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Hexanchus Griseus



Offshore, Deepwater, Outer Continental Shelves, Coastline (if juvenile)

449 - 880 pounds

120" - 190"

Bluntnose Sixgill Shark Game Fish Quality Very Good
Bluntnose Sixgill Shark Meal Quality Decent
Bluntnose Sixgill Shark Fly Fishing Quality Poor

Bluntnose Sixgill Shark

Bluntnose Sixgill Shark
Also Known As: Sixgill Shark, Atlantic Mudshark, Cow Shark, Gray Shark, Grey Shark, Mud Shark, Sixgilled Shark  

Bluntnose Sixgill Shark (Hexanchus Griseus) Fish Description

The Bluntnose Sixgill Shark is the largest of the most primitive species of sharks, the hexanchoids. It has a large body, a wide tail, and a blunt nose. Although it has eyes, they’re quite small which makes them more reliant on their sense of smell like other sharks. The Bluntnose Sixgill Shark has six rows of teeth on both its lower and upper jaw, with the upper jaw having a smaller set of teeth. Color-wise, they can be identified if they are either tan, brown, or black. Their dorsal fin is also much close to their tail in comparison to modern-day sharks.

One of the Bluntnose Sixgill Shark’s most distinct features is its fluorescent blue-green pupils. Their eyes are probably a result of constantly adjusting to the darkness on the ocean floor. Unlike other sharks, they also have a translucent eyelid. They also have stains on their neural arches which multiply when they age.


Bluntnose Sixgill Shark Diet

The Bluntnose Sixgill Shark feasts on a variety of food. They usually go for bony fish, or fish made up mostly of cartilages. Some of their favorite foods include hagfish, rays, billfish, cod, chimeras, and dolphinfish. Sometimes, they can be found eating crabs and shrimps. Even smaller sharks can become part of the Bluntnose Sixgill Shark’s menu! 


Bluntnose Sixgill Shark Size

As the largest of the hexanchoids, the Bluntnose Sixgill Shark can grow up to 20 ft. Though, on average, male Bluntnose Sixgill Sharks grow up to 10-11 ft. Females are larger, growing up to 11-14 ft.


Interesting Facts about the Bluntnose Sixgill Shark 

  • They’re quite tolerant of people. Bluntnose Sixgill Sharks often swim or ignore humans altogether with only one record of a provoked attack in the 1500s.
  • The Bluntnose Sixgill Shark gets its name from the six slits that serve as its gills. Usually, sharks only have five. Although, some reach seven such as the Broadnose Sevengill Shark.
  • Bluntnose Sixgill Sharks are known for their buoyancy, making it easier to swim upward and stalk their prey.
  • Personality-wise, the Bluntnose Sixgill Shark can be quite sluggish and might even be seen as lazy compared to the other sharks.
  • Bluntnose Sixgill Sharks usually mate between May and November.
  • These sharks are known to live up to 80 years.
  • The Bluntnose Sixgill Shark is a known prey to the Great White.


Bluntnose Sixgill Shark – Fishing Techniques: How to Fish for a Bluntnose Sixgill Shark 

Usually, when catching a Bluntnose Sixgill Shark, anglers often use line gear, traps, trawls, and gillnets. Catching them however takes time. The Bluntnose Sixgill Shark is known to ambush its prey. So, it won’t hesitate to play dead if it knows that will play to its advantage. Another technique some people use is deep diving or bottom long lining. Since the Bluntnose Sixgill Shark loiters more on the ocean floor, using a long line is one of the few ways to get them.

For bait, it’s best to use chum made out of fish of their choice. Most people use cod but hagfish and rays are pretty good too. Cod is also a more common gamefish, so there’s a good chance it might be around the area where the Bluntnose Sixgill Shark is. These sharks live in waters that are 300ft below the surface (if young) or go as low as 6500ft (if adults). 

If you manage to catch a Bluntnose Sixgill Shark by the shore, that means it’s still young. Best for you to release it back. The real fight is an adult Bluntnose Sixgill Shark and will probably be more impressive too if you can take a good picture of it.


Bluntnose Sixgill Shark Habitat and Distribution

Bluntnose Sixgill Sharks are offshore fish. They usually stay in warmer waters, preferably tropical to temperate waters. Unlike other sharks, these fish are quite migratory. They don’t have a specific spot but are known to swim in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.

Some say that the Bluntnose Sixgill Shark appeared in the Mediterranean Sea, near Greece. According to the report, these sharks were found lurking among the outer continental shelves. One even found one in Philippine waters. Many researchers have tagged the habitats and distributions of the Bluntnose Sixgill Sharks to be quite “patchy”. 

For a better view and good look, the best time to go catch them is at night. Since their eyes are more accustomed to less light, they’re more prone to be active during late night.