Bull sharks are pretty common and are usually found near highly populated areas such as tropical shorelines. These sharks have an average lifespan of 16 years in the wild, grow between 7 to 11 ½ feet long, and weigh between 200 to 500 pounds on average.
Bull sharks are medium-sized sharks with thick, portly bodies and long pectoral fins. They are grey on top, have a white belly, and have dark tips on their fins. Bull sharks get their name for their short, blunt nose and their aggressive behavior. These sharks have a tendency to charge and head-butt their prey before attacking.
Bull Sharks Thrive in Multiple Habitats
Most fish can’t control how much salt their kidneys remove, which is why they can only survive in either freshwater or saltwater. However, because bull sharks can regulate the amount of salt that goes into their urine, they can live in saltwater, freshwater, and brackish environments.
Did you know?
In 1937, two fishermen captured a 5 ft bull shark more than 1,000 miles up the Mississippi River, which is as far north as this shark species has ever been known to travel up this river. Another bull shark was found swimming around in the Amazon River, about 2,485 miles away from the ocean.
Bull sharks are found swimming around in the warm, shallow waters of oceans throughout the world. This species is fast and agile, making them expert hunters. Bull sharks will eat almost anything in sight, including dolphins, fish, and other sharks. While people are not on their menu, because they do frequent estuaries and bays, they often attack humans inadvertently or out of curiosity.
Encounters with Humans
Since bull sharks can survive in both saltwater and freshwater habitats, they’ve been known to venture far inland through rivers and tributaries. Because of this, many experts actually consider bull sharks to be the most dangerous sharks in the world. They are also joined by two other famous sharks: great whites and tiger sharks. These three species are the most likely to attack humans.
Bull sharks are currently listed as Near Threatened with the likelihood of becoming Vulnerable in the future. Bull sharks are often fished for their meat, skin, and oils, leading their population to shrink. They are also occasionally hunted in shark culling operations to promote the safety of tourists and beachgoers; however, this has not proven effective and is frowned upon by scientists and conservationists.
- Bull sharks rarely ever come together, unless it’s to mate. Offspring are born in the spring or summer, except in warmer climates, where they may be born year-round.
- While bull sharks have an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years in the wild, they tend to have longer lifespans in captivity. One bull shark in captivity was recorded to have lived to 30 years old.
- Bull sharks have been sighted leaping up river rapids like salmon in order to reach inland lakes.
At Rock Bottom Charters, we offer shark fishing charters where you have the chance to catch a variety of sharks that live in the Panhandle, including bull sharks. Our goal is to provide you and your family with the fishing trip of a lifetime!