Fishing is enjoyed by thousands across South Carolina for a number of reasons. Whether for sport, food or a combination of the two, successful anglers can have tender fillets to take home, and a successful trip targeting bonnethead sharks doesn’t leave fishermen empty-handed when it comes to the dinner table.
Bonnetheads are another fruit of the sea that offers fantastic eats for anglers willing to give them a try. Their flesh is similar to other sharks: firm with a darker coloration. However, a certain process is required to maintain the supreme taste.
Sharks must be bled out as soon as possible, and the meat should be soaked to remove blood they have a slightly different renal system compared to other animals. Their renal systems excrete urine or urea into their flesh, and it leaves their bodies out the pores in their skin.
Anglers need to cut and bleed out sharks while still alive to begin the blood letting process. Afterwards, the fillets or steak cuts need to be soaked in a saltwater solution to remove blood and any leftover urea from the flesh. Then, shark meat can be enjoyed just as any other firm-fleshed meat from the sea.
Additionally, sharks are often characterized as carriers of toxic mercury. However, bonnethead sharks eat mostly a crustacean diet and are not susceptible to mercury build-up in their flesh. Most larger predators with high mercury concentrations that should be avoided are primarily long-lived species whose primary diet is fish.
Bonnethead sharks can be some of the best-eating fish, perfect for the grill. Just make sure to clean and prepare them properly.