Category Archives: Bull Shark

Captiva Fishing, Bull Shark, April 15, 2017

Bull Shark, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, April 15, 2017.
Bull Shark, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, April 15, 2017.

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Bull Shark!

Sanibel & Captiva Rentals
Sanibel & Captiva Rentals

Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Captiva Island, Saturday, April 15: Bull Shark, catch & release; latest Red Tide Reportbetter water moving north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva.  Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658.

We’re located at Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.

For more photos and/or fishing reports from our other Captains’ boats from other marinas, please also visit our SanibelFort MyersSeashell & ShellingFlorida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites. Please check here for Live Sanibel Traffic CamsClick here for College Of Fishing Hats & Apparel.

Friday, 10/11/13, Captiva Fishing Report: Big Bull Shark caught by captain Jimmy! Sanibel, Captiva & North Captiva, #Captiva
Friday, 10/11/13, Captiva Fishing Report: Big Bull Shark caught by captain Jimmy! Sanibel, Captiva & North Captiva, #Captiva

“The bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas), also known as the Zambezi shark or, unofficially, as Zambi in Africa and Nicaragua shark in Nicaragua, is a requiem shark commonly found worldwide in warm, shallow waters along coasts and in rivers. The bull shark is known for its aggressive nature, a predilection for warm shallow water, and presence in brackish and freshwater systems including estuaries and rivers.

Bull sharks can thrive in both salt and freshwater and can travel far up rivers. They have been known to travel as far up the Mississippi River as Illinois,[2] although few freshwater human-shark interactions have been recorded. They are probably responsible for the majority of near-shore shark attacks, including many bites attributed to other species.[3]

Bull Shark, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 7, 2017.
Bull Shark, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Sanibel Island, Saturday, January 7, 2017.

Unlike the river sharks of the genus Glyphis, bull sharks are not true freshwater sharks, despite their ability to survive in freshwater habitats.

The name “bull shark” comes from the shark’s stocky shape, broad, flat snout, and aggressive, unpredictable behavior.[4] In India, the bull shark may be confused with the Sundarbans or Ganges shark. In Africa, it is also commonly called the Zambezi River shark or just Zambi. Its wide range and diverse habitats result in many other local names, including Ganges River shark, Fitzroy Creek whaler, van Rooyen’s shark, Lake Nicaragua shark,[5] river shark, freshwater whaler, estuary whaler, Swan River whaler,[6] cub shark, and shovelnose shark.[7]

Bull Shark, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Wednesday, 12-30-15 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.
Bull Shark, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Wednesday, 12-30-15 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.

Bull sharks are large and stout, with females being larger than males. The bull shark can be up to 81 cm (2.66 ft) in length at birth.[10] Adult female bull sharks average 2.4 m (7.9 ft) long and typically weigh 130 kg (290 lb), whereas the slightly smaller adult male averages 2.25 m (7.4 ft) and 95 kg (209 lb). While a maximum size of 3.5 m (11 ft) is commonly reported, a single record exists of a female specimen of exactly 4.0 m (13.1 ft). The maximum recorded weight of a bull shark was 315 kg (694 lb), but may be larger.[3][11][12]

Bull sharks are wider and heavier than other requiem sharks of comparable length and are gray on top and white below. The second dorsal fin is smaller than the first. The bull shark’s caudal fin is longer and lower than that of the larger sharks, and it has a small snout and lacks an interdorsal ridge.[10]

Bull Shark, Catch & Release, North Captiva, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Tuesday, September 20, 2016.
Bull Shark, Catch & Release, North Captiva, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Tuesday, September 20, 2016.

Bull sharks have a bite force up to 5,914 newtons (1,330 lbf), weight for weight the highest among all investigated cartilaginous fishes.[13]

Bull sharks mate during late summer and early autumn,[8] often in the brackish water of river mouths. After gestating for 12 months, a bull shark may give birth to four to 10 live young.[8] They are viviparous, born live and free-swimming. The young are about 70 cm (27.6 in) at birth and take 10 years to reach maturity. Coastal lagoons, river mouths, and other low-salinity estuaries are common nursery habitats.[3]

Huge Bull Shark, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Friday, 10-16-15 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.
Huge Bull Shark, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Friday, 10-16-15 ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.

