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Silky 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
General Habitat and Food Preferences
The Silky Shark ranges from shallow inshore waters to deep, wide open waters.

They feed primarily on fishes and squids.
General Description
Silky Sharks are dark gray with a bronzy tint on top and white underneath.

They have a small second dorsal fin with an extremely long tailing rear tip that is over twice the height of the fin.
Did You Know?
The Silky Shark was named for the smooth texture of its skin.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Whole bluefish or mackerel are excellent baits for catching Silky Sharks.

To draw sharks in, chumming is almost a necessity.
Typical Sizes Caught
In general, Silky Sharks average 200 to 300 pounds.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Length: 66 inches (for Live Release Award only)
or
Weight: 100 pounds

Silky Sharks are eligible for the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament "Shark" citation, but not currently eligible for an individual species citation.
Delaware State Record
825 pounds
Brent Thomas
1981

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

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