An Angler's Guide to Spinner Sharks

By: Peter Miller, Bass 2 Billfish

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A Florida fishing expert shares his tips and tools for catching spinner sharks.

Sometimes confused with blacktipped sharks, spinner sharks are common in Florida waters. Identified by the shape and placement of its dorsal fin, a full-sized spinner shark is larger than a blacktipped shark and characterized by the spinning, leaping movements it uses to hunt its prey.

With an average size of six feet, the appearance of a spinner shark charging and leaping its way through a school of feeder fish may seem alarming, but they are generally considered harmless to humans and very few attacks are known to have occurred. They are prized for their meat as well as their skin and oil by the commercial fishing industry, where they are usually taken on long lines or as a by-catch of other pelagic fish.

As sportfish, the shark makes an impressive showing when hooked. Its long, vertical leaps quite literally send it spinning out of the water. Anglers can be caught off guard by the powerful leaps and twists that make this shark such a thrilling catch. Throw in long, fast runs, and you'll see why spinner sharks can be big fun. If screaming drag and wild jumps are your game, you need to hook a spinner shark. Fairly easy to catch on live bait, cut bait and even artificial bait, spinner sharks often travel in large groups as they hunt for schools of smaller fish.

If you're looking for an additional challenge, try catching one of these high-spirited sharks on a fly!

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