14 min read



Lee Armishaw provides ataster of what readers can look forward to in an exciting new book chronicling the history of mako shark fishing in the British Isles

I’d be prepared to wager nearly everything I own that just about every fisherman and woman will have had some form of interest in sharks at one stage or another. Few fish capture the imagination quite like sharks and whether you prefer to coarse, game or sea fish, it’s hard not to be fascinated by them. Like a lot of other fish species, there are some sharks that are more impressive than others and in terms of the British large shark species, mako sharks are right at the top.

It’s not exactly hard to understand why makos are the most coveted of large shark species we have. Muscular, hydrodynamically superb physiques and the impressive set of teeth they have makes them voracious feeders and the fastest recorded shark on the planet at about 55 miles per hour. While thousands have sought the capture of these majestic ocean wanderers over the years, there are only 98 known mako sharks to have been caught from around the British Isles to date since recording began in 1956, with the last one coming in 2020.

‘MAKO! A history of encounters in the British Isles’, a new 250-page hard back book, is a product of over 40 years of research by the author and is packed with tons of fascinating history and pictures that are sure to delight readers. A combination of historical analysis and enthralling storytelling, this book is also a nod to some of the richest history that angling has to offer and features a host of contributions from legendary fishermen, such as Robin Vinnicombe, Trevor Housby, Brigadier Caunter and many, many more.


It’s packed full of iconic moments from mako shark fishing history in the British Isles that includes an array of monster-sized and record-setting fish and their captors, listed in chronological order. The varied content in each of the 98 entries also adds to the overall intrigue of the book, whether you prefer short but sweet factual accounts, or enjoy reading anecdotal tales of captures and the ones that got away! It also includes a raft of previously unseen pictures and transcripts from Ian’s research and interviews with people involved in their history making moments, like skipper Alan Dingle, who was at the helm when Joyce Yallop landed her official British record mako in 1971.

The entries don’t stop there, either. Ian’s list also goes on to highlight a handful of more recently caught specimens that are included in the total of 98, such as Rob Rennie’s leviathan that eclipsed Joyce’s shark and was estimated at between 800-1200lb in weight, caught in 2020.

For those interested in the broader history of angling, a good porti