All Atlantic Highly Migratory Species permit holders must abide by the non-offset, corrodible circle hook requirement when targeting sharks in Federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean (3 to 200 miles off shore).
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.
||No Size Limit
|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.
||Atlantic Ocean, Lower Delaware Bay
|Abundance in Delaware Waters
|General Habitat and Food Preferences
||Bonnethead Sharks reside in nearshore Atlantic Ocean waters, estuaries and shallow bays preferring depths of 30 to 70 feet.
They feed primarily on fishes, shrimps, squids, and crabs.
|Did You Know?
The Bonnethead Shark must swim continuously otherwise it will sink.
These are social sharks that are most often found in groups numbering from 3-15 sharks.
|Common Lures and Baits
There is hardly any bait a Bonnethead Shark won't bite. They can be caught with strips of squid, cut pieces of fish or pieces of peeler crab on bottom rigs.
|Typical Sizes Caught
Bonnethead Sharks are commonly caught by anglers in the range of 3 to 10 pounds.
|Citation Minimum Length and Weight
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
Bonnethead Sharks are eligible for the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament and Live Release "Shark" awards, but due to their smaller size, catching one large enough to qualify is unlikely.
Bonnethead Sharks are not currently eligible for an individual species award.
|Delaware State Record
Bonnethead Sharks are eligible for the general "Shark" record, but due to their smaller size, catching one large enough to qualify is unlikely.
Bonnethead Sharks are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.