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Fishing Florida Saltwater

Monster Mako: Florida Bankers Land 1000-Pound Mako Shark

by Game & Fish Staff   |  June 28th, 2011 70

The 12-foot, 1,006 pound mako took up a large part of the deck!

There were no bail outs needed for seven Florida bankers who landed a whopper of a fish — a 12-foot-long, 1,006-pound mako shark — while participating in a Florida International University alumni event 16 miles off of Elliot Key, which is just south of Miami and a part of Biscayne National Park.

The group thought they were in store for a casual fishing competition for mahi mahi, the kind of event a white-collared banker might partake in that involves cold drinks, sun burns, and a morning after hangover. The day unfolded much differently however and left each of them with an epic fish tale that would make Captain Ahab sit up and pay attention.

While aboard the fishing yacht Wound Up, boat Captain John Dudas and crew noticed the unmistakable dorsal fin of a mako shark trailing the boat at a distance and they quickly hatched a plan to try and land the massive fish.

A giant slab of bonita was hooked and cast out by mate Robbie Ramirez, while Dudas swung the boat around. The 1000-pound mako shark took the bait and a reel holding 50-pound test line with a 2,000-pound leader was immediately put to the test.

Once hooked, five of the seven anglers took turns reeling in the massive predator over a four-hour period. Warren Sands, who owns Wound Up, took over the last 30 minutes and eventually was able to get the shark gaffed and drug through the transom door with the help of several others.

The 1,006 pound shark is the biggest shark a Dudas captained boat has ever landed by 94 pounds. The world all-tackle record according to the International Game Fish Association is 1,221 pounds, which was caught in Chatham, Massachusetts in 2001.

This wasn’t a catch and release affair. The giant beast was butchered and processed for its meat while the jaw was rushed to a local taxidermist for a trophy mount.

  • bruce benstein

    damn shame to kill this animal

    • Chiefy

      Agreed. Let 'em go to fight another day.

      Catch and Release

      • George221

        You expect someone to release over a 1000 lbs of the best eating meat that you can find in any ocean??<..get real now!

        • john

          Catch and fellet.. that's the story

        • john

          they complain about a good tasting shark but feel it is ok to bring in a marlin for afishing contest and hang it up when it want even be mounted. Just respect the people decision provided the fish is edible.

    • George221

      I'm sure you'd think different if he was chasing to get a piece of you lol

    • Jon Williams

      Agreed, It's a shame to butcher an animal of this magnitude!!

    • Steve Bower

      Agree. There are too many other smaller makos, not to mention other fish to eat. Let the big like this go to enjoy their life.

    • kaeley


  • Roger

    Every surfer out there ought to buy you guys a dinner for that. That's one shark that won't eat a surfer or swimmer either.

    • mike

      fuck surfers..i love it when they die

      • dave

        you ignorant asshole, if you really like that, then you are a sick bastard, and a dick.

    • dusty

      Sharks dont kill surfers surfers kill surfers…

      • Donny Cook

        To add onto what you said when surfers enter the water we enter the sharks territory and if the surfers get bit its their own fault

    • 4wgt Bob

      Yup, I agree! Psst don't tell the bitches from PETA.

  • Tony Lopez


  • zak


    • Nicole Schmatolla

      I love it!

    • Bobby

      Yeah, you would think the bankers might show a little professional courtesy. lol. Oh I forgot, bankers are ruthless, cold blooded predators. lol. I wonder how many foreclosures they made to afford the trip. They needed a vacation from the hard work of putting people out on the street. lol.

      • Kevin H

        If you cant pay for your house, you deserve to lose it. Period. So sick of people making excuses to avoid forclosure. Pay it or lose it. That is the main reason this country is in the financial shape it is in….Pay your bills as agreed, or understand you will be trusted with nothing.

        • Heather M

          Just because you can't pay your payment doesn't mean you "deserve" to lose it. Bad things happen to good ppl. They may have gotten the house when they had a good job and then got laid off. Or ran into health problems and was unable to pay. Maybe the bread winner came down with cancer and died, leaving a widow with children that can't make as much as the man in a "man's world". Yes, if you can't afford it, you will lose it and then you get a cheaper place. I agree that you have to lose your place. That's how it works. If you can't pay you can't keep it. That's fair. Everyone can't be given something or all businesses would go OUT of business. But how dare you say they DESERVE to lose it. OR that they can't be TRUSTED because of it. YOu must be one of those rich pricks that has always had everything handed to you on a silver platter. Well let me tell you that it doesn't always work like that out in the real world. So next time you want to put your two cents in, maybe you need to stop and think before you do.

    • James Tennyson

      GOOD ONE!!!!

  • Dan Trimble

    Should have just taken a picture. What an animal.

  • David

    Yet another Florida bankers' foreclosure! Nevertheless, a true fishing feat.

  • Murda

    Bruce don't be a pussy.

  • Pegleg Pete

    Back in the day, we used to put one in their heads for a quick humane kill,rather than let them drown upside down like that,before boating sharks; that was common for Cobia as well.Both of those can and will Muss You Up if they're boated "green".

