Beginner Fly Fishing Gear Checklist: 10 Essentials for Getting Started
A Primer on Recreational Crabbing and Crab Fishing License Needs
Select a state to find fishing and boating information:
Get A Fishing License
Get started fishing today, purchase your fishing license online, check regulations and more.
Register A Boat
Register your boat today. Learn how to register your vessel, boating laws and more.
Home > Learn to Fish & Boat > Fish Species > Fish Detail
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:
Casting vs Spinning Rod
What is a One Day Boat License?
Recruiting Fishing Partners Is Easier Than You Think
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Sign-up to receive our monthly newsletter with interesting blogs about fishing and boating. Get fishing tips and tricks and read personal stories from anglers who live and breathe fishing and boating. Learn new fishing skills, boating resources, fishing etiquette, conservation and more.
Please complete the following fields to subscribe to our newsletter.
What information would you like?
Click on your state to find out where to buy a fishing license, types of fishing licenses available, age requirements, fishing regulations and fishing license online options.
Click on your state to find out how to register your boat, requirements, regulations and to get more information.