Great Hammerhead

Sphyrna lewini

Other Names

Sharks such as the Hammerhead, that have their eyes positioned on lateral extensions of their heads, belong to the family Sphyrnidae. The Great Hammerhead has teeth with serrated margins, and a relatively smooth midline on the head. It is gray, grayish-brown, or olivaceous above, shading to white below.

Typical Habitat
Resides in both coastal and pelagic waters and is semi-pelagic. It's a nomadic, migratory shark. Great hammerheads have been known to enter water as shallow as 1 meter.

Feeding Habits
It feeds on fishes and squids near the surface, and also on crabs, stingrays, and other bottom-dwelling animals. It swims along the sea floor swinging it's head from side to side, using electro-sensors to detect it's prey.The average size of these groups is about 20 sharks, but groups of more than 100 are not uncommon. Scientists wonder whether the sharks group for reproduction, feeding, defense, or swim­ming efficiency.

Age and Growth
Age and growth information is not conclusive at this time.

Sporting Qualities
Hammerheads are caught far from land by commercial longliners and by sport fishermen, and also in shallow coastal waters including sounds and bays. Many are landed by recreational fishermen who bottom fish at night from piers and from the surf. Placement of the bait is the trick. This is easily done from a pier by merely casting the heavy weight and baited hook. It gets exciting from the beach, however. There, the angler is unable to cast the terminal tackle; he must carry it out, either by surf board (or similar conveyance) or by hand while swimming. Imagine setting a shark bait at night while swimming. The terminal tackle may consist of an 8/0 to 16/0 hook baited with a whole fish or other bait and weighted by a heavy sinker. Strong line is required, not only because of the size of the quarry, but also because the line is subject to constant abrasion against the sand. Sturdy fiber glass rods with roller line guides are suggested.

Food Quality
Hammerheads are marketed fresh and salted, usually in the Caribbean and along the Central American coast. The flesh is reported to be of good quality and may be served after broiling or cooking over charcoal.

World Record
991 lbs. Sarasota, Florida

Preferred Temps

Preferred Temps
70 to 89

Material from eAngler.com.

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