    FL Fish and Game Cop-Heads now say "No,No" to shooting "into the water". Fine! We'll just lift their heads OUT of the water before we plug 'em, Occifer.

  • It'sa me, Mario

    Now that is a sportsman! I am sure he had a great day… sort of unfortunate that the population of sharks worldwide has declined by over half since the 1980's.

    And I wonder how old that shark was? They grow extremely slowly, so it must have been around a long time.

    For all fishermen and others who have the stomach for a real adventure, take the 18 minutes or so and watch the TED talk by Jeremy Jackson: How we wrecked the ocean.

    • billy joe Nobeaner

      Well I wonder why more attacks by sharks have gone up since the 80's if the population is so low.

      Stop watching animal planet-watch the history channel instead. Learn yourself some good info- florida's alligator is a real problem since the histeria of indangered species fixed their numbers. p.s. alligator ribs are good too. But not as good as Mako tasty bites.

      • Joe santos

        Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. tasty bites

    • Tim

      Thank You! Finally, someone with a brain.

  • brandon tartersauce

    bb: lets all hug a shark today :-P

  • TNT Fisher

    In response to Bruce and Dan; It was a killing machine and not an animal? And to PegLeg Pete, that's telling them occifers, Ottoms bup! Glad they caught it AND didn't release it.


    Disgusting. Especially the boat owner who can be heard screaming at everyone "SOMEONE BETTER BE VIDEO TAPPING THIS !!!"

    Stupid Frail Male Humans, Making themself feel superior to nature by Murdering a RARE and Magnificent Sentient Being (*The Shark)

    Those are the kind of humans who would kill the last shark just so they can brag about it back at the Fishing lodge while sipping their cognac and smoking thier cubans..

    • james daniel boone k

      You are the dumbest fu____ on the post.Go back to your tree hugging,stay off this web site if you don't like it.What the hell is a Magnificent Sentient Being???Go back to fairy land or outer space we don't care just go some where besides here.

      • krystal

        lol, well said

    • OBX

      Ted Nugent funny you took that name…You should read Teds Book, Kill it and Grill it!!

      I myself am all for catch and release if you are not going to put the meat to use, if you are not going to eat it dont kill it. However, this is a shark and not just any Shark but a Mako. They are not your nurse shark, a hit on a person by this shark and you have real problem. Bull Sharks and Tiger Sharks are not very nice either and have killed many people. A 14 ft Tiger shark killed a man and nearly killed his wife on the Outer Banks of NC back in 2001. When you catch one of these guys you do not release. The real issue with the decline in Sharks is not from over pressure by sport fishermen….its the foriegn Comercial Fishing with nets miles long that is taking its tole on not just sharks but many other species of fish. I will now step off of my stool.

      • observer

        well spoken

      • Tim

        When shark stocks are over 90% depleted worldwide…it's everyone's problem…even the little fisherman. This isn't an eating fish boneheads…it's a Mercury, PCB, and Toxin laden cancer food. When the APEX predators are gone, the ocean gets sick and dies. When the ocean dies, you die. End of story. Call me a tree hugger if you like, but the days of indisciminately killing a large breeder like this shark is long gone. The damage is done and really all we are doing is finishing things off. Sharks remove the sick, old and dying in the ocean. They keep our environment healthy. But hey…no worries, I doubt you will pay a price for this…..but maybe you should have a look into your kids eyes….they will.

    • Joe santos

      It isn't rare you numb nutz , well unless you count cooked rare but i prefer it with mayo wrapped in foil cooked well done

    • Tim

      It's never a fair fight. Lets see a fair fight….maybe a man fist fighting with a chimpanzee. Cmon sportman! You wanna show us how superior you are? Why not put yerself into a fight where you might get hurt? Tackle an Alligator or a Crocodile. We've all seen this one sided game you like to play…lets see you go up against something that has a chance and in all likelyhood….would kick your ass!

      • Kevin H

        Seriously? Do you walk out into traffic too? Sit down and shut up.

  • http://tarheelboyz Mickey

    Sharks are historic animals but they do eat humans! Go get some more!

    • navyvetib


  • navyvetib

    Wow! Almost a 5 hour fight. Amazing creature too. As long as the meat was eaten the shark was fair game and one hellacious meal!

    • inkingyou

      gotta agree there….they eat well…not afraid of the big toothy bastards or lookin to just off em but when caught and consumed….no worries…

  • Adam

    what a shame to kill this shark, it wasn't even a word record. these guys are bankers, not like they need the money from selling of the meat. coming from an angler that likes to eat fish, i still would have let this fish go. they are rare, and there is no re-stocking program for sharks, and if you think they are man eaters your wrong. mako's are offshore sharks and have almost no attacks on humans. to many people must have had nightmares from the movie jaws, its there ocean people. take your video and your pictures and let the thing go.

