Description and Diagnostic Characteristics: The dorsal surfaces of juveniles are covered with dark blotches on bluish- or greenish-gray to black background. The blotches fuse to form tigerlike vertical bars or stripes as the shark grows. The coloration fades to gray and the stripes become less distinct in adults. The snout is blunt and wide and is much shorter than the width of the mouth. There are long labial furrows around the corners of the mouth, reaching to the eyes. The teeth are serrated with deep notches on the outer margins, and are similar in both jaws. The interdorsal ridge is low.
Size: Up to about 18 feet
Age at Maturity: Males reach sexual maturity at 7-9 ft, while females become mature at 8-10 ft.
Range: Cape Cod to Uruguay, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea
Habitat: Coastal water close inshore to the outer continental shelf and offshore, including oceanic island groups.
Bait and Tackle: Heaviest sporting outfits required for adults.
Fishing Method: Still fishing, drifting
Food Value: Small ones are good
Daily Limit: 1 per angler or boat, which ever is less (This is a composite regulation grouping all sharks , except Atlantic sharpnose, Bonnethead, and Spiny dogfish, into this 1 per angler or boat limit. This does not include the sharks prohibited from harvest. If you are unsure of the species and whether you can keep it, release it) For more information see the federal regulations.
Minimum size: 54″ FL