It’s always tough to watch a shark struggle on a fishing line. But this video gives an interesting underwater look at a Tiger Shark attacking a hammerhead caught on a fishing line. This happened in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the fisherman, the tiger shark showed up only minutes after the hammerhead was hooked.
Tiger sharks are certainly top predators. They certainly prefer an easy meal and so a struggling shark on a fishing line is a great opportunity. Tiger sharks have a reputation of being the garbage cleaners of the ocean because they are known to eat just about anything. This goes to their large size, bold nature, and willingness to investigate any feeding opportunity that comes their way. Tiger shark attack on people do happen from time to time, but usually related to a person in the water unaware of the sharks presence.
So how do we safely dive in the presence of one of the sharks considered to be the most dangerous? And without the safety of a cage? It’s actually pretty simple. Sharks are not “mindless” and do not attack indiscriminately. Observing sharks in the wild allows divers to get a first hand look at their behavior, and their decision making. They are constantly sizing up the situation and evaluating their environment for feeding opportunities. The key is being aware of your surroundings, paying attention to the safety briefing, and never making yourself seem like a good opportunity for them.
Tiger Beach Bahamas
Tiger Beach is the best place on earth to dive with Tiger sharks. Calm, clear water, shallow dive sites, and loads of sharks make this dive site one of the best shark dives on earth!
Want more tips and tricks for diving with sharks? Take a look at these articles:
There are a few locations that come to mind when looking for the best shark diving hotspots on this blue planet. Cocos, Galapagos, South Africa, Fiji, Australia, and Mexico all have some amazing shark dives. But there’s no denying that the Bahamas ranks high on that list, perhaps taking the title of Shark Diving Capital of the World! We’re excited to bring you to some of the best of Bahamas shark diving. Read on for an introduction to each diving location and what species of sharks we expect to find there.
Tiger Shark Diving @ Tiger Beach
Just a small part of the Little Bahama Bank, Tiger Beach has long been a world class shark diving hotspot. Scuba divers can get uncaged and up-close encounters to this super predator! The tiger sharks that migrate through this area are very well known to the operators that work here. Some of the sharks that are still interacting with divers today have been documented at the site 15 years ago! Most of the animals you’ll see there are quite used to divers and the shark diving routine. Just stick to the rules and enjoy the show. Bahamas shark diving at it’s best!
Bahamas Shark Diving: Oceanic Whitetip
Once considered that most abundant vertebrates on earth (over 100 lbs), Oceanic Whitetip Shark populations have been decimated making them very difficult to find. The Bahamas, however, is one of the last strongholds for a healthy population of this pelagic shark. Shark divers from around the globe can expect to reliably encounter this species during their peak season of April – June. They’re bold, curious and incredibly photogenic, making the trip out here well worth it. This species makes Bahamas shark diving unique.
Bahamas Shark Diving: Great Hammerhead
Moving over to the Great Bahama Bank, divers can expect to see numerous Great Hammerhead Sharks. Once the elusive chance encounter, shark divers can expect to be surrounded by these large and unique animals during the winter months. Here’s another species where Bahamas shark diving reigns supreme.
Bahamas Shark Diving – and then some…
Each of these locations also provide shark diving beyond the target species. For example, at Tiger Beach, you can see up to 6 species of shark on a single dive, including tiger sharks, great hammerhead sharks, bull sharks, reef sharks, lemon sharks, and nurse sharks. While diving with great hammerhead sharks, its common to see nurse and bull sharks as well. During the oceanic whitetip shark diving season, divers will also encounter reef sharks, dusky sharks, as well as chances at seeing great hammerhead sharks and blue marlin!
What a great day today! We had some challenging conditions with a stiff current to battle, but it was all worth it the moment Emma showed up. Today marks her return to Tiger Beach after leaving the area at the end of 2018. The crew was elated and the guests on this day trip to Tiger Beach were thrilled to have met the Queen of the Beach. Emma, along with 4 other tiger sharks, a great hammerhead shark, a few bull sharks, and of course the reef and lemon sharks, along with a solitary nurse shark, made for a 6 species dive! Shark diving doesn’t get much better than that!
