Shark, Hammerhead great

(Sphyma mokarran)

Commonly referred to as Hammer heads!

The hammerhead shark is a robust species that is often encountered by many anglers around Australia. They are a powerful, oddly shaped species that has gained the reputation of a fussy feeder in most states around the country. There are many species of hammerhead shark found throughout our oceans with the great hammerhead proving to be not only the largest but by far the most impressive. The name hammerhead derives from the odd, hammer shaped head found on this shark.

Distribution

Hammerhead sharks can be located from as far south as Shark bay right up to the magnificent Kimberley region throughout Western Australia and also in N.S.W., Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Growth

Hammerhead sharks are one of the more common species of shark encountered throughout northern Australia and can grow to over 500kg in weight and reach a maximum length of around 6.5meters although a typical size great hammerhead is around 100 – 200kg in most northern locations.

Habitat

Great hammerhead 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

Great hammerhead sharks are easily recognised by their strange, hammer like head shape and robust, powerful looking bodies. The dorsal fin of the great hammerhead is quite large in comparison to most other shark species. The great hammerhead has a smallish mouth full of jagged, razor sharp teeth.

Taste rating

  • Ten Taste Rating
    10%

They are edible if you are starving.

Sport rating

  • Eighty Sport Rating
    80%

Large hammerhead 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 hammerhead 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

Hammerhead 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

Great hammerhead sharks prefer to feed at lowlight 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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