Local anglers are adding a few warm water fish to their list this week, including four-foot sharks off of the southern stretches of the barrier island.
Sharks and stingrays have been caught by fishermen this week using atlantic menhaden, or bunker, for bait. Anglers are also catching fluke, bluefish and the occasional striped bass.
With increased numbers of sharks and rays in the water beachfronts have been put on high alert. A man was stung this week in Island Beach State Park by a stingray, officials reported.
Sandbar sharks, or Carcharhinus plumbeus, or in town and being caught mainly on night on bunker. These sharks are similar in size to young bull sharks with a snub nose and elongated dorsal fin.
Since both the sandbar shark and the bull shark are related genentically it is possible for one to be misidentified for another.
Warmer water from the south has been a driving force behind a large number of sightings.Fish follow the Gulf Stream up from the south and tend to come close inshore when the water gets very warm. New Jersey is home to many sharks and rays during the summer months including cownose rays and southern stingrays.
Both rays and sharks are biting at night on bunker using a shark rig or a float-rig with a steel leader. Sandbars, or "brown sharks" are averaging 4-feet which is about the size of the one this author caught on Wedensday night.