How to Catch a Mako Shark

When we typically think of sharks, we envision a large, powerful carnivore with the mission of terrorizing the ocean that it patrols. However, Sharks come in many different shapes and sizes found in seas, oceans and even rivers. Sharks range from about the size of a pickle to bigger than a school bus.

Smaller sharks, such as the spotted dogfish, can be caught by trawlers, boats that drag, or trawl large fishing nets from the back of the boat. Smaller sharks are usually an “accidental” catch as a result of anglers trying to catch a different fish found in similar waters. Each year, millions are sharks are mistakenly caught. Often, these Sharks are killed just because of the potential risk that they may bite someone. Bottom-dwelling sharks, such as an angel shark, can be caught by drivers with the use of a fishing spear.

The larger sharks are fished by sea anglers, typically as a sport. Sport fishing for Mako Sharks is very popular due to the thrill and entertainment associated with trying to hook a fast-swimming fish. Makos are closely related to the Great White family and live/hunt in similar ways. The Mako Shark is a beautiful in color: dark purplish-blue on the top and silvery-white on the bottom. There are two species of Mako: the shortfin and the longfin (longer pectoral fins).

The Mako Shark, the signature shark for sport fishing, can weigh between 100-1000 lbs and reach upwards of 12-14 feet long. Can be found in the deep, warmer waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Traditionally, Mako Sharks are hooked by either the use of chum or bait-casters, but recently, the West Coast of the United States has adopted the method of fly fishing.

In many instances, Mako Sharks have been known to swim right up to the back of the boat. In this situation, patience is extremely important when trying to hook a Mako. They are often shy to initially engage with the bait. However, it is imperative to try new things and really tempt the Mako to engage. Sometimes letting the bait drift a few extra minutes could be the difference between hooking or striking out. The bite will eventually come – do not rush. They have very sharp and narrow teeth, which helps them grab slippery fish in their large jaws. As magnificent as these creatures are, an angler must take extra precaution when handling this fish.

Method: Trolling

Favorite Reel: Penn International Fishing Reel

Recommended tackle: 65 to 140 pound test line

Recommended bait: Live Bluefish, Mackerel or Mullet

Edible: Yes – dark, dense meat that is low in fat with a wholesome flavor. Very high in protein

Important to note: Usually caught accidentally when fishing for tuna, marlin or swordfish


The founder of Catch and Fillet, “Chum Charlie”, has been writing articles within the fishing community for over 9 years. He got his nickname due to his preference for chumming while he is fishing. Chumming is a common practice that is used in the ocean to lure various types of fish to the boat. Chum can consist of various fish parts that attract fish due to its overbearing odor.

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