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August 18, 2010

Sight-Fish for SoCal Makos

Southern California's trophy mako sharks provide hot sight-fishing action...


Why Sight-Fishing Is Right

1. You want your chum slick to attract a lot of life and start a food chain. If you have baits in the water the arrival of blue sharks, seals or small makos forces you to alter or abandon your chum slick. When you don't have to worry about "nuisance fish" messing with your baits, you're free to let things develop naturally.

2. You'll never be caught with your pants down. As I can tell you from experience, the last thing you want to be doing when a big shark arrives is goofing around with a little one. Sight-fishing helps keep your eyes on the prize, literally.

3. You'll know when it's coming. The birds in your chum slick are the first indicators that a mako is approaching. The gulls farthest back will lift off the water first and take flight, and then in rapid succession, the ones closer to the boat will take off. This is a signal that it's time to get ready for action.

4. You can make it a fair fight. When you get a look at the fish, you can decide whether to bait it or wait for a bigger one. If you decide to bait the fish, you can properly match the tackle to the task. This is more sporting, and it ensures you can fight and land the shark quickly, for a healthy release.

5. You minimize deep-hooking when you watch the fish take the bait. By using circle hooks and setting up on the fish before it can swallow the bait, Quinlan has been able to safely remove the hook from many big makos.