Delaware State Park Rangers Net Shark Anglers

Removing prohibited shark species from the water is prohibited.

Before I hear it, we are not the shark police. Nor have I or any of our staff sent any of the tons of pictures sent to us to DNREC or the rangers over the past few years. We file this under not our Flipping job. The above picture is one that was sent to us over this summer in July. I’m more concerned with the one angler that is holding what appears to be a shark tagging dart stick. They should know better than to pose like this. If you want a picture of you with a shark have someone take one while you are working the shark, don’t stop and smile. That is “posing”. Doesn’t matter if only a seco9nd it is violation to DNREC.

We probably have a hundred plus pictures of people doing it wrong. Not long ago I was informed by a ranger “Your shark fishing people are killing sharks again. They are washing up o the beaches south of us” I thought that was an odd and obtuse statement and responded in kind … My crew knows how to shark fish properly from the surf. So I know it isn’t any of MY people. None of us have done it in years either, been there done that.”
Then I realized they mean people seeing shark fishing on this website and the Facebook pages were probably to blame. So of course I get the “heat” for it happening. I try to post this article often.
Shark Fishing In Delaware … The Rules Clarified

sand tiger,shark fishing, delaware, susssex county, fenwick island state park
Jason Satterfield working a sand tiger shark at Fenwick Island State Park. He is holding the tail while one of his crew cuts the hook. This is the correct way to shark fish on a Delaware Beach.

Just so everyone is aware. We no longer allow shark fishing pictures on our Delaware Surf Fishing Facebook business or the Delaware Surf Fishing group pages. There were probably a dozen just sitting there waiting to be approved too. Which I deleted just this morning from the past weekend. All of the DNREC enforcement folks follow these pages.
We also don’t bother sending those pictures to DNREC. Again we are not the shark police though we are accused of that often and blamed for that shark fishing.
Instead we message the people and explain the rules and give them the article link. Shark Fishing In Delaware … The Rules Clarified Sometimes they thank us other times the response is more colorful.

The people who don’t know the rules are usually the ones who thank us. You cowboys are going to get land based shark fishing banned in Delaware. Something that has been discussed for a few years. NOAA also needs to be more careful with whom they allow to tag sharks. That is not an excuse to drag a shark out of the water, though it is used as one often. “It’s okay we are tagging sharks for the government”. The shark taggers I know fishing from the beaches do it right. Not doing this in front of a lot of people is a good idea too.

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sand tiger shark tagging, delaware, sussex county, NOAA
Tagging the shark, this entire process takes about 20 seconds, the shark never leaves the water and is in no danger. The anglers aren’t either despite how this looks, crazy

One thing I learned a few years ago, by accident, it is illegal to remove a legal species of shark from the water that is not of legal creel size and pose for a picture. Despite it not being a prohibited species.
I know crazy right, also how are you supposed to get the hook out?
Taking pictures with the shark (posing), especially the prohibited species, is considered possession and DNREC can ticket you for the picture. Identifying the shark is important, particularly for the prohibited species. If you don’t know the species cut the line and let it go. Shark anglers who know what they are doing know the species. The bull shark my buddy caught at Bethany Beach last week would turn some heads. We have gotten a few tiger sharks in the past even whites. Don’t freak out but sharks live in the ocean, you are just visiting.

Some helpful links …

New Online shark identification guide for Delaware anglers

Sander’s Shark Identification Guide

The Tackle Box ID Card For Delaware Sharks

If you don’t know how to shark fish, it is recommended you learn from someone experienced first. Honestly it should be illegal to target a prohibited species, that includes the boats less than a half mile off Rehoboth beach. That is all you are catching near the Delaware beaches ninety nine percent of the time.
The prohibited species; Sand Tiger, Dusky, and Sandbar.

Delaware Natural Resources Police Facebook post …
“Over the past two weeks, Delaware State Parks officers have been investigating a social media post showing photos of subjects catching and illegally landing prohibited species of shark. Through continued social media investigations, officers were able to link and identify five suspects that have been shark fishing within Delaware State Parks throughout the summer of 2021. Officers contacted and charged these subjects with a total of 24 counts of possess/land prohibited species of shark. To find more information on different shark species, how to properly identify them and more visit:

Tiger Shark, atlantic shark
Little Tiger Shark caught in surf in 2013 in August by Rich King for a research tagging expedition for DSU

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