The Man in the Gray Suit

Shark week, Sharknado, Jaws we’re fascinated with sharks (the man in the gray suit), and who came blame us? Sharks are mysterious creatures that have inspired everything from fear to awe over generations. As much as we may not know about sharks from a scientific standpoint, when you fight one on hook and line, win and hold one in your hands you learn a lot.

One thing that I fear that many people think is that sharks are overtly dangerous creatures that would specifically target human beings as a food source. I feel that this erroneous conclusion is based off a few fatal shark attacks.

Sharks can’t see in color and detect their prey with electro-sensory glands known as the ampullae of lorenzini as well as a keen sense of smell. A human swimming and splashing could be mistaken for a boatside tarpon or some other type of struggling fish. Accidents can and inevitably will happen as more and more people choose to share territory with them. We must remember that we are choosing to share space with the ocean’s top predators and that we choose to take on any and all risks associated with it.

Common Inshore Sharks

This list is not exhaustive. These are just some of the sharks that I’ve come into contact with inshore.

The bull shark has been implicated in fatal attacks on humans and should always be treated with caution. It has the highest level of testosterone in the animal kingdom, as such, it is very aggressive.

Photo taken by Nathan Hitt

There are many things about sharks that are true: they fight hard, they are cooperative for anglers targeting them, they’re easy to catch. But the one thing that I believe about sharks above all else?They are the purest form of nature in an animal form.

What I mean by that is that nature can be violently unpredictable, but beautiful in the same breath. Sharks cruise along seemingly care free, but in the blink of an eye explode with speed and veracity to shred a baitfish. Mere moments later they return to their calm demeanor, cruising silently and betrayed only by a dorsal fin breaking the surface of the water.

This Atlantic sharpnose took half a ladyfish and made several hard runs before it was subdued. It is not considered dangerous to people.


Photo taken by William Korte Sr.

Dr. Guy Harvey refers to sharks as the “guardians of the ocean”, in my opinion this is absolutely true. If sharks die then the world’s oceans also die. During our lifetime shark populations have been absolutely annihilated by both recreational and commercial fishing alike. So please release all sharks you catch.

One of Florida’s most common sharks: the blacktip. It is not considered dangerous to humans

Photo credit to Captain Perry Charters

Other inshore sharks 

The bonnethead shark is often mistaken for the hammerhead. It is not considered dangerous to humans

Photo taken by William Korte Sr.


The nurse shark commonly grows to lengths exceeding six feet but is not dangerous to humans

Photo taken by William Korte


Hammerheads grow to 20 feet and longer, but are common in the 14 foot range. Because of their size they should be treated with caution.

Photo taken by William Korte

My Feeling on the Man in the Gray Suit 

Do not fear the man in the gray suit, but rather show him the respect and admiration he deserves.

For more information about shark conservation and how you can help visit

Until next time, Tight Lines


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