Ok, here is the fish that dreams are made of. Mako sharks get huge (1,000 pounds huge). We've seen and hooked larger fish than that! I'm not talking about "they get huge in foreign, exotic, you-can't-get-there-waters. I mean...we see huge ones where we fish! These great sharks are known to swim 40+ mph and they will leap 20 feet into the air when hooked. They also taste great. They are some imposing looking sharks, with a terrible set of teeth and ferocious appetite. We've had sharks attack 300 pound tuna that we have had on the line. We've had makos eat a whole tuna head in one bite like it was a piece of popcorn (that weights 50 pounds).
We also catch many blue sharks on these mako shark trips. As productive as the waters south of the Vineyard are, the waters around Stellwagen Bank are probably more famous for BIG MAKOS. These sharks are feeding on the huge schools of bluefish and tuna that inundate our waters in late July, August, September, and October. Yes, they feed on tuna!! We've lost several tuna to mako sharks in the past, including one tuna that was larger than 300 pounds!!! As the blues are staging on top of Stellwagen, the makos are there feeding as well.
In our waters, we usually don't specifically "target" makos, but fish for large sharks in general. We go "shark fishing" and we throw the kitchen sink at the sharks. We use chum, fish oil, fish blood, fish carcasses to get sharks to come to the boat. We've looked down and seen a dozen 200+ pound sharks under the boat at one time. When the blue sharks leave...they're usually scared away...by a mako... We've even had a big mako scared away...by an 18' Great White! Luckily the mako was already on the line, so the battle that ensued was epic and incredible.
So, what to expect when fishing for makos? Well, if we're really offshore, we avoid the dogfish, those 3' long pesky demons. We fish deep water, 300-800' deep and get a slick going. We wait until sharks arrive and then it's go time. Usually, once you catch one shark, you have action for the rest of the day. Most sharks around here are blue sharks, but we get large ones, with several each year over 400 pounds and 500 pounders in the mix as well. The typical size is around 225-250 pounds. Makos arrive about every 15th shark. Those are the offshore averages. Inshore, in shallower waters, we may get more makos, but we'd have to deal with THOUSANDS of dogfish. We can't get lines in the water. It is a waiting game at this point and a visual game...if you see a shark, you throw bait at it. This is how we 'target' makos..by sorting through thousands of 5 pound dogfish! Most people prefer the offshore action of large bluesharks while hoping for a mako.