baits for catching Great Hammerhead Sharks.

To draw sharks in, chumming is almost a necessity.
Typical Sizes Caught
Great hammerheads sharks can attain weights of over 1000 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

Great Hammerhead 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

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

Great Hammerhead Sharks are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.