Isurus Oxyrinchus




150 - 300 pounds

72" - 150"

Shortfin Mako Shark

Also Known As: Blue Pointer, Mackerel Shark, Mako, Mako Shark  

Guides Who Fish This Species

Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) Fish Description

The Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) is a mackerel shark found in almost all oceans in the world. Much like its popular relative, like the Great White, this shark is an aggressive predator that is even known to attack humans. Although this shark is known to be one of the most dangerous shark species, the Shortfin Mako Shark is a sought-after gamefish because not only is it a challenging fish to catch, its meat is said to be quite tasty. One particular part of this shark that makes it widely hunted by both recreational and commercial fishers all over the world is its fins, which are used to make shark fin soup.

The Shortfin Mako Shark can easily be distinguished through its rather pointy snouts and long gill slits. Its color tends to be dark blue to gray on the top part; its sides are slightly metallic with a tinge of blue, and the belly is white. It has many similarities to its close cousin, the Longfin Mako, but as its name suggests, its pectoral fins are significantly shorter and its eyes are slightly smaller. 

As earlier mentioned, the Shortfin Mako is one of the most aggressive predatory sharks out there. They hunt for food most of their lives (except of course during mating season), eating pretty much anything they happen to run into, including tunas, billfish, squids, dolphins, mackerels, sea turtles, as well as other shark species. And if not for humans and the much bigger Great White Shark, the Shortfin Mako Shark wouldn’t have to worry about anything eating them in the ocean.


Shortfin Mako Shark Interesting Facts

  • The biggest Shortfin Mako Shark ever caught using reel-and rod weighs one thousand three hundred pounds.
  • The enormous shark was caught off the coast of California way back in 2013.
  • The longest, however, was more than fourteen feet long and caught in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of France.
  • The Shortfin Mako Shark is the second biggest mackerel shark.
  • This shark is the fastest shark species in the world.
  • The name “Mako” came from the Maori word for shark or shark tooth.
  • Their teeth are often made into necklaces and earrings worn in traditional Maori culture.
  • This shark is mainly targeted by commercial fishers for its tasty meat.
  • Recreational fishers target Mako sharks as they are known to be quite a challenge to catch.
  • The shark was featured in one of Ernest Hemingway’s novels, The Old Man and the Sea.
  • Their speed and power make them one of the apex predators in the ocean.
  • A recent study has shown them to be one of the most intelligent creatures in the ocean.
  • They are aggressive and one of the most dangerous sharks in the world, known to attack even humans.
  • Attacks on humans, however, often happen when they are provoked, especially when anglers are trying to land a hooked Shortfin Mako Shark.
  • Shortfin Mako Sharks are known to be tenacious fighters when hooked—they even tend to jump into boats, causing injury to humans and damage to boats.
  • The Shortfin Mako Shark can leap as high as twenty feet out of the water.
  • Because of the overfishing of the species, their populations have declined significantly over the past few decades.
  • Fishing restrictions and regulations have been placed by authorities to ensure the shark is not overfished.
  • Permits are also required for Shortfin Mako Shark fishing. 


Shortfin Mako Shark Size and Swimming Speed

The Shortfin Mako Shark is a fairly large shark. Even though it is much smaller compared to Great Whites, this shark can grow at an average of thirteen feet in length, usually weighing between one hundred thirty to three hundred pounds.

Aside from its size, the Shortfin Mako Shark is a fast swimmer. It’s possibly the fastest shark species in the world as it can clock at least thirty miles per hour—with some reports, though unverified, saying it can swim as fast as sixty miles per hour.


Shortfin Mako Shark Habitat and Distribution

The Shortfin Mako Shark can be found pretty much anywhere in the world. This is because they are highly migratory and they can cover vast distances in short periods of time given their power, endurance, and speed. Furthermore, they can also adapt well to most water temperatures—except in really cold waters—as they are partially warm-blooded. This means that you can find them in both the Atlantic and the Pacific sides of the US, with the waters off the coast of San Diego, Florida Keys, and the Gulf of Mexico being known as hotspots for fishing.

They are often seen in the open waters, preferring to swim near the surface most of the time. However, they also dive deeper into the ocean exceeding four hundred feet in depth from time to time—probably when they couldn’t find food near the surface.  


Shortfin Mako Shark Fishing Tips

Finding and hooking a Shortfin Mako Shark isn’t going to be much of a problem given their pretty wide range as well as their aggressiveness. If you’re having a problem finding one in a known Mako fishing site, you can employ chumming or a simple live bait rigging to get them to notice you. Some anglers even do a bit of high-speed trolling to get these sharks attracted to the bait. For chumming, you can use a lot of grounded mix of mackerel and tuna. For bait, you can use live squid, tuna, or bluefish, although the latter is said to be the most effective.

For the gear, a fish of this size, power, and tenacity requires at least a 50lb class rod and reel, equipped with heavy wire leaders and circle hooks. Make sure to use a heavy-duty line that can handle the fish’s ability to pull hard. Lastly, keep in mind that this shark is highly intelligent and will give you a hard time reeling it in by using just about anything to get away—including your boat! So if ever you hook one, expect it to use the boat to snap your line by circling it or even jump onto the boat as they try to take a bite at anything they could get a-hold of. So be extra careful when you’re targeting these monsters.