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Large number of Mako sharks caught in Destin area
DESTIN -- Since early April, a number of large Mako Sharks have been caught off of the beaches of Destin.
The sharks have weighed between 200 and 700 pounds.
The largest was over eleven feet long.
Many of them have been caught within a few hundred yards of the beaches.
Why the animals seem to be gathering so close to shore.
Rob Brown "During the few weeks they swim by Destin, Cobia might be the only fish that excite fisherman as much as red snapper. But right now, Cobia aren't the only thing those fisherman are catching."
Since April second, at least four large Mako sharks have been caught near Destin.
The largest checked in at just over 720 pounds.
Casey Deen "It doesn't make me want to get in the water, I'll tell you that much."
Most of the sharks have been caught within a few hundred yards of the beach.
Peter Wright Jr. of the ship's Chandler in Destin, says the sharks are always close, they're just seen and caught more often during Cobia season.
Peter Wright Jr. "It's not just this particular year, all the sudden they're there. Every year, we see them."
The Makos have captured plenty of attention, with hundreds of people lining the docks of the Destin harbor to catch a glimpse of the enormous animals.
According to fishing experts, the sharks are chasing Cobia and tarpon, and are uninterested in people.
Peter Wright Jr. "..they're not going to come all the way up to the beach looking for anything else besides that particular fish, and they're going to follow the same pattern that Cobia does."
Colton Guthrie says he's seen the Makos from the Okaloosa Island Pier.
Colton Guthrie "We were out here fishing, and a friend of mine hooked up on a shark. And then all we saw was something big come out from under the pier, and all we saw was a ten foot Mako."
He knows the sharks are always there, and they won't keep him away from the beach.
Colton Guthrie "Yeah, I mean, I would. I mean, there's sharks in the ocean, but I'll still swim. It's ok."
Rob Brown "While the meat of a Mako shark can be eaten, and I'm told is pretty tasty, many fisherman we talked to said they choose to catch-and-release."