    • Joe santos

      they didn't get the money numb nutz the boat does

  • krystal

    that guys a joke did you ever try to catch and then release a shark exspecially one that weighs 1000 pounds it took em 4 hours to real the damn thing in

  • Travis

    That is great. I love fishing and would have done the same thing, this is once in a life time catch and you know what just like someone said if the meat is eaten then thats great no wast. you know how many people that feed. I fish all the time and I dont mind eating fish time to time but I do let most of them go. This is for the people that are against this. IF YOU DON"T LIKE IT THEN DON'T TAKE THE TIME TO WATCH IT AND THEN BITCH ABOUT IT!!! They are the same kind of people that are against me and anyone else hunting. Your all called a tree huger so go find a tree and hope its not open season. lol Nice Job Guys

  • Tony

    See, this why I do not feel bad for you fools when a shark gets hold to one of you stupid people! Leave the damn sharks alone! God gave them a place on earth to be and he gave human a place to be…….on land! So the next time a shark take a hunk out of one of yall ass… can best believe I will be laughing my ass off…….stay out of the ocean and leave the sharks alone!

    • Pegleg Pete


    • Heather M

      GOd also gave dominion over the fish of the sea nad over the fowl of the air and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creepin thing that creepeth upon the earth ….to man. If you are goin to eat it, then hunt it!

  • thebreeze

    everbody has a right to thank what they want and say it but the language is to much. try to have respect for other people. if the meat was used and no laws where broken im ok wth it.

  • pacecountryboy

    i shark fish all the time most of the time we let them go but i do keep some it is good eating….now i agree with what alot of ppl r saying on here if u dont plan on useing it dont keep it

  • Alvan K. Fleming

    Florida has more shark attacks than anywhere on Earth If youo fly over the beaches you see them out off the coast. They are in no danger in this warm coastal environmet. So all you tree hugging animal rights experts shut up and let men be men and Capture the Beasts that strike fear into lesser men's souls

    • Redneck huntin'

      They're in danger world wide, plus they play an important part in the oceans ecology. Way more people get killed by domestic dogs than by sharks, so should we exterminate dogs, too? Your limited local perspective only proves that you're a clueless redneck who, like many others on this thread, acquired their "knowledge" on the matter by watching "Jaws" instead of factual information.

      And btw. – there are no trees in the ocean, so calling people who care about the ecology of our oceans "treehuggers" makes one look even more stupid. Hence – you shut up and move your unwashed hini back to your trailer.

  • Dan Moore

    I just think that it would be so much fun to land a fish like this. To each is thier own, when it comes to keeping it or letting it go. I would personally let it go, but I hold now ill will to those who would have eaten it.

  • freeman

    What a bunch of rich dickheads no reason to kill that fish

  • Kevin Simpson

    God gave you teeth for a reason,as long as it wasn't wasted,more power to them.I love animals,lifelong hunting passion as well. We manage our property for wildlife and in return we harvest some.Personally,I've let fish go noone would believe,kept some alot would say release……judgement call made at the time,Nice Shark!

  • Joe santos

    There is a place for all gods creatures and this one is right beside the french fries and lemon. So quit crying about catch and release!

  • Zak the Pirate

    This site has shown me the stupidity of the world… Learn to spell, use grammar and punction properly. Some of you that are trying your very hardest to sound intelligent are really just making yourselves sound like morons. Oh and P.S. you have not lived until you've had some fresh fish… not like fish market fresh, I'm talking right out of the water fresh. Some yellow fin with soy sauce and a little wasabi…uggggggh I miss it so much.

    • bob loblaw

      I belive you meant to say PUNCTUATION. See, none of us is perfect. Poor spelling doesn't make someone stupid. Just un-edumacated.

  • hate banks

    More bankers destroy lives than sharks do.

  • Tim

    No need to kill an APEX predator. Has no one told you sharks are more than 90% gone? What a pointless death of a beautiful creature. You could have taken a picture and let it live. What did you do with the carcass? Probably just threw it in the trash. I hope you feel good about that but I think it just sucks. You're not part of the solution, you're the problem.

  • Larry

    Stupid to kill such an animal. Killing sharks is bad luck. May you and your crew sink to the bottom of the ocean…

  • Dr. Walter Reed

    Rodger, Dave, and Zack are all ingorant untelligent 45 year old boys going on 7. I can not believe these fisherman would have slaughtered, and killed this remarkable creature. Pure Savages. The shark did not deserve any harm to it whatsoever. They should have just caught it, weighed it, and took the picture. The worst part of killing beautiful creature is that it was most likely the last big one left of its species. It takes years for a shark to get that big. 2nd of all the ecosystem and food chain will be forever changed facing many species towards extinction. Less than .2% of sharks cause harm to humans. Maybe something bad will happen to this jerks that killed one of God's creations for no reason.

    • Luker

      Dr. Walter Reed says, they should have Caught it, weighed it, and took the picture. then released it? I guess their still giving away doctorit degrees in Cracker Jack Boxes!

  • chris

    absolutely no clue what they're doing………………tourists

  • jonasan

    if they had released that fish, the blood from the gaffing would have attracted a even BIGGER fishie and sealed its fate. think about, sharks can smell tiny bits of blood from miles away.

  • boatrampfinder

    That is a huge shark! Looks like a lot of commenters wish they would have released this shark. On the fence here. Although releasing the fish is great, at least it was not wasted and the meat was eaten.

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