The size of a fully matured female bull shark to produce viable eggs for fertilization seems to be 175 cm to 235 cm. The courting routine between bull sharks has not been observed in detail as of yet. The male likely bites the female on the tail until she can turn upside down and the male can copulate at that point. At some points, the harassment of the male can become violent. Seeing scratches and other marks on a mature female from the mating ritual is not uncommon.[40]

Bull sharks have an unusual migratory pattern in comparison to other sharks. They are found in rivers all over the world. They give birth in the fresh water of rivers. The young bull sharks are free from predators while they grow up in the river before they go out to the sea to find mates.[41]

Sharks 2, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Monday, 7-13-15. ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.
Sharks 2, Catch & Release, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Monday, 7-13-15. ~ #Sanibel #Captiva.

The ability to be able to survive in both fresh and salt water also gives another benefit that has been driven by evolution. Because the majority of sharks are only able to survive in salt water, the bull shark has evolved to have their offspring in the fresh water where other sharks cannot enter.[42] The freshwater acts as a protective area where the young are able to grow and mature without the threat of larger sharks preying on the younger bull sharks.[42] This is an explanation for the behavior that is observed from the Bull sharks as to why there would be any reason for the adult bull shark to ever travel into a freshwater area despite being able to tolerate the high salinity of marine water.

The bull shark’s diet consists mainly of bony fish and small sharks, including other bull sharks,[3] but can also include turtles, birds, dolphins, terrestrial mammals, crustaceans, echinoderms, and stingrays. They hunt in murky waters where it is harder for the prey to see the shark coming.[1][34][35] Bull sharks have been known to use the bump-and-bite technique to attack their prey. After the first initial contact, they continue to bite and tackle prey until they are unable to flee.[36]

Bull Shark, 2-2-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.
Bull Shark, 2-2-15, Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing & Fort Myers Fishing Charters & Guide Service.

The bull shark is known to be a solitary hunter, although brief moments exist in which the bull shark teams up with another bull shark to make hunting and to tricking prey easier.[37][38]

Sharks are known to be opportunistic feeders,[36] and the bull shark is no exception to this, as it is part of the Carcharhinus family of sharks. Normally, sharks eat in short bursts, and when food is scarce, sharks digest for a much longer period of time in order to avoid starvation.[36] As part of their survival mechanism, bull sharks will regurgitate the food in their stomachs in order to escape from a predator. This is a distraction tactic; if the predator moves to eat the regurgitated food the bull shark can use the opportunity to escape.[39]

Bull shark caught inshore of Sanibel Island, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide
Bull shark caught inshore of Sanibel Island, Sanibel & Captiva Islands & Fort Myers Charters & Fishing Guide

Bull sharks are born alive in freshwater. The size range of a litter for a female bull shark is around 1 to 13 pups.[43] The average time span for a female bull shark to be pregnant is around 10 to 11 months.[44] The male bull shark is able to begin reproducing around the age of 15 years while the female cannot begin reproducing until the age of 18 years.[44] Unlike most sharks though, the bull shark does not rear its young like other sharks, the young bull sharks are born into flat, protected areas.[44] Freshwater presents a natural defense against most larger predators, and the flat land is an added defense as most large predators will not swim in shallow areas. This increases their chance of survival since the parents do not rear the young in the traditional manner. This is also the reason why there is a high mortality rate in young bull sharks. Since the parents do not rear and protect the young, any predator that is able to attack a young bull shark is easily able to kill and eat the young bull shark without much resistance.[45]”  More background here.

We’re big advocates of catch and release, particularly for snook, but pretty much for most species.  Only take what you are going to eat, and a lot of fish are better off as sportfish, even if they are in season.  Our motto is let ‘em get bigger and catch ‘em again!

Please click calendar at upper right or call 239-472-8658 to book a charter.

Whether you’re a longtime customer who has fished with us for many years or a first-time customer, expert fisherman or just a family with young children out to catch fish and have fun, you are going to enjoy being out in the boat with Hank and me!  We greatly appreciate your friendship and business!

We grew up on Sanibel and Captiva fishing and shelling every day! It is what we know and do well!  If you had a good time fishing with Captain Joey Burnsed on a Sanibel & Captiva charter, please post an “excellent” review on Google PlacesTripAdvisorYelp, or Facebook!  If you had any issues at all with your charter, please let us know immediately and we’ll do everything we can to make it right!  Huge thanks for doing this!

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Fair winds and following seas,

Captain Joey Burnsed ~ please click calendar at the upper left or call 239-472-8658 to book a Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Boca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.