Sharks In Orange Beach: Everything You Need To Know About Them

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Amin Tawar

Are There Sharks Near Orange Beach Alabama?

Sharks in orange beach
Sharks In Orange Beach: Everything You Need To Know About Them

There are over 50 species of sharks seen in the Gulf of Mexico, fishermen and beachgoers can encounter over 30 of the shark species in Orange Beach. Hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks, and bull sharks are the most commonly seen ones off the Coast. The sight of sharks has increased in coastal areas in the past few years. 

Types Of Sharks In Orange Beach

Alabama has many shark species, the following information is about the few common shark species that occur in the coastal waters of Orange Beach.

  • Atlantic Sharpnose 

These sharks can be seen in the southern regions Gulf of Mexico. Atlantic Sharpnose likes warmer shallow waters and is often seen in waters lower than 33 ft deep. They are small sharks and the average size of an adult is about 3.00 to 3.25 ft. 

  • Blacktip Shark 

Blacktip Sharks are seen in tropical and subtropical waters, including the Gulf of Mexico. They can be seen in water less than 98 ft deep. Although a few individuals can be found some distance offshore. These species usually attain a length of 4.9 ft. 

  • Bull Shark 

Bull Sharks are commonly found in coastal regions of warm oceans. They are found to a depth of 490 ft but do not usually deeper than 98 ft. Females are an average of 11 ft long and weigh 290 lb, whereas males are smaller and average 8 ft and 209 lb. 

  • Finetooth Sharks 

Finetooth Sharks are common from North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico. They have a slender and streamlined body. The snout is pointed and long, with largely triangular flaps of skin. Males average 5.2 ft long and females 5.4 ft; the biggest shark ever recorded is 6.2 ft long.

  • Scalloped Hammerhead Shark

Scalloped hammerhead sharks are coastal pelagic species. They occur in insular and continental shelves and in closeby deeper water. The maximum length of these species is 12 ft and weighs over 336 lb. 

What Is The Most Common Shark In Orange Beach?

Sharks In Orange Beach
Sharks In Orange Beach: Everything You Need To Know About Them

The most common shark specie found in Orange Beach is the Atlantic Sharpnose. The species can max out at around 3½ feet in length. The Atlantic Sharpnose shark is small for a shark and has a streamlined body. They come in many different colors of gray and white underside.

Adults have white spots on their flanks and white on the rims of their pectoral fins. Young Atlantic Sharpnose sharks have black color on their dorsal and tail fin edges. Blacktip and Spinner sharks are a few species that can be seen easily near the beach. Fishermen and inshore anglers interact with these species regularly. 

Also, Check Our Guide On Sharks In Greenland

Why Is There So Many Sharks In Orange Beach?

As Alabama has a diversity of sharks, shark sightings are a common occurrence near Orange Beach along the Alabama Gulf Coast. But, most of the shark species that inhabit the shallow water in the shore areas are small. Anglers won’t see many sharks in the spring but shark numbers grow in June. 

Even the smaller ones will be offshore in stable temperatures till the water warms up, and will come inshore to feed. Then, when it is hot in August, they kind of retreat. They are temperature sensitive and don’t like it too hot or cold. Baitfish are also the major reason to see more sharks near the shore. It’s usual to see many of them at certain times of the year.

Can You Swim In Orange Beach?

Yes, you can swim in Orange Beach. Any severe encounter with sharks in the water near the coast is a very rare occurrence. However, you must be aware of the beach flag alert system, when visiting the Orange Beach area. 

When you see a purple flag, it is an indication of harmful sea life. If you see a shark, you must just withdraw, and sharks will go back shortly. Also, you must be on alert for bull sharks in Alabama near the shores and bays as they are specialized for estuaries. 

Shark Attacks In Orange Beach Alabama?

According to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism, it is uncommon to see sharks near the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico. Most of the sharks seen are small and only pose an aggravation when disturbed. The recent shark incident in the Gulf of Mexico was captured on a drone on the lookout for sharks. 

The moment recorded showed a small shark circling a child and a man who was swimming at the beach. The video shows the child and child going further out into the sea at Orange Beach as the shark follows them and ultimately swims out to the ocean. 


And that was everything you need to know about the Sharks in Orange Beach. I hope this article answered all your queries.

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