One of the slowest moving creatures of the sea is the nurse shark hence the name the couch potato of the sea. These docile creatures are unlike the vast majority of sharks as they are not equipped with tooth-lined jaws but rather a texture similar to sandpaper. Anglers catch nurses in the coastal waters of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Here is what you need to know about the nurse shark. 

How Do You Identify A Nurse Shark

When identifying the couch potato, look for these specific markings as they are occasionally confused with the lemon shark. 

A nurse shark has small eyes, considering how large they grow. The sides range from yellow to brown with a tan belly when it comes to coloration. 

Consider the similarities between the nurse and the lemon shark. Use caution near the mouth until you have positively identified the fish. Lemon sharks are fitted with sharp teeth. 

The mouth of a nurse shark contains barbells and is blunt and underslung. Barebells are the most distinguishable difference between the nurse and lemon shark. 

How Big Do Nurse Sharks Grow

The couch potato of the sea reaches lengths of up to nine feet but is more common between a foot and the six-foot range. The shark averages between ten and fifty pounds but tops the scale at over 200 pounds when it comes to weight. 

What Is The Habitat Of A Nurse Shark

The nurse is widely distributed in inland and offshore waters through Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The fish lurks offshore on the bottom near reefs, wrecks, and ledges. Inshore, expect to find the shark near channel markers or beaches scouring for food. 

What Is The Range Of A Nurse Shark

The shark is prevalent from Florida and north to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, when it comes to range. The most robust populations are found to the south, mainly in Georgia and Florida. 

How Do You Catch Nurse Sharks

When it comes to targeting nurse sharks medium action rod and level wind or spinning reels are ideal due to the fish’s size. Here are the techniques for offshore and inshore fishing.


Offshore fishing for nurses is deep on the water column along reefs and wrecks. Utilize leads with enough wait to reach and hold the bottom. Tie a 5/0 hook and bait it with chunks of tuna, mackerel, or live blue runners. 

Drop the lead and hook to the bottom and allow it to hold until a shark strikes the bait. The ensuing battle will tire experienced anglers. 


When fishing inshore for nurse sharks, focus on beaches and channels. Rig the line with lead heavy enough to hold bottom and 5/0 hooks. Be prepared for strong currents which will continuously pull at the baited hook. 

Allow chunks of bait to soak on the bottom or utilize live bait. Take caution when fishing around structures as the shark is likely to wrap itself in the attempt to come free. 

Are Nurse Sharks Good To Eat

When it comes to taste and texture, the food value is excellent. The fillets are comparable to chicken. Remember that all sharks take on an ammonia smell and taste when not cleaned immediately.

 After filleting the fish shortly after it has been caught, the fillets are white and mild but must be eaten within a day, or the flesh becomes fishy. 

Are Nurse Sharks Friendly

The nurse shark is a friendly creature. Despite the size, don’t become fearful of swimming in the vicinity of the shark or handling it when removing the fishing hook after it has been caught by rod and reel. 

Are Nurse Sharks Aggressive

The nurse shark is not aggressive. They are slow-moving fish that predominantly spend their time lounging leisurely on the seafloor, scavenging for an easy meal. 

Like most animals and sea life, the shark becomes aggressive when provoked. However, nurses will cause minimal wounds due to their tiny serrating teeth but are equipped with powerful jaws which latch down restrictively. 

Is It Safe To Swim With Nurse Sharks

Swimmers should not fear entering the water with nurse sharks. Unless provoked, the gentle creatures will not attack humans. Remember, do not attempt to feed the shark. Hand-feeding confuses nurses and may cause them to latch down on extremities, including the hand and arm. 

What Is The Most Aggressive Shark

It is highly debated when it comes to determining the most aggressive shark that swims in the ocean. While the great white is known for its menacing appearance and attacks on surfers, the bull shark is more aggressive. Bull sharks tend to bite swimmers despite being unprovoked. Unfortunately, bull sharks are unavoidable unless you remain onshore at all times. 

Now You know About Nurse Sharks

The next time you head out nurse shark fishing, you will know how and where to target them. Remember, the creature is docile but never provoke the fish because it will defend itself. Purchase a saltwater fishing license before casting from the bank or on a boat. Lastly, enjoy the battle because it will be epic.