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Species Profile: Sixgill Shark (Hexanchus Griseus)

Author: Terra Firma Tackle

Sixgill Sharks Caught From Land     

Species Info:

              The Bluntnose Sixgill Shark (Hexanchus griseus) is one of the largest sharks in the world, and a very rare species that only recently was discovered to be within reach of landbased angling! They belong to a very small family of sharks with only a few surviving species alive today. Long lived and slow growing these fish are not numerous and as a result can be a challenge to locate and catch, making them all the much more prized as gamefish. Easily distinguished from most sharks by its lack of dorsal fin, pink skin, green eyes and anguilliform body, these large sharks are spirited fighters and grow to nearly twenty feet in length. Their mouths are adorned with a plethora of comb shaped cutting teeth allowing them to feed on nearly anything they encounter! They are flexible and acrobatic and are even capable of biting their own tails when attempting to free themselves from capture.


              Giller, Cow Shark, Sixer, Bluntnose Sixgill

Sixgill Shark From Land


              Sixgills are rarely encountered by anglers, but only due to their habitat preferences. These sharks and numerous in certain depths and around certain locations.

              Sixgills, contrary to sevengills, are extremely powerful fighters when compared to other shark species in their size class. The fight is best described as large head shakes, jumps and enormously powerful runs when needed. For this reason very heavy tackle should be utilized. LBSF gear of at least 100lb class should be considered a minimum to ensure these fish reach the beach when hooked. Most anglers opt for a braided line such as Bullbuster Braid ( with a long “rub leader” or shock leader of monofilament. This shock leader is important as a result of the Sixgills tendency to roll in the fishing line. Usually 10-12 feet of heavy mono such as Bullbuster Leader Material ( is used as a rub leader to make sure the angler lands their quarry.

              Rigs should be built heavy, large hooks, large diameter cable and long sections of heavy mono should be utilized to subdue these fish. They are rare to hook and the angler should do everything they can to maximize their chances of landing these incredible fish when they are encountered.

Sixgill Shark Caught From Land


              Sixgills can be found all along the California coast, but seem to only exist in high concentrations around very deep areas. When seeking locations to target these fish, search for areas with steep drop offs close to shore. Consider 300’ a minimum depth, and expect long soaks without activity. These are not schooling fish.


              Unlike sevengills, Sixgills are decidedly more active in the summer months, coming up shallower for some reason currently not understood by science. This behavioral shift in the warmer months puts them within range of the landbased angler for a short window starting in early summer and ending before fall.  

Thanks for reading! For more information and rigs for targeting these fish please check out our own website at!

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