How To:

Species Profile: Mako Shark (Isurus Oxyrinchus)

Author: Terra Firma Tackle

Landbased Mako Sharks In Southern California

Mako Shark caught from land in southern California

Species Info:

              The Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) is one of the most sought after shark species for anglers. Mako Sharks are the second largest member of the mackerel shark family which includes other species such as Great White Sharks, Porbeagle and Salmon sharks. Easily distinguishable from the other members of the family by their deep blue coloration, slender build, and stark white bellies, these fish are rumored to reach sizes over 14 feet and several fish of 12’ have been landed both by boat anglers and landbased anglers alike. However, for landbased anglers these catches are rare, sought after, and require a bit of planning to execute properly.



Mako Shark From Land

General Information:

              Most Makos encounter in California waters are juvenile fish, with most being small animals under 6’ in length. However, larger specimens are around each summer and these large fish are no slouches when it comes to speed and power on the end of the line.

              When initially hooked, most Makos make one blistering run, often incorporating several airborne displays. Quick direction changes and frequent jumps coupled with sharp head shakes constitute the typical fight pattern for these pelagic sharks. For most smaller fish that may be hooked, light tackle is usually up to the task. Fish encountered by pier anglers are often under 4’ in length and require only the same tackle as Thresher sharks, line in the 40lb and above class with appropriate wire/cable leaders is sufficient. Multiple smaller specimens have been brought pier-side on line in the this class, although these and only juvenile fish. Most anglers that are successful in taming these incredible pelagics opt to use a reliable braided line such as Bullbuster Braid ( with a long “rub leader” or shock leader of monofilament.

Landbased Mako Shark

              The most reliable way to target Mako sharks in California from land is via LBSF deployments with kayaks. These fish, like their smaller brethren hooked on piers, quite ferocious and often difficult to locate and land. Heavy landbased shark gear with line in the 80lb+ class should be considered a minimum for this style of fishing. Long sections of cable and heavy mono rub leaders are a requirement when landbased sharking in general, and both of these standard rigging features should be incorporated in Mako fishing from shore. As a general rule, the more cable or wire the rig has, the better the chance of seeing the shark that eats the bait, this is especially true for Makos and other lamnids as they jump and turn back in the rig often when they’re hooked. Floated baits tend to hook more pelagic sharks than bottom rigs, and this holds true for Makos.


              Mako sharks can be found all along the Southern California coast, but Los Angeles County and San Diego county seem to have the highest concentrations of these massive predators. Unfortunately, many of the best locations to target Makos are popular boating areas and the long drops required to reach these fish often results in cut offs and confrontations. Night fishing and finding remote locations to target these fish are the best ways to ensure time on the water is a positive experience in this way.


              Makos are most abundant in California during the summer months. That is not to say that the occasional fish will not be hooked during the fall and spring as well, but anglers should focus their efforts on the summer heat.

Thanks for reading! For more information and rigs for landbased shark fishing please check out our own website at!


We Help Millions Of Anglers Spend More Time Fishing

We hope that you enjoyed this article on the Magazine.  It is our mission to help millions of anglers spend more time fishing and that starts with YOU!

Tour Our Factory Below

Buy Your Fishing Line Brand Direct Online Now!