Conway Bowman catches many different kind of fish, but the one he may be most known for is mako shark and on the fly to boot. Conway shared some of his methods to making a successful attempt at this daunting feat.
Conway Bowman Says
What does it take to hook, land, and release a 400-pound mako on the fly?
Well, first you have to start with a fly reel that can slow the strength and power of a mako swimming away from the boat at 40 mph. This is no joke. Mako sharks are considered one of the ocean’s fastest swimming fish and with first-hand observation of these magnificent apex predators, I would say they are “The” fastest swimming fish in the ocean. Consider this: the mako shark chases down and eats the likes of tuna, wahoo, sailfish, not to mention mammals such as porpoise and seals.
To slow down a big fish like a mako shark requires a strong and smooth drag.
The great thing about targeting mako shark on a fly is the fly anger can sight fish a very large popper or streamer to them, watch the take and have a battle that is matched by few gamefish anywhere in the world.
Here are some often asked questions by daring fly anglers looking to tangle with a mako shark.
Q:Does it take a long cast?
A:Nope: 30-feet tops.
Q:Do makos spook when the see the boat?
A:Nope: Makos are coming to the boat to see who is at the end of the chum and to investigate a potential meal. However, makos are very keen and can become cautious if they have been targeted recently or there has been heavy fishing pressure.
Q:How do you set the hook?
A:As hard as you can! A strip strike, the preferred method of saltwater fly anglers, is the best hook set, however, I suggest to all anglers to just make a very positive hook set with as much power as possible. The idea is to lodge the hook in the corner of the shark’s mouth. Sometimes the opportunity to strip strike is not available so hooking the fish with any means possible is what I suggest. There are no rules when fly-fishing for mako sharks
Q:How much pressure should I put on the fish while fighting it?
A:Maximum pressure is a must! Like all big gamefish, Makos sharks require the angler to apply maximum “heat” during a fight. Breaking the sharks “will” is critical. The longer the battle, the more likely something will go wrong; a broken leader, a failed connection, the shark shaking the hook. It’s important to remember that even with a heavy fly rod and reel, maximum pressure is only roughly 15 to 20-pounds of pressure. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not a whole lot of pressure when fighting a very strong fish like the mako shark.