The Bonnethead shark

The Bonnethead shark
Difficulty

Period

all year

Minimum size

60 cm

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The Bonnethead shark belongs to the Sphyrnidae family. Bonnethead sharks are generally about 0.61 to 0.91 m long, with a maximum size of about 50 cm. Its maximum lifespan is about 12 years. It is believed that bonnethead mate in spring and fall, or even all year round. It can be fished all year round depending on the location.
The bonnethead shark is a small species of shark with a head in the shape of a spade that characterizes this fish making it easier to identify. The head is flattened, the anterior margin of the head is also rounded between the eyes and the mouth is arched. The front teeth have straight and smooth cutting edges, while the next teeth have oblique cutting edges, the outer teeth of the lower jaw are modified in flat mills. The first dorsal fin slightly throws the posterior at the base of the pectoral fin. The dorsal drift with the rear lobe is well developed. Some specimens are dark brown in the lateral dorsal region, lighter in the ventral region and grey in others.

The Bonnethead shark lifestyle

The Bonnethead shark has a diet mainly composed of crustaceans. Blue crabs are for it a choice meal that it loves. They also feed on shrimp, mollusks and small fish. It has been found that the female feeds more than the male because she has a higher energy budget due to reproduction. It must eat more food in order to store the energy necessary to be able to reproduce in good conditions.
Female bonnethead shark lays eggs that are held and fed by a yolk sac during the initial phase of gestation. Eggs with the female are hard but elastic with the extremities folded allowing the embryos to grow. The embryos released by the eggs absorb the yolk sac. This bag attaches to the mother's uterine wall forming a wine placenta. The blood vessels passing through this placenta provide food until the embryo is born. In addition, after hatching, sections of the uterine wall meet to separate each embryo and its placenta into its own uterine compartment. The gestation period, the shortest of all sharks, is only four to five months. Females move to shallow coastal waters during the calving season, giving birth in late summer and early fall. The litters have an average size of 4 to 14 young, about 35 cm long and weighing 00.2 kg. Meanwhile, females lose their desire for food, which prevents them from feeding their puppies. Males move to another place, which also allows them to avoid feeding on their own young.

The Bonnethead shark habitat

The bonnethead shark is an abundant species in the western Atlantic, North Carolina and the Gulf of Mexico. It is also found near the coasts of Brazil and southern California as far as Ecuador. In summer, it frequents the coastal waters of Carolina and Georgia. In spring and autumn, it reaches Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. In winter, the bonnethead shark travels near the equator where the water is warmer.
It is found near shore and in shallow water up to 25 m deep. It prefers sandy or muddy bottoms, canals and estuaries.

The Bonnethead shark angling

Bonnethead can offer an excellent sport with lightweight gear or fly fishing gear. They are often found in shallow water shrimp and are caught in live and cut bait, including crabs.

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