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The bonnethead differs from all other hammerheads in having a shovel or bonnet (not hammer) shaped head.
The eyes of this shark are located at the ends of the evenly rounded lobes of the flattened head, increasing the field of vision. When the bonnethead swims, the head rolls from side to side. The arched mouth faces downward to accommodate its foraging style of predation. The body is moderately compact and lacks a mid-dorsal ridge. The high first dorsal fin originates just behind the base of the pectoral fins. The second dorsal fin is slightly less than half as long as the base of the first dorsal fin with a slender free rear corner. The pectoral fins are short and the anal fin has only a slight indentation. The caudal fin has a nearly straight upper margin with a lower lobe about 1/3 as long as the upper lobe with a nearly straight rear edge.
This abundant species occurs in the western Atlantic from North Carolina, USA to southern Brazil, including Cuba and the Bahamas, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. In the eastern Pacific, it is found from southern California to Ecuador. It occurs chiefly in shallow water, often in bays, estuaries and channels where it feeds largely on crabs, shrimp and small fish. Summertime finds the bonnethead commonly residing in the inshore waters off the Carolinas and Georgia while during the spring, summer, and autumn it is found off the coast of Florida and in the Gulf of Mexico. Bonnetheads move closer to the equator, as waters grow colder during the winter months. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish:
Bonnetheads can be taken on flies and are hard to beat as light tackle sportfish. This species is not highly known for its quality and the food value of this fish is moderately low. The following are fishing methods used to catch this fish:
The following are lures, tackle or bait that can be used to catch this fish:
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