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Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Dec 10, 2004
I have alot of Mako sharks in my home waters they are frequently targeted by game fishers and I was thinking of targeting them spearfishing, have any of you targeted these fish before? And if so how and with what gear??
Hiya Fly

Welcome to the forum!!! :D

Mako's do make good eating, but its generally frowned up by the spearing comunity to hunt them. The same could be said about rays and skates. There's so many more challenging fish to hunt.

But, if you're set on shooting one for the table, look at the smaller ones. Your normal set-up should suffice for anything up to about 20kg's. Anything bigger than that, you're going to need very specialised gear. What size shark are you talking about??

Another pain is cleaning the shark. It has to be done very soon after capture otherwise it'll reek of ammonia and will not be fit for consumption. The skin has to be pulled off. This is done with a knife and pliers. HARD WORK!!!

In all honesty, its just TOO much effort!!! Rather just enjoy your dive and look at the smaller mako's as welcome visitors that are there to brighten up your dive. If there's LARGE mako's around, GET OUT OF THE WATER IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!

I'm really not keen on sticking a spear into ANY shark, as the DO turn on you and become VERY aggressive. I've read many stories of our local spearo's shooting sharks in the 1960-1970's. Back then they also used powerheads to land large sharks and other large fish. This practise has how-ever been banned and powerheads are now illegal in most parts of the world.

Hope this helps!!!

dallasdiver: it does, including skates and rays.

Fly: welcome to the boards. errr...this topic amongst the most controversial and as Miles said not viewed in a good light. If you have ever fished shark on a reel and rod, you know that they can give you a good run, even the little ones.

also since you wil have to burley the water to attract the mako, chances are you could attract other sharks too, with bigger teeth if you know what im saying. not to mention the speared shark will probably trash and take your gear if you dont have the proper setup and swim off to die somewhere else making it a perfect waste of time and effert, not to mention you just you didnt land the fish thus breaking one of the cardinal rules of spearfishing (always land the fish and eat it)

also, i know this might sound odd, consider this: KARMA. you eat a little shark, and then a bigger one eats you.. i dotn personally believe in karma, but i dont shoot sharks either so i have no worries, and if any grouper try to eat me, il giv'em a run for their money.

please do reconsider if its really necesary to shoot a shark.

good luck and safe hunting
It's not that I'm set on hunting sharks, rather Its about the only large pelagic species I have in my home waters, I have fished for mako's before and love to eat them as with many other shark species found around my area, there are other fair sized fish like yellow tailed king fish and the very occasional jew fish which I will also target this summer, but the Mako as you would know is quite a challange, to me it is a bit different than plugging a ray which I have never done nor ever will and hav'nt shot a shark yet either. I was just looking for information on the possabilities.......There are many factors running against this thought at the moment;
#1 Its quite hard to burley here without attracting half a dozen sharks to the back of the boat, some which will be huge.
#2 Mako's are explosive when hooked on a rod, even jumping into boats.
#3 They can get real agressive, even start to chew on your boat.
#4 We have seals here so mistaken identity is a real possibility, not to mention GWS.
#5 And last but not least the ethics involved, I do believe in karma or reaping what you sow and being a sharks dinner is not a very pleasant thought as I have made plenty of them my dinner.

I will indeed think long about this kind of thing and not take it lightly or with a gung ho attitude, but if any of you have been in the water with a mako I would love to here about their behaviours when encountering you. I would hate to get into deep water if you know what I mean and would hate to kill something I couldnt land. If I had a tuna or billfish fishery in my back yard sharks wouldnt even be a considderation but thats a 1000 ks away

Thanking you
If sharks were boxers , a mako would be mike tyson.
Seriously they are one of the most unpredictable sharks out there.
I would have no problems shooting and eating one , but I would be very wary about hitting one of any decent size without a kill/stone shot.
I have seen these sharks freejump and that for me was another indication that you are dealing with an unusual animal.
regarding sharks and other elasmobranchs the trick is to make sure that all the blood id removed from the shark or ray I usually cut the tail off and the head. gut the fish and use the point of your knife to clean the point at the rear of the stomach cavity where the spine joins the cavity, try and run some water through this and most of the blood will be removed.
another way is to dress the fish and hang it for a day or so to allow the ammonia to escape.
Mako and the closely related porbeagle is fine eating , something like swordfish.
Re: mako's ...and rays....

I hate to introduce myself posting for the first time about shooting a so called no-no but the fact is I've shot a couple of large Southern Sting Rays (5ft plus wingspan) and let me tell you they didn't just give up and die making for an easy kill. I got dragged all over the bay both times.

