Carcharhinus Acronotus



Nearshore, Continental Shelf

22 - 42 pounds

48" - 79"

Blacknose Shark

Also Known As: Carcharhinus acronotus

Blacknose Shark (Carcharhinus acronotus) Fish Description

The Blacknose Shark (Carcharhinus acronotusis a requiem shark usually found in the waters of the northern Atlantic. As the name suggests, its most distinguishing feature is the black mark on the tip of its rather roundish nose. The black mark on its nose, however, turns lighter or just disappears altogether as it grows older. It has a small first dorsal fin situated just above where the pectoral fins end. The second dorsal fin, on the other hand, is relatively large (about half the size of the first dorsal fin) placed parallel to its anal fin. Its color is brownish-yellow or greenish-gray on top that gradually turns lighter until it reaches the yellowish-white belly.

The Blacknose Shark is an adept predator, feeding mostly on small fish such as pinfish, anchovies, and porcupine fish. It can also eat small marine invertebrates like crabs, lobsters, and octopi if fishes are scarce in their hunting grounds. But because they’re quite smaller than other shark species, they are also preyed upon by other bigger sharks in the ocean.

Like all requiem sharks, the Blacknose Shark is a viviparous fish, which means that they give birth to live ones. Spawning usually starts in early summer. Females would have a ten to eleven month gestation period then give birth to live pups wrapped in yolk sac placentas. The young ones would stay within their nursery areas, which are usually in shallow coastal waters, for about two years or until they are big enough to hunt on their own. They are said to have a lifespan of about five to nineteen years.


Interesting Facts

  • The largest Blacknose Shark on record measures six and a half feet long and weighs around forty-two pounds.
  • Like all sharks, Blacknose Sharks have a rough and tough hide as they are covered in denticles—or thick overlapping scales—that work sort of like an armor.
  • Blacknose Sharks form small schools of about six to eight individuals, often following other schooling fishes like anchovies and mullets.
  • Blacknose Sharks are not known to attack humans.
  • When threatened, they often exhibit their “hunched” position in which they arch their back, raise their head, and lower their pectoral fins.
  • Females usually live longer than males with average lifespans of five to ten years and ten to nineteen years respectively.
  • Females are slightly bigger than males.
  • The black splotch on their nose often diffuses in color as they grow older.
  • Although they are not particularly targeted by commercial fishers, they are often caught as by-catch, especially by shrimp trawlers.
  • Recreational anglers target Blacknose Sharks for the tough challenge they provide when hooked.
  • Blacknose Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico spawn once a year; while those in the US South Atlantic waters only spawn once in two years.


Size and Swimming Speed

Blacknose Sharks aren’t that large as they only grow between four to six feet long on average. Their average weight is typically about twenty-two pounds.  

Though they might not grow as big as other sharks, they make up for it for their speed as they’re known to be one of the fastest sharks out there, thanks mainly to their streamlined elongated bodies and powerful caudal fins.


Habitat and Distribution

Blacknose Sharks are limited to the tropical to sub-tropical waters of the Atlantic. They are typically found in the waters of Virginia, the Carolinas, Florida, the Bahamas, and southern Brazil. One can also find them in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Also, they prefer to live near the shores as well as within bays and lagoons, often in shallow waters within reefs or on sandy bottoms where they usually hunt for food. Although juveniles tend to stay in shallow parts, many adults may wander to deeper waters of around sixty to two hundred feet. 


Fishing Tips

You can draw Blacknose Sharks (or any shark for that matter) into your chosen fishing spot by doing some chumming. A 5-gallon bucketful or two of bloody cut fish can usually do the job. For bait, mackerel and bluefish are known to be quite irresistible for any type of shark. Once the shark takes the bait, make sure to wait a bit (around five to ten seconds) before you start heavily reeling in as to allow the hook to set right into the shark’s mouth. When you feel like the hook is set, it’s important to keep the line tight as not to allow the shark to dive deeper, or worse, swim underneath your boat and get your line tangled up in your boat’s motor propellers. Speaking of boats, you may need to keep the motor running for you to be able to maneuver your boat away from the shark as soon as it tries to lunge at your boat.