Key West shark fishing is a once in a lifetime adventure. While some of the best deep sea fishing in the world can be found here, sportfishing for hammerheads is an experience you won’t soon forget. Hammerhead sharks are named from the hammer-like appearance on their head. If you’re not familiar with these types of sharks, there are many different kinds of hammerheads.
They range from 25 lbs to 1,000 lbs, are 5 feet to 20 feet long and their shades can vary from gray to dark gray to even golden colors. These sharks can be found in both offshore and inshore waters near, coral reefs, open water, and artificial reefs. The three main types of hammerhead sharks include the Great Hammerhead, Scalloped Hammerheads and the Bonnet Head Hammerhead.
Great Hammerheads (Sphyrna mokarran)
The largest of the hammerhead sharks is the great hammerhead. On average the great hammerhead is 12 feet long, but they can grow up to 20 feet long. The “Greats” can be identified apart from other hammerheads by the large hammer with a notch in the middle. This species is found close to shore as well as in offshore waters, both in warm and tropical waters.
Scalloped Hammerheads (Sphyrna lewini)
This species can reach lengths of up to 13 feet long. The sharks head has slender blades and the outside edge has a center notch along with indentations similar to a scallop shell. Scalloped hammerheads are found in water about 900 feet deep and typically inshore including estuaries and bays. They are found in coastal to offshore waters and feeds on squid, fish and stingrays.
Bonnet Head Hammerheads (Sphyrna tiburo)
Bonnethead sharks have a slim head that is shaped like a shovel. They can reach a maximum of five feet in length. Bonnethead sharks are found in tropical waters with water temperatures above 70 degrees F and migrate to warmer waters during the winter. Bonnethead sharks eat mostly in the daytime feeding on blue crabs and other crustaceans but also feed on small fish and cephalopods.
Hammerhead Sharks provide an exciting challenge for even the most experienced fisherman. They are strong, powerful and are the perfect game fish for your Key West shark fishing trip!