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How to fish for Mako Sharks

The Shortfin Mako is the fastest shark in the ocean, this powerful shark can reach speeds of 30 mph for short bursts and maintain speeds of 20 mph while chasing down prey. When hooked, the Mako Shark will spin and leap up to 20 feet out of the water. These qualities have made this species a sought after species by sport fishermen.
Shortfin Mako Sharks are usually found in the top 500 feet of water. The Mako is found worldwide in temperate and tropical waters. The Mako has been found at times in inshore waters. Mako Sharks feed on billfish, squid, tunas, other sharks, and pelagic fish. 
While the Mako Shark can attain sizes of over a 1000 pounds most angler caught Mako are 300 pounds or less. As with most Shark fishing, the first step is to start chumming in an area that is known for having Mako Sharks. Tuna and Mackerel are a good choice for grinding into a chum porridge. If this all sounds a bit messy you can simply purchase frozen chum from many bait suppliers. The chum can be tied off to the boat in either a flexible chum bag or a five-gallon bucket full of small holes.
It is believed that the best bait for catching Mako Sharks is live bluefish. Bluefish in the 2 to 5 pound range are ideal. If live blue fish aren't available try a whole squid or a filet of Mackerel about 12 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide. Use hooks like the Mustad #7699 in sizes 8/0 to 11/0 or something very similar to these. Use 10 to 12 feet of steel leader with a barrel swivel crimped at one end and piano wire your hook to the other end. You will need a big game rod and reel with standup gear and at least 500 yds. of 50 lb. test line with the drag set at 15 to 20 pounds.
You want to put your bait out in the middle of the chum slick not to far off the back of the boat and about 30 to 50 feet down. If a Mako Shark takes your bait you have to wait to make sure that the shark has the hook in its mouth before trying to set the hook. Do not yank or jerk the line to set the hook. A steady strong pull on the rod while reeling will usually set the hook. 
Once you are sure the hook is set, start the engines and keep the angler in the best position to fight the fish. The captain needs to keep the boat away from the Mako until it is completely played. You cant muscle a Mako back to the boat. That is a sure way of losing one or getting somebody injured, or worse. A Mako is to fast and to strong for an angler to directly fight it, you must use the gear to wear it down. Only when you are sure the Mako Shark is played enough to cut the hook (with bolt cutters) should you bring it alongside the boat.


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