Skip to main content

Smooth 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
Uncommon
General Habitat and Food Preferences
The Smooth Hammerhead Shark lives close to shore preferring shallow waters less than 65 feet in depth but may also be found well offshore in deeper waters.

They feed primarily on fishes, smaller sharks, skates, and rays.
General Description
The Smooth Hammerhead Shark is distinguished from other hammerheads by a broadly rounded shaped head lacking any indentation in the center.

They are brownish-gray on the top with white underneath.
Did You Know?
In some areas, stingrays are a favored prey and comprise a majority of the Smooth Hammerhead Sharks diet. The venomous barbs of stingrays are often found stuck in the heads and around the mouths of these sharks.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Whole stingrays are excellent baits for catching Smooth Hammerhead Sharks.

To draw sharks in, chumming is almost a necessity.
Typical Sizes Caught
The second largest hammerhead shark after the great hammerhead, the Smooth Hammerhead Shark can attain weights of over 800 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

Smooth 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

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

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