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Meet The OTHER Stars Of The Madfin Shark Series

 

2011 Madfin Shark Tournament
Biological and Strategic Trivia

Nurse Shark
Species name: Ginglymostoma cirratum
Family: Ginglymostomatidae
Distribution: Eastern and western Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Ocean (note there are two additional species found in the Indo-Pacific)
Maximum Size: 14 ft and 240 lb
Point Value: -300 Penalty (Hook Removal bonus brings to Zero)
Biology:
Nurse sharks are relatively sluggish sharks that inhabit inshore and near-shore habitats, and are also one of only a select group of sharks that does not have to swim to respire. Consequently, they are often found resting on the bottom. Often called the Homer Simpson of the shark world for it’s lumbering ways, and even considered an annoying nuisance. It is a common shark that eats a variety of prey including lobsters, squid, octopus, sea urchins, and any small bottom fish that it can catch such as mullet and catfish. Nurse sharks are not aggressive, nevertheless, many humans are bitten because they make the mistake of molesting them. Competitors can’t just soak their baits in this event for fear of hooking bottom feeding Nurses. This twist forces anglers to sight fish their sharks, making a much more exciting and skillful event.

Lemon Shark
Species name: Negaprion brevirostris
Family: Carcharhinidae (requiem sharks)
Distribution: Eastern and western Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and portions of the eastern Pacific along Central America.
Maximum Size: 10ft and 400 lb
Point Value: 100 points (Hook Removal 100 point bonus)
Biology:
Lemon sharks are common inhabitants of Florida’s shallows and can be found along reefs, near river mouths and in bays and estuaries. Like the nurse shark, lemon sharks have the ability lie motionless on the bottom. Lemons are often first on the scene on the Florida Keys flats, so they have been frequent in past competitions. Lemons are easily identified by the fact that their first and second dorsal fins are of equal size. In addition, their teeth lack serrations. Lemon sharks feed on a variety of fish (especially bonefish in Florida Bay), mollusks and crustaceans. Like blacktips, lemon sharks will strike artificial lures and flies as well as bait. Lemon sharks have been involved in several attacks on humans, but are generally not overly aggressive unless in the vicinity of chumming or spearfishing. Most strategies to watch for include quickly getting to your fishing grounds and chumming Lemon Sharks to get the First Fish Bonus (250 points) and quickly mark off the 3-shark species limit with Lemons, before moving on to other species.

Blacktip Shark
Species name: Carcharhinus limbatus
Family: Carcharhinidae (requiem sharks)
Distribution: Found worldwide in warm temperate to tropical waters.
Maximum Size: 9 ft and 275 lb
Point Value: 200 points (Hook Removal 200 point bonus)
Biology:
Blacktip sharks are very common in Florida waters and may be found along sandy beaches, over coral reefs, and in estuaries, usually in slightly deeper water than the lemons. Blacktips have a stocky build and a pointed snout. One of the fastest and toughest shark species pound for pound, they are often called the ‘Corvette of the Shark World.’ They are often misidentified with other Charcharinid sharks, especially spinner sharks because they have the habit of leaping out of the water and spinning when chasing prey or once hooked, which makes them very difficult to land. The blacktip gets its name because the tips of the dorsal fin, pectoral fin and lower lobe of the tail are often black or dusky colored. However, these markings fade with growth. Blacktips are voracious predators that prey on a variety of fish including numerous species of baitfish as well as smaller sharks and rays. Blacktips will willingly strike live or dead bait as well as artificial lures and flies. Blacktips are not considered especially dangerous, although accidental attacks occur when swimmers are present in baitfish schools, especially in murky water. Watch for competitors to park in a little deeper water to target Blacktips, and watch for quick powerful bursts and aerial explosions from them.

Bull Shark
Species name: Carcharhinus leucas
Family: Carcharhinidae (requiem sharks)
Distribution: Found worldwide in warm temperate to tropical waters.
Maximum Size: 11 ft and 700 lb
Point Value: 200 points (Hook Removal 200 point bonus)
Biology
Bull sharks are a coastal species that have the unique ability of inhabiting totally fresh water. They are commonly found far away from the sea in large rivers such as the Mississippi, Zambezi and Ganges. Bull sharks are massively built, with a short blunt snout and small eyes and one of the more aggressive and nasty shark species; enerally thought of as being constantly angry. Perhaps implicated in more attacks on humans than any other shark in the world, it is an aggressive species that will eat a variety of prey including mammals, other sharks, fish and invertebrates. Great caution at the side of the boat when removing hooks is a no brainer for ALL shark species, but especially the Bull Shark. Watch for them biting the boat, the hook removal tools, the gaffs, and even their own tails in past competitions.

Hammerhead Shark
Florida Species: Scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), Great Hammerhead (Sphyrna mokarran), Smooth hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena), Bonnethead (Sphyrna tiburo)
Family: Sphyrinidae
Distribution: Eight different species that are found worldwide in warm temperate and tropical waters
Maximum Size: 19 ft and 991 lb (Great hammerhead)
Point Value: 1000 points (Hook Removal 5 00 point bonus)
Biology
Hammerheads are unique sharks that all share characteristic lateral expansions of the head. This unique shape of the head presumably enhance sensory capabilities. Besides the diminutive bonnethead, the two species most likely to be caught are scalloped and great hammerhead. Both are large sharks that can periodically be found in shallows out to open ocean. Springtime in the Keys has them hunting closer to shallow water, but anglers targeting Hammerheads will have to gamble on spending more time offshore for big points, away from the sure Lemons, blacktips and bulls; but if a Hammerhead strategy pays off, one fish could ensure they fish the final day, or become champions. Hammerheads feed on a variety of prey including crabs, fish, sharks and other species of fish. They also seem to have liking for stingrays and one specimen was captured with over 100 stingray barbs imbedded in the snout. Great hammerheads can be distinguished from the scalloped hammerhead in that the front margin is straight and does not bear the curves or indentations found on scalloped hammerheads. This exotic species is a make or break gamble for any team way behind, or swinging for the fences. If a hammerhead again makes it appearance on the Madfin Shark Series, watch for a long fight in deeper water which eats up fishing time for competitors, but will pay off big.

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