Sustainable Fishing, Marine Biology & Conservation
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Wednesday
May092012

Atlantic Sharpnose

(Rhizoprionodon terraenovae)

Atlantic sharpnose are a small species of shark that is quite common year-round in the nearshore and sometimes inshore waters from the Carolinas to Florida and all along the Gulf Coast. As the waters warm in mid to late summer, these sharks extend their range north to cover most of the East Coast.

Atlantic sharpnose have a habit of congregating in specific areas and forming large groups of similar size and sex, so when anglers catch one of these little sharks, they had better be ready to deal with a whole bunch of its brothers or sisters before the day is out! Most of the Atlantic sharpnose taken by recreational fishermen have a total length of less than four feet and weigh under 15-pounds. Yea, they're small by shark standards, but these little sharks can be just the ticket for recreational anglers armed with light tackle who want some simple fun close to shore. Sharpnose can be recognized by the distinctive white splotchy dots across their bronze back and sides, and by an obvious white fringe along the trailing edge of the pectoral fins.