A Mako Moment

This time of year my thoughts are usually still consumed with hunting. You know….. those day dreams of finally harvesting that certain buck I’ve seen all year on the game camera and what position to put my new duck mounts in! The end of another wonderful deer and bird season is here and that is when “IT” starts again. “IT” being that itch of a thought! The thought of my sea legs, the humming sound of diesel engines, the sound of screaming reels, and the smell of the salt air! Those sea thoughts start to set in and form an itch in my psyche….that itch to want to get off shore and catch something slimy with scales!
January and February are prime Mako fishing time in the Gulf of Mexico. With all the cold fronts the water temperature is lower and that cooler water temperature brings the Mako sharks closer inshore to feed. This is when we round up a crew of our regular die hard fishing buddies and head out for a chilly sometimes rough winter water experience. Two years ago we did just this on my birthday. I had not yet caught a Mako and that particular shark was high on my “want to catch” list! So we loaded the boat up and set off on an offshore shark chasing adventure!
It was a very chilly, rough ride out! We left the dock in the morning when it was still dark and I tried my best to sleep on the way out but was woken up every so often by a pounding wave. I remember being relived when we finally arrived at our first fishing spot. When its a rough ride you always feel better when the boat slows down. First things first, we had to catch our shark bait. Our first stop was to fish for some Jack Crevalle. We spent about a hour jigging up some jacks, then chumming with some and rigging the others for bait. Once the bait was ready and set out we sat and waited, drifting, watching the balloon we had attached to the drifting bait. The balloon allows you to keep sight of your bait and regulate its depth.
Here sharky, sharky, sharky! I was so anxious waiting and watching our baits. I sat there by the reel wishing and hoping for a Mako bite! Well, it was my birthday and surprise to me, that birthday wish was granted! After about two hours of drifting and chumming we saw a fin, and then we saw the bait balloon start moving. Next thing I know the reel is screaming and I see a blue monster with teeth jump out of the water like a billfish! Holy Moly……..FISH ON! I grabbed the rod, put it in the fighting belt and began my fight! The crew harnessed me in and I stood on the deck and began my exhausting, adrenaline filled 30 minute fight! When I got him to the leader and on the side of the boat we realized it was a male and a great eating size at that. So we ended up harvesting him for his meat. We usually release the majority of the sharks we catch but Makos are great to eat and it is better to harvest the males. Mako shark is a white steak like meat very similar to the taste and texture of swordfish. It is excellent grilled and on fish tacos.
Needless to say it was a great Birthday trip…..one I will never forget. It was a great fight, good eating, and a memory worth sharing! There are only so many weekends you have off and I am often torn on what to do this time of year! Fill those left over tags or head offshore for a different type of harvest!!?!? Either way I am going to have fun, but right now I think I need some fishy meat in that freezer full of venison and duck! Its been several months since I’ve been offshore…….I feel the sea calling me home!

Feb 08, 2013 | Category: Blog | Comments: 2


2 comments on “A Mako Moment

  1. Thia Anderson

    What a great birthday memory and awesome fishing trip! I’ve always wanted to try my hand at deep sea fishing. Thanks for sharing your story so I can live vicariously through you!!


  2. Tom Payton

    Luv me some Mako Shark! Haven’t tried in fish tacos but sound like I will!

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