What an awesome day. We had my friend Nick and some of his crew aboard for a little tuna refresher and some awesome HUGE October albacore.
These big late season tunas have been a little finicky the last couple weeks going on and off the bite really fast. Proving that if you loose a fish you loose the school. They were also feeding a little weird in that we would have jumpers right next to the boat but couldn’t hook them up. We later found that they were eating larger feed than we were presenting but we found that the swim baits were working very well. so the technique we were the most successful with was to throw a swim bait and get some stirred up then chum HARD to keep them going.
We were almost out of time. We had slid in on my friend Jarred’s bait stop to finish what he had started (thanks Jarred and the All Rivers Charters team). We had two fish on, one was on a swim bait hooked casting on our awesome SEEKER G 6470-7′ spin rod on the bow and the other behind the boat and running, obviously a good sized tuna. Suddenly the tuna behind the boat shot to the surface and we saw the tail of a huge thresher shark ripping up the water about 15 feet behind the boat. I said “Holy crap look at that!!” and one of the passengers says “yea, and there’s another one over there”. Two threshers at the same time, I hadn’t seen one on the surface feeding like that all year and here were two within 100 yards of each other. Thankfully he didn’t get our tuna and we did so that was awesome. Then we got the bow fish up and it was a BIG shark. I thought it was a blue shark and was about to cut the line when it swam away like a dart, more like a dolphin or a pilot whale than a big lazy shark. Passenger starts yelling at me that it’s a Mako. I’ve never seen a mako up close so I get on the radio and call my buddy Darell from Far Corners Charters.
Darell: “does it have a white belly and a pointy nose?”
Darell: “that’s a Mako”
Me: “are they yummy and are they legal to keep?”
Darell: “Yes and Yes”
So I run out and put a gaff in his head. This made the shark very unhappy. Once we got him settled down a bit we put a tail rope on him and sliced his gills. Meanwhile the other clients are putting our last few baits in the water and two of them are hooked up on tuna. We caught a few more tuna, ran out of bait and decided to head in. We had to drag the shark backwards for a while to kill it and it was going to be a long ride home.
Turns out 20 minutes wasn’t enough dragging. We thought he was probably dead but when we got him up on the gunnel he started to shake that head with all those teeth and we decided to leave him be for a bit. I kept the gaff in his head and we let him flop around a short time, keeping well away. We finally ended up moving him astern and covering him with the kill bag. This worked OK as long as we kept the gaff in and the tail rope on. We got back, took a bunch of pics, cut him into steaks and the rest is history. I took home the tail because it is cool. Aaron took home the head to save the jaws. And everybody got a pile of mako steaks. Darell was right, they are yummy. A lot like swordfish. Mild firm white meat. We grilled it last night and everyone loved it. It’s tail was awesome because it has a knuckle at the end that makes it twitch. I have done a lot of research on Mako sharks in the last couple days and they are awesome. Mako sharks are one on the few predators tuna have, because they are one of the few that can keep up. It is believed that they evolved side by side so they have many similarities. The Mako has muscle meet that runs close to it’s spine like a tuna allowing it to attain high speeds with little effort like a tuna. Mako are also one of the few sharks with a urinary tract. So they don’t pee through their skin. This helps make them yummy. You can read more on Mako Sharks here.
Overall it was a good day. We didn’t get all our tuna but we got 80 lbs of Mako shark steaksLets Go Get Some!!!!