Shark, Bull

(Carcharhinus leucas)

Commonly referred to as Bully’s!

The bull shark has deservedly earned the reputation of being one of the most aggressive creatures on our planet! It has the largest amount of testosterone found in any animal throughout the world and will readily attack prey that is larger than it self. Bull sharks also have a nasty habit of showing up in the most unlikely of places including fresh water rivers and streams making them a very dangerous predator  in deed.


Bull sharks can be located from as far south as the Swan River, Perth right up to the magnificent Kimberley region throughout Western Australia and are generally encountered in shallow murky waters of  30 meters or less. They can also be found from New South Wales up into Queensland and the Northern Territory.


Bull sharks generally grow to around 500kg in weight and reach a maximum length of around 3.5meters although a typical size bully is around 60kg in most Australian locations with larger fish averaging between 100 – 200kg rarely landed on rod and reel.


Bull sharks prefer warm, murky, inshore, tropical waters and estuary systems with depths of around 30 meters or less with large numbers of bait fish present. Bull sharks have also been encountered in fresh water river systems and have even been recorded as far as 4000 km from the ocean during migration up the mighty Amazon river. They have also gained an infamous reputation for inhabiting residential canal systems such as those found throughout the Gold Coast in QLD.


Bull sharks can be easily identified by their thick, short, muscular body shape and blunt, wide snouts. The mouth is full of triangle shaped teeth and there is a second dorsal fin one third the size of the main dorsal located down towards the tail. There is no fin line present between these two fins. The bull shark has a grey to brown colouration across the back leading down to a whitish belly. The eye is very small.

Taste rating

  • Zero Taste Rating

Bull sharks like most aggressive shark species are considered to be more of a sport/game fish and should be immediately released upon capture unless the angler wishes to take the fish for a record claim!

Sport rating

  • Eighty Sport Rating

Bull sharks are a real challenge to land in any anglers book!

Tackle requirements

Light to medium lever drag stand up outfits are required for targeting bull 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 – 24kg are ideally suited for targeting bully’s to 100kg where as 24 – 37kg stand up or game chair outfits may be needed to subdue larger specimens to over 150kg. 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.  Shore based anglers require much longer rods and reels capable of casting long distances and handling line classes of between 15 – 24kg and plenty of it! Wire leader materials are also necessary to prevent bite offs.

Recommended baits, lures and rigs

Bull sharks will eat a variety of  bait fish such as mullet, mackerel, and tuna.  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

Bull sharks prefer to feed at low light periods such as dawn and dusk as well as right through the night, high tides are also popular with this super aggressive species of shark. Deeper sections of remote river systems will also hold bull sharks during certain stages of the tide.


[What The Fish]