FYI: December 2002
|FYI — December 2002|
|By Brad Dunn|
For more than six hours last September, John Miller struggled solo against an 815-pound mako shark about 25 miles off the California coast near Santa Monica. Miller, an experienced Redondo Beach angler, hooked the female mako while fishing aboard his 32-foot Crestliner sportfisherman.
During the intense fighting, Miller managed to place a radio call to a friend, Mike McNamee, asking for help. McNamee set out immediately aboard his 23-footer. He found Miller about an hour later, tied their boats together, and hopped in the cockpit to join the fight. “We both held on for dear life,” McNamee told the Sacramento Bee newspaper.
The two worked side-by-side to subdue the enormous shark. Finally their efforts prevailed: They reeled in the ten-foot-long fish, secured it to the side of Miller’s boat, and towed it back to port. Their catch set a tournament record for makos on the West Coast and was the second-largest mako ever caught in the area. To put it in perspective, the second-place catch in the tournament that day weighed in at 299 pounds.
Coincidentally, the episode was a mako sequel for Miller and McNamee. Three weeks earlier the pair took the trophy at the Mako for Dollars Shark Tournament when their four-man team caught a 720-pounder about 22 miles offshore from Marina Del Ray.
According to UCLA’s Ocean Discovery Center, mako sharks are rare along the West Coast, making them especially high-prized catches for professional anglers—whether they’re on the tournament trail or casting solo.
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This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.