Carcharhinus Leucas



Warm, Shallow Nearshore, River

200 - 500 pounds

84" - 142"

Bull Shark

Also Known As: Cub Shark, Ground Shark, Shark  

Guides Who Fish This Species

Bull Shark (Carcharhinus Leucas) 

The Bull Shark is a known aggressive species of sharks, native to shallow coastal waters in warm areas. They are medium-size sharks, with thick, stout bodies and long pectoral fins. They are gray on top and white below, and the fins have dark tips, particularly on young. They have very short snouts and the adults are light to dark gray on the dorsal side and white on the ventral side. Juveniles are a brownish-gray color and have black tips on their fins. Their teeth are broad and make a jagged triangle up top and along the jawline. The shark has placoid scales (overlapping, sharp, pointed triangular scales) that effectively protect them.


The common Bull Shark is 8-12 feet long. The pups are 2-3 feet long at birth. Their weight varies according to their length, from 200 to 300 pounds. The male is lighter and taller, while the females are shorter and more substantial. A healthy Bull Shark lifespan is about 12 years old, but records indicate that 16 years is possible. 

Interesting Facts 

Bull Sharks need salt in their body to survive. When excess salt accumulates in its body, a rectal gland excretes the excess. Their rectal gland is less active than that of the other shark species, which makes them able to survive in freshwater. When their body needs more salt, the liver produces ureas, which allow the fish to adapt to any changes in salinity. 

They are viviparous fish, which means they give birth to their young as mammals. The female Bull Shark carries her pups; they can have up to 13 of them, for 10 to 11 months, and then give birth. Once they are born, their mother swims away, leaving the pups to survive alone.

Habitat and Distribution

Bull Sharks are the top predator found in coastal waters around the world. They live in the Mississippi River, and they are a summer visitor to the Chesapeake Bay, which occurs from late June through September. They are known to live in freshwater lakes and rivers. They are found cruising the warm and shallow waters of all the world's oceans and are capable of moving into brackish water, where saltwater and freshwater mix. 

Bull Sharks are found in coastal waters of the oceans worldwide, and in rivers, lakes, along with deep streams. They span from Massachusetts to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. They can also be found on the west coast the southern tip of the US to Peru.

Bull Shark Fishing 

Float angling or natural bait is more productive when hunting this species; the options include whole fish like bream herrings, mullet, or cut fish like mackerel, bonito, red mullet, and barracuda. The cut fish can be dipped in tuna oil to improve the scent. Bull Sharks will respond well to a chum. Once they are on the surface, they will easily beat topwater lures like plugs or even flies. The best secret for bait for Bull Sharks is freshwater eel. Eel is excellent bait due to its high oil content, and its firm skin makes it very resistant to pickers.