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In the spring, when the tarpon come to Charlotte Harbor, the sharks follow them. Bigger sharks, such as hammerheads and bull sharks, feed on the tarpon as they wait in Boca Grande Pass before spawning. Smaller sharks like blacktips, bonnetheads and spinners stay in and around Charlotte Harbor for most of the year. Shark fishing with lightweight tackle for the smaller sharks is a popular recreational sport, while heavier tackle is used for the bigger sharks which are sometimes the subject of shark tournament anglers, as seen here.

These pictures are from the annual shark, stingray and catfish tournament at Port Charlotte. The event draws over 300 anglers every year. The dead sharks are studied by scientists for genetic and ageing trends. Some of the meat is donated to a local charity.


Some images are digital, some are scanned from film