Alopias Superciliosus



Onshore, Offshore, Nearshore

350 - 800 pounds

132" - 192"

Bigeye Thresher Game Fish Quality Excellent
Bigeye Thresher Meal Quality Decent
Bigeye Thresher Fly Fishing Quality Poor

Bigeye Thresher

Bigeye Thresher
Also Known As: Bigeye Thresher Shark  

Bigeye Thresher Shark  (Alopias superciliosus) Fish Description

The Bigeye Thresher Shark is a saltwater fish that dwells in warm tropical waters. They have a dark metallic purple in color. Like other thresher shark species, It has a long tail that can be as long as its body. They use their tail to whip their prey when they’re hunting. The bigeye thresher prey on a variety of fishes, cephalopods, and crustaceans. Their favorite meals are tuna, lancetfish, hake, and herring.



The average size of the bigeye is 11 feet and weigh 350 lbs. The biggest bigeye threshers can be as big as 16 feet long and can weigh as big as 802 lbs. The reported average speed of the bigeye is 0.8 to 1.2 mph.


Interesting Facts About the Thresher Shark

  • As its name suggests, it has enormous eyes that rotate upwards, which they use to help them see in the dark. They’re so adapted to dim lights that they can hunt their prey just by their silhouettes.
  • Some scientists considered them to be warm-bodied, like their relative, the common thresher shark. Until now, it is still being debated.


Habitat and Distribution

The bigeye thresher prefers the warm waters of tropical oceans. Their preferred temperature range is from 61° to 77° F. They can also be found in most parts of the world. In the eastern seas of the U.S., their range is from New York to Florida, and on the western side, their range is from the coast of California, the Gulf of California, and to the south of the Hawaiian Islands. These are the best spots to fish a bigeye thresher.

During the day, they swim in deeper waters at around 980–1,640 feet. At night they swim near the surface up to 500 feet deep to hunt. There are no specific breeding seasons for the bigeye thresher. It is thought that they breed all year round.


How to Fish the Bigeye Thresher Shark

The bigeye thresher is one of the rarer game fish out there and for some anglers, they’re one of the greatest gamefish to battle. The best time to catch bigeye thresher is during the night when they are more active to hunt. It is thought that this fish hunts bioluminescent prey. So, use Cyalume lights to attract the shark more.  The best method to catch a thresher shark is by downrigging. Drive your boat around 2 knots or less. Once you notice a bite, stop the boat and wait for the reel to start moving to make sure that that your fish got hooked.

A lot of times anglers who are trying to catch a swordfish would bycatch bigeye threshers. Try using gears specifically for swordfish. Use a 6-7 feet medium action rod with a 5-7 feet leader with a 30-50 pound mono. Use 4/0 to 8/0 circle hooks attached to a 10-12 feet leader equipped to a barrel swivel.

There are times that threshers would smack a lure with their tail, which makes your lure hooked to the shark’s tail and make it a tough time for both of you. This is why natural baits are more preferred for thresher sharks but if you want to use lures, the best ones are diving plugs. The best baits to use for the bigeye thresher are live baits such as mackerel, sardines, and squids.