Lump Mako - 2CoolFishing
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Old 02-24-2006, 10:29 AM   #1
Phantom Fisherman
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Lump Mako

I just saw this, don't know if this has been posted on here but,



How about squealing like a little girl who's just had a close encounter with sharkzilla. That's how Baton Rouge angler Lane Foil described the reaction to seeing the 11-foot, 6-inch mako at point-blank range.

They were fishing on the Midnight Lump, about 30 miles off the mouth of the Mississippi River out of Venice, La. They were having a big time catching yellowfin tuna on Jan. 8 when things got grizzly.

"You know how it is when you've been battling a big fish for a long time," Foil said in a telephone interview. "The angler is tired, and everybody is leaning over the transom of the boat trying to see the fish."

Foil's buddy had been battling a 130-pound yellowfin tuna for about 30 minutes. About the time he had the fish whipped and up on the surface, a gigantic mako shark decided to go into a feeding frenzy.

"We're getting ready to gaff the big tuna, and all of a sudden there's this huge mako coming out of the water with the tuna in its mouth like a dog with a bone," Foil said. "We screamed and backed up like a bunch of scared little girls."

The mako surfaced, took a chunk out of the tuna and headed back into the darkness of the deep blue water.

"Once we collected our wits, Captain Kevin Beach handed me a rod rigged with a pitch bait that was set up specifically to catch a big shark," Foil said. "We've heard of big sharks being caught out there and seen quite a few over the years. But we didn't expect anything like what we had just seen.

"I pitched a fresh rigged bonito, weighing about 5 pounds, into the water."

They were fishing with Reel Peace Charters, headed up by Captain Peace Marvel. Marvel has made a name for himself by catching big tuna, swordfish and makos along the Continental Shelf, where the water drops from a couple hundred feet deep to thousands of feet deep.

Foil, a professor of entomology at LSU, has been fishing with Marvel and his guides for about 25 years. They have seen some big fish. But this particular mako was not what they normally encounter. It's the heaviest rod and reel mako to come from the Gulf of Mexico and a Louisiana state record. It will replace the previous mako record that weighed 418 pounds.

"I pitched the bonito into the water and didn't have to wait long for the bite," Foil said. "I set the hook and ran to the bow so Kevin could stay on top of the shark. For the most part, it stayed on top. About 30 minutes into the fight, the mako decided to make a run by the boat to see what the hang up was. It was as if it was sizing us up."

It took about 45 minutes to get the upper hand on the mako.

Working the shark with stand-up tackle (meaning he wasn't sitting down in a fighting chair), Foil had his hands full.

He was using a Cape Fear rod, seated with a Shimano Tiagra 50 reel that was spooled with 130-pound Hollow Core Marvel Spectra line. The leader was connected to a Mustad 10/0 Southern tuna hook.

Ironically, Foil's nickname is shark bait. He picked up the moniker after having a big blacktip shark take a hunk out of his leg while wade fishing at the Chandeleur Islands five years ago.

Whipping a mako of that size on a rod and reel is one thing, but getting it in the boat is quite another.

"There was no way we could get that size shark in the boat," Foil said. "We were fishing aboard the Salty Duck, a 36-foot Contender. That's a big boat, but it's not big enough for us and a 765-pound mako that's still kicking."

"When I brought her alongside the boat Kevin hit her with a flying gaff and cleated her off to the side of the boat.

That's when the whole side of the boat went down as the shark sounded. It took us forever to get the shark back to the boat. We ended up getting a tail wrap on her and started the slow ride back in."

The only problem with a shark that big is getting it out of the water and to a scale. They had to use a backhoe to get her out of the water. And when the scale settled, they were amazed at what this whale of a mako weighed.

One thing is certain: It's a monster shark story that'll be tough to top.

[email protected]
(409) 833-3311 ext. 484


ŠThe Beaumont Enterprise 2006
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Old 02-24-2006, 11:42 AM   #2
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Any pics?
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Old 02-24-2006, 12:59 PM   #3
Phantom Fisherman
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Not good pics with the arcticle I saw. Would like to see some though.
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Old 02-24-2006, 01:14 PM   #4
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I don't have pictures of that shark, but there was one caught off Florida noot long ago that was 755 lbs.

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