Capt. Bill’s (very humble) mako story.

Thank you Bill for posting the story of your Mako. It’s a story I had to share with everyone and well written. I am very grateful to have the jaw and it will stay exactly as is along with a printed copy of the story.

The mako jaws story goes: Back in the late 1970s I caught the “offshore big game”bug really bad and eventually took on a job as mate on a charter boat out of the popular ANGLERS ROOST in Margate NJ.After working a few years and logging enough hours at sea I earned my USCG “captains”license.In the spring of 1983 or so I purchased my first vessel,a 23′ SEA CRAFT with twin Volvo Penta engines that I planned to charter out.I was fortunate to be part of a small group of anglers(pioneers) in my area that fished passionately for the mako shark.My buds and I fished as much as 3 to 4 days a week during the months of June,July,August,and September catching many species of shark but none as amazing as makos.

With all this experience sharking I steered my chartering towards shark,bluefish,and bottom fishing.With the “JAWS”craze taking hold there was a lot of interest in this quarry.To start my charter season I made a prospecting trip around the 20th of May which could be considered early for makos.Fishing with friends Eric(Longfin) and Jim we ran to an area known as the “750 square” that is located at the old loran coordinates of 26750 / 42750,10 or so miles SE of the 28 mile wreck.That day the ocean was very calm and mirror like and not a whisper of wind.

After setting out an attractant of ground menhaden and mackerel we patiently waited for a toothy critter to appear.Within a short period of time we could see a school of bluefish cutting the surface with their dorsal and tail fins as they swam lazily around my boat.At times they would disappear momentarily but would show up within minutes.This show lasted for a couple of hours and became kind of routine.Not seeing that school of 10+lb. bluefish got us wondering whether they had finally moved off but what happened next I will remember forever.10 feet from my transom the school(10-12)blues erupted from the calm waters sailing at least 2 to 3 feet above the sea and inches behind them was 300 lbs of mako looking to make a meal of the fleeing fish.I quickly reeled my hooked bluefish filet to the boat and was “LUCKY” to have him take the bait.After a short battle with the mako we subdued the shark.Back at the dock it was weighed just shy of 300lbs and was the first documented mako caught in South Jersey that year.

As praise to this great shark I cleaned and preserved the jaws and had them displayed in my home.Visitors for years were in awe at the size of the jaw and it’s rows and rows of pointy razor sharp teeth.Over the past few years they sort of became a dust collector and after seeing FWG’s request for shark’s teeth I thought it was time to let others enjoy them.I no longer care to harvest makos due to the extreme pressure put on the species through tournaments,commercial longline fisheries, and foreign fisheries practice of “finning”. -BILLFISH


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