hilton head fishing charters hilton head fishing charters 843-806-2424

Types of Sharks Caught around Hilton Head Island in the Summer Months

Types of Sharks Caught around Hilton Head Island in the Summer Months

Summer in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, is not just about sunbathing and beach activities; it's also prime time for shark fishing. The warm coastal waters around the island become a thriving habitat for various shark species, offering anglers a unique and exhilarating fishing experience. This guide explores the types of sharks you can catch around Hilton Head in the summer months, along with tips on how to catch them, conservation practices, and local regulations to ensure a sustainable and enjoyable fishing adventure.

Types of Sharks in Hilton Head During Summer:

1. Blacktip Shark:

The Blacktip Shark is one of the most common species found near Hilton Head during the summer. Known for their acrobatic jumps and speed, Blacktips provide thrilling action for anglers. They typically range from 4 to 6 feet in length and are found in shallow coastal waters.

2. Bonnethead Shark:

The Bonnethead Shark, a smaller cousin of the Hammerhead, is another species that frequents Hilton Head's summer waters. These sharks are identifiable by their shovel-shaped head and are known for their preference for sandy bottoms where they hunt for crabs and shrimp. Bonnetheads are ideal for those new to shark fishing due to their manageable size, usually around 3 to 5 feet.

3. Atlantic Sharpnose Shark:

This small, yet aggressive species is a common catch in the summer. The Atlantic Sharpnose Shark, reaching up to 4 feet in length, can be found in both inshore and offshore waters. They are known for their feisty nature, providing a good challenge for anglers.

4. Hammerhead Shark:

The sight of a Hammerhead Shark's distinctive head silhouette is an unforgettable experience. These sharks can grow to be quite large, making them one of the most sought-after catches for sport fishermen in Hilton Head. They are typically found in offshore waters during the summer months.

5. Tiger Shark:

Tiger Sharks, known for their dark stripes and powerful build, are occasional visitors to Hilton Head waters in the summer. They are one of the largest shark species anglers can hope to encounter, with some individuals reaching lengths of over 10 feet. Due to their size and power, Tiger Sharks pose a challenge even for experienced anglers.

Fishing Techniques and Tips:

Chumming: Using baitfish or chum to attract sharks is a popular and effective technique. Be mindful of the amount and type of chum to avoid attracting unwanted marine life.

Tackle: Heavy-duty rods, reels, and lines are essential for shark fishing. Ensure your gear can handle the weight and strength of a large shark.

Conservation Practices: Practice catch and release whenever possible, using circle hooks to minimize harm to the sharks. Be aware of handling practices that ensure the shark's survival upon release.

Conservation and Regulations:

Conservation is crucial in maintaining healthy shark populations. Familiarize yourself with South Carolina's fishing regulations, which include size limits, catch limits, and protected species. Always obtain the necessary fishing licenses and permits before heading out.

Local Hotspots for Shark Fishing:

Port Royal Sound: Known for its deep waters, this area is a haven for larger shark species, including Hammerheads and occasionally Tiger Sharks.

Calibogue Sound: Offering a mix of deep and shallow areas, it's a popular spot for Blacktip and Bonnethead Sharks.

Offshore Waters: Venturing into deeper waters can increase your chances of encountering Tiger and Hammerhead Sharks.


Shark fishing in Hilton Head Island during the summer months is an adventure that offers both challenge and excitement. By targeting the various shark species that visit these waters, anglers can enjoy some of the most thrilling fishing experiences available on the East Coast. Remember to prioritize safety, respect local regulations, and practice conservation to ensure these magnificent creatures continue to thrive for generations to come.

Final Thoughts:

Whether you're a seasoned shark fisherman or looking to catch your first shark, Hilton Head Island provides an ideal setting. With its diverse range of shark species, beautiful scenery, and rich marine life, Hilton Head is a premier destination for anglers from around the world. So gear up, hit the water, and experience the thrill of shark fishing in one of the most beautiful coastal locations in the United States.

Let's Go Fishing!

© Hilton Head Fishing Charters/Website by Hazel Digital Media
Back to Top