Whaler sharks, or requiem sharks, are all members of a group of closely related sharks, which present identification difficulties.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A WHALERS SHARK
Whaler sharks, or requiem sharks, are all members of the genus Carcharhinus and are a group of closely related sharks, which present identification difficulties. The most important identifying features are tooth shape and number, position of the dorsal fins, color, and the presence or absence of an interdorsal ridge on the sharks’ backs. Whalers are typically viviparous, with a yolk-sac placenta (tiger sharks are an exception, being ovoviviparous). The Carcarhinidae family contains three of the four shark species most dangerous to humans.Whalers are small to large sharks with fusiform bodies, round eyes, internal nictitating eyelids, ventrally placed mouths extending past the eyes, no nasal grooves or barbles, usually no spiracles (small holes behind the eyes), moderately long labial furrows, small to large blade-like teeth in both jaws (often broader in the upper jaw), and five gill openings with the fifth behind the origin of the pectoral fin. Whaler sharks also have two dorsal fins and an anal fin, with the first dorsal fin being moderate-sized to large, and have its base well ahead of the pelvic bases, the second dorsal fin usually much smaller than the first. They have precaudal pits and a caudal fin with a strong ventral lobe and lateral undulations on its dorsal margin. The intestine contains a scroll-type valve and usually lacks any color pattern. The 50+ species of sharks known as the requiem or whaler sharks are all solidly-built sharks with few obvious distinguishing features.
WHERE TO CATCH WHALERS SHARK
There are 12 genera and at least 50 species in this family, many with worldwide distribution that are targeted by sportfishermen. Most species of whaler sharks are pelagic in tropical and warm temperate areas; a few are oceanic and at least one species, the bull shark, can penetrate far into fresh water. These sharks occupy all different zones of the oceans and can be found nearshore to well offshore in wide open ocean. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish:
BAYS AND ESTUARIES MANGROVES
SURF AND SHORE KELP FORESTS AND BEDS
ROCKY SEA FLOOR
HOW TO CATCH WHALERS SHARK
They can all be taken using a wide variety of live and dead baits, including whole baitfish or any other oily, mackerel and tuna-like fish. Heavy, stout offshore tackle should be used and anglers can often increase their chances for success by using heavy chum while anchored or drifting. Some of the small species, like the spinners and blacktips, can be taken on heavy fly tackle. Other species of whaler sharks can also be taken from the beach, in and around tidal flats, as well as nursery grounds such as mangrove islands. The following are fishing methods used to catch this fish:
DRIFT FISHING CHUMMING STILL FISHING FLY FISHING
SURF CASTING SALTWATER TROLLING
WHALERS SHARK LURES, TACKLE & BAIT
The following are lures, tackle or bait that can be used to catch this fish:
CUT BAIT PLUGS SHRIMP TROLLING LURES FLIES
SALTWATER LIVE BAIT SQUID