Sharks get a bad rep – undeservingly so, if we may add. Sure, there are some big-toothed and fierce ones that you may not want to come across, but there are also plenty of docile varieties that make great targets for anglers of all ages and skill levels. If you go Shark fishing in Florida, you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to fish for various members of this family.
And speaking of families, Shark fishing trips are a great choice if you want to fish with your relatives. Stay inshore and there are plenty of species to target with the kids. Alternatively, those looking for battles with the big varieties may want to leave the little ones behind and head into deeper waters. In this guide, we’ll cover some of Florida’s top Shark species, how to fish for them, and where to go.
We’ll also go over the important fishing regulations you’ll need to follow in order to fish for Sharks lawfully. This is a highly regulated family of fish in the Sunshine State so make sure to pay close attention. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
What Sharks can I catch in Florida?
There are several Shark species to test your skills against in Florida. Some are year-round residents, whereas others are only seasonal visitors. Like we mentioned earlier, Shark fishing regulations in Florida are tight and many species are off-limits. If you catch one of these, make sure to catch and release them immediately. For now, let’s turn our attention to those you can target freely.
These light tackle fighters are an excellent inshore target if you’re fishing in Florida. Blacktip Sharks prefer their waters warm and shallow, meaning they’re well-dispersed across the state’s estuaries, bays, and coastal waters. They usually measure around 5 or 6 feet and are considered quite timid, making them an excellent target for various skill levels.
That doesn’t mean they won’t fight hard when they get a hold of your bait, though! You can fish for Blacktip Sharks year-round, though it’s a good idea to follow their migration patterns. Large schools move into the inshore waters surrounding Palm Beach County around January and stay through March. Come April, they’ll start heading back up north, towards the Carolinas, so don’t miss out on your chance to chase ‘em.
Head a little further out and you’ll also come across Bonnethead Sharks. Like Blacktip Sharks, this species migrates south to Florida in the winter months. They’re particularly abundant in nearshore waters, though you may also find them in the sand and mud flats. You’ll usually see Bonnethead’s measuring in the 2–3 foot range, reaching a maximum length of about 4 feet.
This makes them an excellent target for light tackle fishing and even fly fishing, no matter your skill level. Their timid and shy nature means they’re even suitable for kids fishing trips. Plus, their unique “bonnet” shaped heads make for a great photo opportunity. And if you’re looking for tasty table fare, Bonnetheads count for some of the most delicious Sharks out there.