I’ve known Capt. Steve Quinlan and had the opportunity to fish with him many times over the years. Once he told me he was chartering, I knew I had to take my 15-year-old son out after a mako shark. He’s fished a lot for a boy of his age, but he’s long dreamt of tangling with one of these impressive offshore gamefish.
We did a sight-fishing mako trip in August 2009, and it was everything we could have hoped for. Quinlan seemed to know everything that was going to happen — including that if we baited a big blue shark that came to the boat, that’s when Mr. Mako would show up. Sure enough, as soon as we hooked the blue (against the captain’s better judgment), a big mako charged up the chum line, aggressive as hell and ready for business. This fish was so fired up that he attacked the hooked blue and took a chunk out of it as we all watched in amazement. We baited the mako and it was game on.
Quinlan has often told me that mako sharks have individual personalities, and this was my first chance to witness it firsthand. This thickly muscled fish was brimming bad attitude, and fought like a specimen twice its 200-plus-pound size. It took us more than two hours to land this 79-inch fish using the lightest set-up on the boat.
Catching this mako was the highlight of my son’s summer vacation. Thanks!
* * *
I want to thank you again for an awesome time that Arnie Robles and I had last August. It is one for the memory banks, for sure. The 200-plus-pound fish I caught and released on 30-lb. test line was my personal best and good for my mako shark release button for the Balboa Angling Club.
I am still in awe at the sight of the beast Arnie hooked. I have never seen a mako this big with my own eyes. I will never forget seeing an estimated 700- to 800-pound monster going airborne like it did when it made those two jumps. We knew going in that there is never a guarantee that you will hook and have a chance to release a shark, especially one this size. After the 3½ -hour battle the shark won the fight when it landed on the leader and broke it. The darn thing didn’t know we were going to release it anyway.
We commend your conservation efforts with these magnificent creatures on releasing them. We both look forward to another trip and wish you nothing but success in your charter business.