Sharks In Illinois

Sharks In Illinois

The Atlas of North American Freshwater Fishes describes the bull shark (Carcharhinus leucas) as an aggressive shark that reaches 10 feet in length and has been known to attack man. Its range extends as far up the Mississippi River as Alton, Illinois.

According to the Illinois Department of Conservation, two commercial fishermen from Alton, Herbert Cope and Dudge Collins, caught a bull shark in 1937. They found something troubling their wood and mesh traps late that summer. Concluding that it was a fish, they built a strong wire trap and baited it with chicken guts.

The next morning, they caught a 5-foot 84-pound shark, which they displayed in the Calhoun Fish Market where it attracted crowds for days. Although some folks suspected a hoax, the catch was considered authentic. Biologists later concluded from photos that it was a bull shark. Recently, Clint Smith of Alton supplied an old photo of the catch, with the present-day ADM flourmill in the background.

Bull sharks can live a long time in freshwater. In 1972, one was caught 2,500 miles up the Amazon. The journey from New Orleans to Alton is about 1,750 miles. Dams now prevent sharks from entering Illinois. Sharks in Illinois? Not anymore.


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Selective Harvest Yellow Bass

Selective Harvest Yellow Bass

In order to sustain good fishing, it's important to understand which to release and fish you should for a fine meal.

Travel Destinations on Ice

Travel Destinations on Ice

The In-Fisherman staff targets all fish during each and every season, with many of our favorite winter option are on the ice.

MLF BPT angler and former Classic champ Casey Ashley has been with Costa del Mar sunglasses his whole career. At ICAST 2019, he shows OSG writer Lynn Burkhead some new products and talks how to pick the right lens color for the water.

Abu Garcia Virtual Rod with Bluetooth

Abu Garcia Virtual Rod with Bluetooth

Pure Fishing's Andrew Wheeler tells Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead all about the brand new Abu Garcia Virtual rod that integrates Bluetooth technology through a free ANGLR smartphone app.

Trending Articles

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is simply a matter of putting a good bait in the right in front of them. Catfish

The Best Catfish Rigs

In-Fisherman

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is...

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and other Catfish

Catfish Pole Rigs

Richard Peterson with In-Fisherman - April 28, 2016

Pole lines illustrate the paradox of catfishing. At a time when excellent rods, reels, and...


Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at catching Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as girth measurements. Biology

Walleye Length To Weight Conversion Chart

Dr. Rob Neumann - January 03, 2017

Several methods are available to estimate the weight of a fish. Some use length as well as...

See More Trending Articles

More News

The Garmin Force Trolling Motor is the fishing industry's most powerful, most efficient trolling motor yet. News

Garmin Force is Industry's Most Powerful, Most Efficient Trolling Motor

In-Fisherman - July 09, 2019

The Garmin Force Trolling Motor is the fishing industry's most powerful, most efficient...

Bass Fishing Icon Forrest L. Wood Passes Away at 87 News

BREAKING NEWS: Bass Fishing Icon Forrest L. Wood Passes Away at 87

Lynn Burkhead - January 25, 2020

Bass Fishing Icon Forrest L. Wood Passes Away at 87

What effect will the Great American Eclipse have on fish when the skies grow dark across the News

2017 Total Solar Eclipse and its Effect on Fishing

Lynn Burkhead - August 03, 2017

What effect will the Great American Eclipse have on fish when the skies grow dark across the

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.