Sand Tiger Shark washes up on a Delaware Beach

sand tiger shark, delaware beaches, shark fishing in delaware
Sand Tiger shark washed up on a Delaware beach with hook and line attached

Earlier this morning a large sand tiger shark washed up on a beach in Delaware.  It had a large hook in its mouth and a long leader.  You can see in the picture that the line was snapped off probably during the retrieve.   The shark was seen last night floundering in the surf and then washed up on the beach this morning.  Unfortunately it is unknown where, how, or when the shark was hooked.  Well the how is rather obvious, since it was caught on a fishing line that was obviously rigged for catching a shark.  The braided line in the picture does not look very adequate for retrieving a shark of this size.  The problem with fishing for sharks in Delaware waters near shore or onshore is the fact most of the time you will catch a prohibited species.  This means they are not to be removed from the water at any time.  Without the proper gear or knowledge of how to release these animals safely in the water, this is going to become a more common site.  There are more and more people targeting sharks these days.  If you do go shark fishing please make sure you have the proper gear and knowledge to safely release these animals.  I have been waist deep in the surf to release a sand tiger that was upwards of ten feet long.  It is a little scary being that up close and personal with these animals in their environment.  I know the rules for releasing prohibited sharks is hard to swallow for many people but the rule is there for the protection of these animals as a management tool.  They migrate to our waters to nurse their young every year.  Which makes for an abundance in numbers of these animals.  Just keep in mind you are not allowed to remove them from the water and use the proper gear.  If you do not have the proper gear, do not target them it is that simple.  If you need to cut the line from the hook do so as close to the hook eye as possible.  Dragging a lot of line around with them can be an issue in and of itself.  As far as proper handling goes I saw a video today of people tail roping a sand tiger to drag it up the beach.  That was not even a necessary process and is even more detrimental to the animal than you may think.  Please be respectful of our toothy units when you are fishing.  We hate seeing animals killed unnecessarily for sport.

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Thank You

Rich King

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