Shark fishing in the Northeast focuses almost entirely on mako sharks, thresher sharks, and blue sharks. Nearly all shark fishing is done offshore as none of these species spends much time inshore.
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The shortfin mako shark, (Isurus oxyrinchus) has a conical snout, and long gill slits. It is pelagic but occasionally goes inshore. It is dark gray-blue on top and white on its belly. It is also known as the bonito and the blue pointer. Short-finned Makos average 5-8 feet (1.5-2.5 m) long but can reach 12 feet (3.7 m) long, about weighing 1,000 pounds (450 kg).
Mako Shark Feeding Habits
Makos eat schooling fish, including tuna, herring, mackerel, swordfish, and porpoise. They are opportunistic feeders, eating just about anything.
Mako Shark Reproduction
Makos reproduce through aplacental viviparity, which means the eggs hatch inside the woman and begin to mature there. The pups are cannibalistic in the womb. On average, 10 -12 pups are born in each litter and are about 2 feet (0.6 m) long at birth.
Thresher sharks are mackerel sharks whose tail fin has a greatly elongated upper lobe. Common threshers have a countershaded body, dark blue-gray above and white underneath. It has small jaws, but can use its tail to corral and even kill fish. The first dorsal fin is much, much bigger than the second; the pectoral fins are curved. Like other mackerel sharks, it has an anal fin, 5 gill slits, 2 dorsal fins, no fin spines, mouth behind the eyes, and no nictitating eyelids. It is a very strong swimmer and can even leap out of the water. It is mostly nocturnal.
Thresher Shark Feeding Habits
The Thresher eats squid and fish, corralling them with its elongated tail, stunning them with slaps from it, and catching them with its very sharp but small teeth.
Thresher Shark Reproduction
Threshers also reproduce via aplacental viviparity. The developing embryos will eat smaller, weaker siblings while in the womb. Mature females (at least 10 feet (3 m) long have litters of 4 to 6 pups, bearing live young. These pups are 3.5 to 5 ft (1.1 to 1.5 m) long at birth.
The Blue Shark (Prionace glauca), is a large, pelagic, indigo-colored shark. It is a sleek shark with long, pointed fins, a pointed snout, and large eyes. Its sleek, tapered body makes it a graceful swimmer. Its elongated caudal fin (tail) provides swimming power as the tail moves side-to-side.
Blue Shark Feeding Habits
The blue shark’s diet consists mostly of squid, but it will eat almost anything; it is an opportunistic feeder.
Blue Shark Reproduction
Blue sharks litters consist of 4 to 135 pups; the number of pups increases as the size of the mother increases. The gestation period is almost 1 year. Females are mature at 5 years old.