Mako and Smooth Hammerhead Expedition
May 2019
I was headed to Cabo for our first ever exploratory orca expedition. The great thing is, it is right during mako, blue and smooth hammerhead season as well. Coincidence? Hmm… going to need to pay attention to that.  In 2020 we are running a mako and blue shark trip, but I had yet to have a successful shark session off Cabo, so it was important that I get out there and see what all the buzz was about. In November 2018, we went out with Pelagic Safaris to try and chum up some sharks, but it was the wrong time of year for sharks, Plus- we also ran into a blue whale, so we ended up spending the rest of the day following that blue whale around.

Years ago, I used to run pelagic shark chumming trips off Southern California, but it became so hit and miss that I decided to scrap the trips, becuase it just was not worth it anymore. When those trips were on, they were great trips. I have spent countless hours with makos and blues through the years in California. But when those sightings got thin, and many times we got skunked (no sharks), I sadly dropped it from our itinerary. I believe the last trip I organized for makos and blues, was back in 2010 or 2011. It was just no more fun.

Well, when I started hearing reports about healthy mako and blue shark populations off Cabo during peak shark season, I felt it was time to once again, add these very electric dives and super cool sharks, back onto our, must visit this sharky spot with friends list. Because these trips and those sharks, are just the best. The thing about this amazing spot off Cabo, is that - not only do makos and blues visit these chum slicks, but so does the very sexy, smooth hammerhead shark as well. Talk about fire!

Smooth hammerheads are exciting sharks, very bold, like their cousins the mako sharks and also super curious and quick! These sharks fly around, which is really fun when these hot fire sharks show up on a slick. I had one of them come up to me for a gut check bump, and I had to push her down and away. I try hard not to touch pelagic sharks when they come in, but this beauty left me no choice. I know I am the touchy-feely guy when it comes to sharks, and I love touching sharks, but that is only with the sharks we feed and work with on Tiger Beach. Outside of the Beach, I don’t like touching the wildlife, it’s just not something, I like doing.

So this was a great warm up and scouting trip for next season’s blue and mako shark expedition, we have planned for March 2020. This trip was a lot of fun, with some really good friends and some quality shark action. Although the seas were a bit rough and the currents were horribly strong, which kicked our butts... over all it was a really good trip and I am super pumped to do it again.

Here is a photo album sharing some of my images from the adventure…

Images captured with a Canon 5D Mark 4, with a Canon 8-15mm fisheye lens, in an Aquatica Housing. Shot using natural light; 1/320, f8, 800 shutter speed.

It took about 30 minutes for the first shark to show up, which was amazing. I have waited upwards of five hours for sharks to arrive. The first shark in was a smooth hammerhead. I always thought that smooth hammerheads were super shy and didn’t stick around, but on our first day of pelagics, we had two hammers for about an hour and a half. Such beautiful sharks.

It took about 30 minutes for the first shark to show up, which was amazing. I have waited upwards of five hours for sharks to arrive. The first shark in was a smooth hammerhead. I always thought that smooth hammerheads were super shy and didn’t stick around, but on our first day of pelagics, we had two hammers for about an hour and a half. Such beautiful sharks.

We had one mako show up, towards the end of our session. It was so great seeing these sharks again. It had been about 4 years since I had seen one of these bullets. Felt so good seeing her.

We had one mako show up, towards the end of our session. It was so great seeing these sharks again. It had been about 4 years since I had seen one of these bullets. Felt so good seeing her.

On day two (we went out for two days), we had a about 6 silky sharks show up along with another smooth hammerhead. It took much longer for the sharks to show up, and the first to arrive was a silky shark. I admit to not jumping in right away when it showed up, silkies are a much more common species and not as sexy as it’s pelagic cousins.

On day two (we went out for two days), we had a about 6 silky sharks show up along with another smooth hammerhead. It took much longer for the sharks to show up, and the first to arrive was a silky shark. I admit to not jumping in right away when it showed up, silkies are a much more common species and not as sexy as it’s pelagic cousins.

smooth hammerhead.jpg
We finished up the trip with Pancho, the famous bull sea lion of Cabo San Lucas, jumping on our boat, begging for a handout. I snapped this fun, shot of him with my wide angle lens. Not too often when you can use a wide angel lens on a wild bull sea lion. Overall Cabo is an amazing place with crazy exciting ocean life, just a very short boat ride away. Can’t wait for next season.

We finished up the trip with Pancho, the famous bull sea lion of Cabo San Lucas, jumping on our boat, begging for a handout. I snapped this fun, shot of him with my wide angle lens. Not too often when you can use a wide angel lens on a wild bull sea lion. Overall Cabo is an amazing place with crazy exciting ocean life, just a very short boat ride away. Can’t wait for next season.

The group of crazies that we shared this adventure with. Thank you Jacapo for an amazing time.

The group of crazies that we shared this adventure with. Thank you Jacapo for an amazing time.