- Black sea bass have dangerously sharp spines on their dorsal fin that can puncture human skin.
- The all-tackle world record for black sea bass is 9 pounds, 8 ounces.
- When hooked in deep water and brought quickly to the surface, a black sea bass will often regurgitate its stomach contents.
Atlantic sharpnose shark (Rhizoprionodon)
Atlantic sharpnose shark are a relatively small, harmless shark species with a streamlined body and a long pointed snout. Coloration of the body is brown to olive-gray on the back and side fading to white on the belly. White spots randomly cover the sides, especially between the head and first dorsal fin. The tail fin has a dark edge, as do the two dorsal fins, although this quality fades with age. They have two dorsal fins, the first one large and in the middle of the back and the second one small and right in front of the tail. The tail is forked with the top lobe much longer than the bottom. Atlantic sharpnose shark have five gill slits and a mouth that is wrinkled or furrowed at the corners. The outer margins of the teeth are notched.
Atlantic sharpnose shark are found in the western Atlantic Ocean from New Brunswick, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
An inshore species, Atlantic sharpnose shark are usually found near the coast, mainly in shallow water less than 30 feet, although they have been known to occasionally be at depths as great as 900 feet, especially during the winter. They are tolerant of brackish waters and often occupy enclosed bays, sounds, harbors, estuaries and river mouths. They are sometimes found in the surf. Atlantic sharpnose shark often form large schools based on sex and size.
These sharks do not lay eggs but rather give live birth to between one and eight pups, though most Atlantic sharpnose shark litters are between four and seven. The larger females bear the higher number of pups. The gestation period is between 10 and 11 months, and newborns range from 9 to 14 inches in length at birth.
Although Atlantic sharpnose sharks are carnivores, they are not a threat to humans due to their small size. They feed on small bony fish, shrimps, crabs, segmented worms and mollusks.
Widely fished by anglers, Atlantic sharpnose sharks are good table fare and will fight hard when hooked. Cut mullet and croakers fished on the bottom are effective for catching this species. They also have the reputation of being bait snatchers. Medium-heavy casting and spinning tackle and relatively large hooks are standard sharpnose shark gear. Line weights of 15 to 20 pounds are common, though a wire leader is often required between the main line and hook to prevent breakage from the sharks teeth.
- Because they are heavily fished, some biologist believe Atlantic sharpnose shark to be a threatened species, but this does not seem to be the consensus in the scientific community.
- Although they do not attack humans, Atlantic sharpnose shark, like all sharks, will attempt to bite anglers after they are captured.
- The world record for Atlantic sharpnose shark is 13-pounds, 4-ounces.