To say this season has been one of the best yet is a bit of an understatement. Tiger Beach has consistently been getting better and better and we have enjoyed every minute of it! We have been averaging 5 species on most dives, including Tiger, Reef, Lemon, Great Hammerhead, and Bull sharks. The nurse sharks are around but have been least likely of the 6 species we can expect to see to show up on our dives.
Here’s a short video to give you an idea of what the dives have been like:
January – March Dive Stats
Water Temperature: 77 – 79 F (25 – 26 C)
Dive Site Depths: 20 – 35 feet (6 – 10 meters)
Average Visibility: 60 – 100 feet (18 – 30 meters)
Average Dive Time: 80 minutes
This time of year is definitely hot at the beach! The dives have been incredible! We have had to contend with a bit of weather, but overall the divers have had their fill of sharks! Make sure when you’re planning a trip out during this peak season that you plan for weather. We recommend reserving a minimum of three dive days as well as securing dive specific travel insurance (www.DAN.org or www.DiveAssure.com) that will cover for lost days of diving due to weather cancellations. And don’t worry, as long as we’re able to make it out to the dive site, we’ll show you the very best that Bahamas Shark Diving has to offer!
We’re already filling in our 2020 calendar quickly, so let us know if you’re interested in getting in on the action!Check out our Tiger Beach Diving Packages here and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
We’re really proud to be able to introduce divers to the tiger sharks at Tiger Beach. It’s an amazing experience and definitely worth investing a few extra days to get the most of it. Since we offer day trips, we do get a lot of inquires asking about booking a single day of shark diving at Tiger Beach. Here’s a few thoughts on why you should consider spending a bit more time there.
Tiger Beach Diving: Travel
The pain in everyone’s trip! We have seen our share of travel delays, canceled flights, missed connections, and delayed baggage. Fortunately, Freeport is the second largest international airport in the Bahamas. It can accommodate larger commercial jets which does decrease the likelihood of significant delays. But it is certainly still a possibility. Not having an essential piece of gear or missing a flight all together could ruin the only dive day you have planned.
Tiger Beach Diving:
Have you just dusted off your gear and packed it for the trip? Did you just get your gear back from servicing and haven’t broken it in yet? Did you just get a new mask, one that’s sure to fog up on you? Have you just gotten a new wetsuit and not really sure how much weight you should wear? Did you just get new gear or are renting equipment and aren’t very familiar with it yet? The shark diving at Tiger Beach is technically pretty easy. That doesn’t mean we don’t see a fair share of first day blunders. If you’re not diving on a regular basis, consider the first day a check out. They’ll certainly be sharks all around, but you may be focused on clearing your mask and getting your BCD inflator to cooperate.
Classic Tiger Beach: Shallow Sand Flats
Tiger Beach Diving: Photography
A lot of divers that visit Tiger Beach are hoping to get that perfect image to take back to their friends. From the GoPro to the biggest DSLR camera rig, it’s not always a sure thing that you system is going to dial itself in and give you that perfect shot right away. Seasoned photographers are constantly adjusting their settings. You may have to work with the dive conditions to get great images. Booking a multi-day trip to Tiger Beach also gives you the opportunity to experience the different dive sites. In reality, it’s quite a large area and we tend to visit different sites each day. We take advantage of the different topography, from sand flats, to sargassum beds, to the beautiful reefs of Tiger Beach.
Two big tigers glide past divers on the reef
Tiger Beach Diving: Sharks
Spending so much time in the water with the sharks really allows us to appreciate the individual behaviors of the animals. We know them by name and by personality. A multi-day trip gives you the opportunity to gain more insight into what these animals are really all about. You gain a better appreciation for the sharks the more time you spend with them. In addition, we can see up to 6 species of sharks out at Tiger Beach. Having several days gives you the best chances of having that special encounter!
