Shark, mako

(Isurus spp.)

Isurus oxyrinchus (Rafinesque, 1810) and Isurus paucus (Guitart Manday, 1966); LAMNIDAE FAMILY; also called shortfin mako shark, longfin mako shark, blue pointer, short nosed mackerel shark, bonito shark

Found worldwide in tropical and warm temperate seas, these solitary, pelagic, fast swimming species rarely come in close to shore. The shortfin mako, Isurus oxyrinchus, is most often encountered by anglers as it is more likely to move in shore on occasion. The longfin mako, Isurus paucus, is a widely distributed off shore species considered rare in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, except along the coast of Cuba. It is taken almost exclusively on longlines.

Makos have a streamlined, well proportioned body and a conical pointed snout. The longfin mako has a blunter snout and a larger eye than the shortfin and much longer pectoral fins. There is a large, prominent, flattened keel on either side of the caudal peduncle. It can be easily distinguished from all other sharks by its teeth, which are like curved daggers with no cusps at the base or serrations along the razor shark edges. The front surface is flat and the teeth are curved inward. The back of the shortfin mako is a brilliant blue gray or cobalt blue and the sides are light blue, changing to snowy white on the belly including the lower jaw. The longfin mako is also blue above with light blue sides, and is white below except for the jaw. In life the mako's colors are the most strikingly beautiful of all the mackerel sharks. After death the colors fade to grayish brown.

The mako is a known enemy of the broadbill swordfish. In one case a 730 lb (331 kg) mako was found to have swallowed a 120 lb (54 kg) swordfish whole. It has been implicated in attacks on humans and is the undisputed leader in attacks on boats. A hooked mako will unleash all its fury, reportedly leaping as high as 30 ft (10 m) out of the water. It may roll, shake, dive, and charge the boat. It has also been known to bite the boat and occasionally to leap into it, causing severe injuries to the angler and wreaking havoc in the cockpit.

Fishing methods include trolling with whole tuna, mullet, squid, mackerel, or lures and also, chumming or live bait fishing with similar baits. Many are hooked incidentally while trolling for marlins. The flesh is excellent and said to be similar to swordfish.

The mackerel sharks (mako, white and porbeagle) are all ovoviviparous, the eggs hatch inside the mother and the young are born alive

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Current All Tackle Record

1221 lbs. 0 ounces.

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