Cabo San Lucas Fishing: The Mako Shark

Mako sharks are one of the many fish that you may have the chance to catch on your Baja fishing trips. The Mako is a big game target for sport fishermen who specialize in saltwater fishing, but there are a variety of hazards associated with fishing these sharks if you don’t have the proper experience. Before you head off on your charter, you should know what to expect in the event that you encounter this fish.

Mako Description

The Mako is a large species of shark, and adults will measure about 10-feet in length and weigh about 300 pounds on average. Larger species have been known, and the largest Mako taken on a hook and line was over 1,300 pounds. It was caught off the California coast in June 2013. These fish are thought to be the fastest species of shark and can reach speeds of 30 mph when swimming at short bursts. When hooked, they also have the ability to jump and spin up to 20-feet out of the ocean.


When fishing for Mako, chumming is the first step. Mackerel and tuna are good choices; frozen bait can also be used. Some fishing experts believe that using live bluefish is the best bait for catching the Mako, but if this is not an option, mackerel or whole squid are acceptable alternatives. If filets are being used, you should ensure that they are at least one foot long and 2-3 inches wide.


When fishing for the Mako on your Cabo fishing boat, you should use 11/0 or 8/0 hooks, or something similar. Ensure that you have 10-12 feet of steel leader on a big game reel and rod. You should use a 50 pound test line with at least 500 yards along with a 15-20 pound drag set.

Catching a Mako

When sport fishing, Cabo San Lucas charters often encounter opportunities to catch the Mako shark. To nab one, place your bait within a chum slick off of the back of your boat between 30 and 50 feet under the water. If the shark takes your bait, ensure it has the hook inside of its mouth before you try to set it. Do not jerk, or yank the line; instead, use a steady and strong pull on the rod while you reel in order to set it. Ensure that the boat is kept away from the shark until it is played completely, as this will keep you in the best possible position to fight with the fish.