A Bull Shark over the sargassum meadows at Tiger Beach
Tiger Beach Diving: Weather
With only a single day booked for the shark dives, you’re really rolling the dice. No matter what time of year, no matter what the season is. There is always a chance that mother nature forces us off the water. Tiger Beach is located on a shallow sand bank off shore. There is really no protection from high winds and seas. Even if it was safe for the boat to be out there, even if you weren’t seasick, there’s still a high likelihood that rough weather would wipe out the visibility on the site and keep us from doing any shark diving at all. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, it certainly pays to have some buffer days scheduled in.
We’d hate to end this conversation with only focusing on the potential negative reasons that 1 day may not be enough. Here’s a look at the positive side. If the conditions are perfect, and you have a great day of diving and fall in love with the sharks, you might want to do it again. Unfortunately, 99% of the time, we won’t have any space left open the days before and after your trip. Make sure you don’t regret giving it only 1 shot!
Perhaps no more thrilling adventure awaits a diver. A dive with tiger sharks in the crystal clear, warm waters of the Bahamas is unforgettable. Epic Diving runs daily tours out to the world famous Tiger Beach during the tiger shark high season. Virtually guaranteeing guests come face to face with these large, but well behaved, predators. According to the crew, the diving there has only been getting better, season after season. Here are some of the reasons why…
Dive with Tiger Sharks…made easy!
You’re not going to find better conditions anywhere for a dive with tigers than Tiger Beach in Northern Bahamas. Technically speaking, the dive conditions out at Tiger Beach are quite easy. Most of the dive sites there are shallow, between 20 – 35 feet (6 – 10 meters). There are some reefs a bit deeper, between 40 – 60 feet (12 – 18 meters). The water temps are usually pretty warm during the season, but can dip down to the mid 70s F (23.5 C). Those two features, combined with the generally great visibility, pose few challenges to divers.
The one factor that can catch guests by surprise is the occasionally very strong currents, typically driven by the turning tides. To compensate for this, divers are instructed to wear extra lead to help keep them stationary on the sandy bottom. Tiger shark diving at the classic, sandy Tiger Beach are static dives, meaning divers will be positioned in a line on the sand and remain stationary for most of the dive.
All of our trips are out of the cage and up close and personal with the tigers (in addition to the reef and lemon sharks). We do not offer any cage diving and all of the guests need to be SCUBA certified. During the dives, we’re typically surrounded by 30 or more reef and lemon sharks in addition to the larger-than-life tiger sharks. Without any barriers, the animals get close, making for some incredible photographic opportunities!
When you sign up for one of our trips to dive with tiger sharks, you’re not going to just see tiger sharks! They’re certainly the stars of the show, but let’s not forget about the other sharks. Diver’s will certainly see reef sharks and lemon sharks, in addition to the tigers. During the winter time, there are also very high chances of seeing great hammerhead and bull sharks as well. Throw in a nurse shark or two, and we’ve seen up to 6 species on a single dive! At some of the sites we visit, there are also loads of large, friendly grouper and southern stingrays.
Dive with Tiger Sharks…sign me up!
Ready to book your adventure of a lifetime? Interested in returning to the worlds greatest shark dive? Take a look at our packages to dive with Tiger Sharks which includes all the details you’d need, including travel tips, boat details, accommodations info, and frequently asked questions. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any more info or would like to make your reservation.
We had an awesome time during our combined Dive Photo Guide/Prawno Apparel trip to dive Tiger Beach and Bimini’s Great Hammerheads. The trip was not without challenges courtesy of Mother Nature, but we were able to strategize as a team and get the most out of our dive time! With Bimini out of the equation because of weather challenges, the stars aligned and we spent all of our dives at Tiger Beach enjoying the Tiger sharks, reef sharks, lemon sharks AND Great Hammerhead and Bull sharks! It was a great couple of days out there and we’re happy to share Jeff Honda’s video from the trip! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Now transmitting for more that 1,240 days, “Andy” is the longest reporting tiger shark ever tagged. Back in 2014, researchers from Nova Southeastern University’s Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) tagged the male tiger shark off the island of Bermuda. Over the past three years, the shark has logged more than 37,500 miles with the last ping picked up on December 28, 2017.
