The bull shark is named for its stocky body and short nose. It has a large dorsal fin and ranges in color from grey to brown, with lighter colors on its belly. They are large fish – typically 6-8 feet long and weigh between 100-300 lbs.
Bull sharks are usually found in coastal areas, but they also have the ability to swim upstream into freshwater. They tend to feed on schools of fish and even some smaller sharks. Rays are also a favorite meal of theirs, along with shrimp and crab. On occasion, bull sharks have even been known to feed on sea turtles.
Bull sharks spawn in freshwater, and can often be found in rivers, lakes and estuaries, where most of their human interaction occurs. They can adapt their physiology to survive in a wide range of water salinity levels, by ensuring the water concentration in their bodies remains constant. This process is known as “osmoregulation.”
Handling Bull Sharks
Full-grown bull sharks are very dangerous and possess an extremely aggressive nature. It’s important to stay well away from their mouth when handling one.
Given the importance of shark conservation, catch-and-release is recommended when going after the bull shark. Smaller sharks can be handled by holding them behind the gills and by their tail. Due their power and ferocity, it’s advised that larger sharks should remain in the water. If you do decide to bring a bull shark aboard your boat, make sure to let it rest for 15-20 minutes so it can tire itself out.
Bull sharks are beautiful creatures, and it’s important to know all the facts before attempting to handle one. For more information on the bull shark, as well as tips, tricks, and much more, be sure to download Pro Angler in the App Store today!