Hammerhead Shark


A great shark species for fishermen to target

(Spyrna spp.)

Hammerhead Shark


Hammerhead Shark

Other Names

Hamerkop Haai (Hamerkophaai). 3 Species of Hammerhead Shark occur in South African water namely the Smooth Hammerhead Shark, the Great Hammerhead Shark and the Scalloped Hammerhead Shark.

Identification of the Hammerhead Shark

The 3 species differ in the shape of the leading edge of the head. The Hammerhead Sharks name is an accurate description of the head with the head being broad and flat in the shape of a hammer. The eyes are located on either side of the head’s lateral extensions and are large. The general bodyshape is slim with a long powerful tail. The mouth is small and is equipped with sharp triangular teeth. The body colour varies from brown to blue grey on the back with lighter shades on the sides and the belly being white. The Great Hammerhead Shark can reach a weight of around 450 kilograms with the other 2 species being smaller, reaching weights of around 200 kilograms. The weight of species landed by anglers is between 10 to in excess of 100 kilograms.


The Great Hammerhead and Scalloped Hammerhead prefers the tropical or sub-tropical waters of Kwa Zulu Natal while the Smooth Hammerhead can be found in colder water. These sharks can be found along the entire South African coast.

How to locate

These sharks can be caught from unsheltered, deeper rocky ledges and points of bays where the open ocean swells against the rocks.

Baits to use

These sharks are usually caught when fishing for other species. Fish heads, fillets, whole fish and live bait works well.

Tackle to use when fishing for Hammerhead Sharks

Heavy tackle with rods of 4 metres or longer and a high quality reel with a smooth drag system are to be used when targeting these sharks from rock and surf, with hook sizes between an 8/0 to 11/0 to be used.

Hammerhead Shark Fishing Video

Youtube video of a hammerhead shark caught off the beach

This type of fishing surely looks like great fun with fantastic rewards.