“This amazing, nearly three and a half year track is revealing clear repeated patterns in the shark’s migrations between summer and winter,” reported Dr. Mahmood Shivji. In the following video, you’ll see the entire track made since he was first tagged. Looks like Andy hasn’t made any stop offs at Tiger Beach, but has gotten close!
According to a paper published in the most recent ICES Journal of Marine Science by Shivji and his colleagues, tiger shark migrations are heavily influenced by a shark’s physical characteristics (i.e. size, age) and environmental variations (i.e. water temperature, prey availability). This study reveals not only the environmental factors driving these massive migrations by tiger sharks but also highlights how the different age groups behave. This information could prompt fisheries managers to reevaluate how best to protect this near-threatened species.
The diving at Tiger Beach has only been getting better, season after season! We’ve been so excited to see the changes, and this year is no different. The shark diving at Tiger Beach has become a fan favorite. Not only are we enjoying numerous tiger sharks with the reef sharks and lemon sharks to compliment the show, but we are now having regular dives featuring great hammerhead sharks and even bull sharks. During the early part of the year this past season, we had several days during each of our trips that had great hammerhead sharks mixed in with the tiger sharks! It has been incredible and the photographic opportunities are top notch.
The 2018 season is already shaping up to be another record setter with loads of tiger sharks and a few great hammerheads making regular appearances. Obviously, this time frame has become quite a popular time to visit. We are already taking reservations for the 2019 season and the calendar is filling up fast. If you’ve been thinking of making a visit, there’s no better time. Tiger Beach off Grand Bahama Island is hotter than ever! Be sure to check out our Tiger Beach packages and contact us early to reserve your spot for these unforgettable adventures. It was recently named the Reader’s Choice #1 Big Animal dive destination in SCUBA Diving Magazine.
The January/February issue of SCUBA Diving Magazine was just released and covers the 2018 Readers Choice Awards. Not surprisingly, the Bahamas ranked on top for the reader’s pick, best big animals destination! The 2-page photos used for the article was taken during one of our Tiger Beach expeditions this past February by Jennifer Penner of NewMediaSoup.
Grand Bahama is underrated in the diving community. Great reefs and, of course, the abundance of sharks make it amazing!”
The article features all three of our favorite shark diving hotspots: Great Hammerheads off Bimini, Tiger Sharks off Grand Bahama, and Oceaincs Whitetips off Cat Island. Here are a few excepts…
Bahamas Big Animals
Great Hammmerheads – Bimini plays host to endangered Sphyrna mokarran. Once the hammers show up, you’ll drop down on a shallow-water sand beach in blue water, perfect for wide-angle photography. Bull sharks often crash the party.
Tiger Beach Excursion – Sixteen-foot tigers are the main attraction at this shallow water site off Grand Bahama’s West End, but you’ve also got a good chance of encountering lemons and Caribbean reefs.
Cat Island Sharks – Open-ocean advanced diving is available in the central Bahamas with oceanic whitetips, plus dusky, lemon, tiger, and silky sharks – and possible encounters with Atlantic blue marlin, which can measure 16 feet long and weigh up to 1,800 pounds.
Tiger Beach is undoubtedly one of the world’s best shark diving sites and each year seems to get better and better. In the recent few seasons, we have been having reliable encounters with Great Hammerheads during the January – April timeframe. It’s an amazing experience to have Tiger Sharks, Reef Sharks, Lemon Sharks and now Great Hammerheads and Bull Sharks all together on the same dive. Contact us for more details and to make a reservation.