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Lemon 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 Lemon Shark is commonly found in shallow coastal waters out to 300 feet deep. They prefer sandy or muddy bottoms.

They primarily feed on fishes, skates, rays, and crabs.
General Description
The Lemon Shark is a large stocky, blunt nosed shark with two dorsal fins of similar size.

They are yellow/brown or olive gray on top and a lighter yellowish color on the undersides.
Did You Know?
Lemon Sharks use their yellow coloring as camouflage to help them successfully hide in their natural habitat.

They are often found swimming along the sand of the bottom of the water so they blend in with ease. This camouflage makes it easy to hide from predators and also to be able to find food sources.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Any bloody fish will work for catching Lemon Sharks.

To draw sharks in, chumming is almost a necessity.
Typical Sizes Caught
In general, Lemon Sharks range from 200 to 300 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

Lemon 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

Lemon Sharks are eligible for the general "Shark" record, but catching one large enough to qualify is unlikely.

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