Spinner Shark


Carcharhinus brevipinna

Other Names
large blacktip

The spinner is a seldom recognized shark, and it is frequently confused with the blacktip. Some fishermen know it by its slender shape, long pointed snout and small eyes. To the trained observer, the two species may be separated by the position of the first dorsal fin and by the shape of the lower jaw. The dorsal fin of the spinner originates above and behind the pectoral fin, whereas that of the blacktip is positioned in front of it. The trailing edge of the mandible of the spinner is straight, but it is distinctively notched in the blacktip. The spinner is gray on the back and white below with a conspicuous white band along the sides. The anal fin is tipped in black; that of the blacktip lacks this pigmentation.

Typical Habitat
Records tend to be spotty due to the identification problem, which has also hindered research on the life history. The spinner is seen seasonally in shallow waters.

Feeding Habits
Like other large sharks, the spinner feeds on schooling fishes, squids, skates, rays, and sharks.

Age and Growth
There is little information available on this shark. They may attain lengths of 9 to 10 feet.

Sporting Qualities
Although caught primarily on floating longlines by commercial fishermen, the species is also taken on hook and line by anglers trolling baits and by stilt fishing. It is an active, fast-swimming shark that has developed a reputation for making spinning vertical leaps when it is hooked. Drifting and chumming is perhaps the best method for catching large open ocean sharks. Good chum material and proper types of hooks, leaders, lines, reels, and floats are important to this type of angling. The chum should consist of cut oily fish, such as herrings, that create a slick on the surface of the water. Wire leader is a must. Fifteen to 18 feet of No. 9 wire-104-pound test stainless and 114-pound test piano wire should handle most sharks. Hooks may range in size from 6/0 (for fish up to 100 pounds) to 1 6/0 for the larger ones. The hooks may be rigged fixed, for dead bait, or swinging, for live bait.

Food Quality
For those who eat sharks, the flesh of the spinner is recognized as among the best. It may be prepared in a variety of ways; a suggested dish is Shark Sauté Meuniere. The meat is cut into 1/2 inch slices, seasoned with salt and pepper, rolled in flour, and pan fried inbutter. Remove the meat from the pan, place it on a hot platter, and squeeze a lemon over it. Heat more butter in the pan until it is light brown, and then pour it over the cooked meat. The shark should be served very hot, sprinkled with parsley, and garnished with lemon wedges.

World Record
190 lbs. Flagler Beach, Florida

Preferred Temps

Preferred Temps
70 to 89

Material from eAngler.com.

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