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Bull shark pups crowd Southwest Louisiana coast

Updated: Apr. 12, 2021 at 8:46 PM CDT
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CREOLE, La. (KPLC) - While it’s not unusual to reel in a bull shark along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, anglers are reporting landing an incredible number of the sharks at Rutherford Beach.

Southwest Louisiana is a nursery used by hundreds of bull sharks this time of year, according to researchers at Texas A&M. Female bull sharks typically have between one and ten pups. That means a lot of little ones along the coast at Rutherford Beach.

Fishermen have been reeling in bull sharks by the dozens in Cameron Parish.

“Today [Monday], we caught 15 or 20,” Jacob Peplowski said.

Peplowski and his friends spent the day catching sharks, after another group reported having the same experience the day before.

“We weren’t expecting to catch 20 bull sharks and two bull reds. We were hoping maybe a few bull sharks and and maybe a six footer or nine footer in there,” said Lake Charles resident Bradley Laningham.

Laningham and his group went fishing Sunday and said they didn’t expect to see so many bull sharks, especially since bull shark season doesn’t start until the end of June.

“We tried going for strictly for sharks, and most of them were bull sharks, three foot to four foot. We hooked up on a six footer but we lost it,” Laningham said.

The baby sharks typically stay along the coast until they reach at least four feet in length before moving out into the gulf.

“It’s been all about bull sharks about yea big, about 30 inches,” Peplowski said.

These catches are still just pups, but will eventually grow up to 11 feet long and live at least 20 years. They eat almost any type of fish or shellfish, but seem to prefer rays and other sharks.

Both groups say they released all the sharks they caught. When bull shark season does open up, there is a limit to one per boat.

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