Get on the mako train as waters warm up
  |  First Published: December 2013

December is here and the Tasmanian game fishing season 2014 is about to get going.

We have all seen and heard about the excellent fishing off the eastern seaboard of Australia in the last few months. You could not go near the Internet without someone posting some great news and photos about their yellowfin tuna run. Let’s hope they continue their march down the shelf and holiday for a while off the sunny East Coast of Tasmania.

December is a bit early for yellowfin and the like, but it’s around the time mako sharks start to fill the day dreams of Tasmanian game fishers.

Mako sharks

Here are a few broad brush strokes to get you started.


Berley needs to be plentiful and frozen down in a manner that makes it easy to get into the water column. If you purchase your berley in log form, get a few inexpensive green cord net refills. These are awesome to slide the logs in and have two out at all times.

If you make your own berley then make sure the containers you freeze it down in are marginally smaller than your burly pot used at the rear of the boat.

You can’t go past a good mix of Australian salmon and striped tuna. It can be a good idea to keep this in mind and store a few away throughout the year before for early season burly.

If you have the ability to hit the shelf while chasing makos then I would be doing that in a heartbeat. The shelf will be home to all manner of pelagic and other food a big strong Mako will be looking to eat. If you are going to try in Bass Strait, find the deepest water you can get to. The deeper the water you can get to the bigger the water column you will put berley into.


Using cubes can be hotly debated but it is simple. If you are in shallow water then you can ease up on the cubes and a couple of ‘plops’ every other minute will suffice. If you are on the shelf with a massive amount of water column to penetrate then you can increase the amount and speed you dribble them away.

Don’t go crazy, as you don’t want him laying back like some Christmas Day smorgasbord and ignoring your baits.


Have a few Australian salmon, squid and mullet on hand ready to go you won’t go far wrong. When rigging up your baits, no matter what you choose don’t be scared to have the hook point showing to allow good hook up rates. Little cable ties are gold to help secure baits to big hooks and allowing plenty of hook gape and point to be free.


Go to a tackle store and talk to the guys in the know. You just cannot get this advice and experience from the web and it is worth its weight in gold. 24 kg line is a good starting point for mako fishing and it will only be a monster that will take you to task on a rod and reel suited to that breaking strain.

This early summer weather will have you keen to get out and try your luck, so as December progresses and the water temperature rises , so does your chances of finding some good mako sharks.

A mako shark goes ballistic at the side of the boat after a tense struggle.

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