Shark, Bronze whaler

(Carcharhinus brachyurus)

Commonly referred to as Bronzies!

The bronze whaler shark is a robust species that is often encountered by many anglers around Australia. They are a powerful species that has now become protected once reaching a certain length in most states around the country. There are many species of whaler shark found throughout our oceans with the bronzie proving to be one of the most attractive. The name bronze whaler derives from its bronze like colouration.

Distribution

Bronze whaler sharks can be located from as far south as the Albany right up to the magnificent Kimberley region throughout Western Australia and also in N.S.W., S.A., Queensland and the Northern Territory making them one of the most widely spread shark species in Australia.

Growth

Bronze whaler sharks are one of the more common species of shark encountered throughout Australia and generally grow to around 350kg in weight and reach a maximum length of around 3.5meters although a typical size bronzie is around 10 – 20kg in most  shore based locations with larger fish averaging between 100 – 300kg generally encountered offshore.

Habitat

Bronze whaler sharks prefer both shallow, coastal waters with depths of around 30 meters or more and deeper waters leading out to the continental shelf with large numbers of bait fish present. They are generally found offshore feeding around large schools of fish such as tuna etc.

Identification

Bronze whaler sharks are easily recognised by their bronzed colouration. They are a powerful species of carnivor shark that should only be taken at smaller sizes.

Taste rating

  • Sixty Taste Rating
    60%

Small bronze whaler sharks are fine to eat.

Sport rating

  • Eighty Sport Rating
    80%

Large bronze whaler sharks are a tough, dogged species of shark that will test even the finest of angling skills!

Tackle requirements

Light to medium lever drag stand up outfits are required for targeting smallish whaler sharks from a boat. They must have large line capacity and high quality drag systems capable of battling large fish in uncomfortable to rough sea conditions. Stand up outfits rated from 10 – 15kg are ideally suited for targeting most shark species to 100kg where as 24 – 37kg stand up or game chair outfits may be needed to subdue larger specimens to over 200kg. Wind on leaders of between 200 – 400lb need to be connected to plaited doubles via a cats paw knot and then attached to the bait trace with a quality stainless steel snap swivel or cork screw style snap for heavier 37kg line classes.

Recommended baits, lures and rigs

Bronze whaler sharks will eat a variety of  bait fish such as mullet and mackerel.  They are also quite partial to a feed of sting ray up north! All rigs need to be made of wire to prevent bite offs during lengthy battles and hook points should be sharpened for extra penetration.

Handy hints and tips

Always use fresh baits and ensure hook points are extra sharp!

Preferred fishing times and tides

Bronze whaler sharks prefer to feed at low light periods such as dawn and dusk or on a tide change during day or night. Night fishing around a high tide on a full moon is also a perfect time!

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