Where I grew up as a kid there are a ton of large rays and they make for a great meal. There's enough meat in one wing to feed a family for a week. Two large fillets with cartiledge running down the middle on a horizontal plane. Total of 4 fillets about 5 inches thick and several feet wide. The meat was very white and flaky with a very mild taste. Almost like nice hogfish. :p We pulled them right up on the beach and cleaned them immeadiately and then drug the carcasses out to sea with the skiff.

BTW: This is a great board I'll be checking it whenever possible. It's given me the joneses to go diving. Anybody know anything more about this?

Sounds like the work of a tiger?? Warm water and deep enough cut to severe an artery...
Go for it! Use a breakaway rig (if you don't know what one is do a search on this forum). Have enough floatation. You'll need a buddy and a boat. Wait until you can get a good holding shot. Then, I'd get into the boat and follow your floats to avaoid any "complications". It'll probably be a great adrenaline rush and after one or two you'll move on to different pray. Don't let these guys scare you away, mako's are great eating.

As far as ammonia I beleive all species of sharks lack kidneys and thus have uria, a component of urine, in their blood stream. I thought the only exception to this rule was the requiem shark's i.e. great whites, makes, soup fin, etc.
photo of spearo and mako..


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Sara: and that is a small one, im thinking something like 4-6 footer. imagine a full grown adult: it would be the fish and the spearo's hand in its mouth.
the spearo in the picture is 6,2".

the shark is about that, 6-7 feet. Makos can grow to 12ft. Not the kind of shark i would like to tackle. its the fastest shark (in terms of short bursts) in the ocean.

good luck! the kind of tackle used will not be only requirement. :)
I was thinking the 40 to 80 kilo range, then it's not too big, not too much mercury and not too out of hand. Guys commonly fly fish for them down here and that size tend to visit the shallower reefs (10 to 30 meters) while the main boady of sharks is over the sand flats beyond the reef at around 60 to 70 meters, "usually", the large blue sharks down here tend to stay in the deeper water, so you can expect to avoid these guys if you take the shallower option....."usually", but nothing is certain in the ocean exept that it's wet :)

The only, indirect, contact I've had with a mako was a buddy, spearing on scuba. He had two or three nice grouper, 15-20 pounds , on a stringer and the mako came in and took one. He did not see the shark until his stringer went crazy. The mako came back around to get another, going straight for the fish and ingoring the diver. My friend shoot him through the top of the head at very close range. Should have been a kill shot, but did not seem to faze the shark. He did leave at high speed. This was in winter off, Pacific reef near Miami, in about 90 feet of water, on the edge of the Gulf Stream.


Welcome to DB, don't worry about correctness, as long as you are polite. Lots of us harbor somethig of the dark side.
Your story sounds like the Florida Panhandle. The strength and power of a big sting ray are pretty amazing. It may be politically incorrect, but, considering that they eat real good, fight harder that any grouper and are very abundant in some places, I don't see much harm (in those areas). My main objection comes from fools who shoot a big one and loose their gun and the fish because they have no idea how powerful sting rays are.
Other kinds of rays are so beautiful, and not very common in my area, that shooting them seems like a poor thing to do.

Did you know that Mako gives you gases worst than beans! (makes you fart)!!

When I was in Bora Bora my friend ate Mako steak in a local restaurant (Bloody Mary) and before we went to eat there a KIWI friend of mine told him that this will happen and he was right!

We were sleeping in the same room so I turned on the air conditioner on full force and opened the widnows! he had a cold that day and he asked me to turn the a/c off! :duh

I told him that for all I care he could die of cold but I do not want to die of suffocation!!!! rofl rofl rofl
thats a cute little baby mako Island...you should see the 500-700# breeders swimming around here this time of year. :blackeye

Mako are excellent eating. The only sharks I really enjoy are blacktip and mako. As for the political stuff I think more so than saying "sharks are overfished" is to take into consideration the local ramifications. Makos are a little different as they are pelagic and are known to have large ranges. Im not sure if we even know how long it takes a mako to reach maturity. We have some biologists at LSU studying them now and all landed are checked out by them. But just to say, dont kill a shark...they are overfished would be like saying dont kill a fish...some of them are overfished :)

shoot straight and watch out for those chompers :crutch

ONCE in my life i bought mako steaks in a supermarket in Grand Cayman because i wanted to see what the fuss was all about, thoroughly enjoyed but then felt as guilty as hell afterwards!

ok i've said it, admitted it, and now

i am ashamed :eek:
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feeling ashamed sure feels better than feeling hypocritical though! :D

I can almost promise that the ecosystem will recover from your horendous slaughter....well maybe one day in the distant future....maybe rofl
Island sands I feel and understand your shame, how pityful it makes you feel, I once actually bought a fillet of fish from Mc Donalds :eek:
fly said:
Island sands I feel and understand your shame, how pityful it makes you feel, I once actually bought a fillet of fish from Mc Donalds :eek:

ooh! with a portion of Pepto-Bismal on the side? :yack
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