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A busman's tope fishing holiday to..... HORNSEA!

Discussion in 'Sea Fishing Forum - Shore, Boat & Kayak Fishing' started by rupert, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. rupert

    rupert Blenny


    Rodney Goodship runs a B&B business / guiding service on the Florida Keys. Like me, he loves his shark fishing and his fishing tales just blow your mind! It certainly sounds like a fantastic venue for Sharks, Tarpon, Rays, Mackerel, Jacks, Redfish, Snook, Bonefish, Permit, Barracuda, Snapper and Grouper, to name just a few.


    Although we’d spent quite a while nattering over the phone, we hadn’t actually met, so I invited Rodney out for a tope mission from Hornsea. It was arranged at pretty short notice, but with the weather we’ve had this summer, it’s more a question of grabbing whatever opportunities are available. So a real busman's holiday for Rodney, but he seemed keen enough. The date was set for Wednesday 25th July.

    On route to our venue, Rodney was telling me about his exploits in Florida when Henry Gilby fished with him, Jim Whippy and a host of other fishing celebraties. In other words, no pressure today Rupert…… :whistle:

    We arrived at Hornsea about 8.30 am. It was my first launch there this year, and I had to run through the safety equipment on the boat, but this didn’t take too long.

    Before we left my house, the Met Office forecast inshore forecast had said sea state smooth to slight. The weatherman obviously hadn’t checked at Hornsea! The sea looked pretty lumpy, but we were here, so I decided we should give it a go and make the best of it.

    It was then that found ‘Henry’ the John Deere, didn’t want to start! Henry had to be towed off and replaced with a steed that would perform.


    Hitched on the back of a Massey Ferguson (I was always told that M.F. stood for mechanical failure!) we were towed down to the beach to launch. I unclipped the winch strap from the boat, and climbed aboard ready to be pushed in to the sea. The next thing, there’s a great clatter and we end up tipped prematurely onto the beach, five yards from the sea!

    The tractor driver remarked “Bye eck, she rolls off that trailer easily!”

    :clown: :clown: :clown:

    Boat winched back on, we try again. This time, the driver reverses seawards more smoothly. All the time I’m thinking, “I’ll bet Rodney’s really impressed with all this……………….So take 2. Boat launched, engine started…….£uck!!!!! I can’t get reverse!!!

    The North East swell blew the boat sideways back onto the beach and waves crashed against the side of the boat, soaking both of us. I wolf-whistled the tractor driver, who hadn’t seen our predicament. :embarrass:

    The boat was winched back on the trailer and towed back to the compound. Rodney dismantled the selector/throttle handle and found everything greased and nothing broken, but the lever was stiff for some unknown reason. On reassembly, it was working, so something had temporarily seized.

    By the time we’d done the third launch it was nearly 11 am. We tried for mackerel around the sewage outfall buoy and caught only two. We then tried the bell buoy beyond and had another 3. So only five mackerel in half an hour! I decided to troll the feathers towards the tope mark, and on route we picked up another dozen or so, so with that, we had enough to make a start toping.

    It took about half an hour to reach our mark in the lumpy wet sea. With the anchor deployed, the first thing I did was relax for a moment with a welcome Fiery Jamaican ginger beer. It was good to wash away all that salty seawater I’d recently swallowed !

    We had four tope rods out, two uptide rods which were cast away from the boat, and two shorter downtide rods, fished closer in. The rods had been in the water only about 30 minutes, when Rodney’s Avet reel screeched and his 12lb Snowbee Deep Blue travel rod took on a nice fighting curve! The fish pulled well, and he had a good bit of weaving to do to keep his line clear of the others!

    It was over 20 years since Rodney caught a tope. Apparently, he used to fish Luce Bay quite a bit. As you might imagine, he was absolutely delighted with this one.





    With a combination of a bird feeder I’d brought along, and Rodney ‘chunking’ with thin discs of mackerel, we kept a good scent trail going. The metal bird feeder kept the crabs and lobsters at bay, but they still did their best to chew it to shreds. I had clipped 6lbs of lead to the feeder and this kept it close to the boat, but still in the scent lane. It's no good clipping it close to the anchor in these windy conditions; it actually does more harm than good. Also, with the bird feeder method, deployed over the stern of the boat, you can replace the mackerel when they are washed out.

    Rodney puts a lot of faith in a creating a good scent trail and remarks “No chum, no fun”!



    The next rod to go was mine. This was an 8’ Savage gear bait casting rod rated 80 – 100 grams casting weight. The tope set off towards Holland in one long run. My Avet reel had 300 yards of braid, plus some mono beyond, and I was very relieved when that first run stopped. It probably ran 200 yards in that first rush! Quarter of an hour later we had the fish on the deck……….this looked like a new p.b. for me too! We carefully measured the length and girth of the fish, so we could later get a better estimate of its weight.


    Rodney then got another small one and treated me to a fantastic tope wrestling match. Eventually he got the upper hand!





    Rodney lost another one with a hook pull, and I bagged a ‘small’ 20lb fish at final knockings, before I raised the anchor for home.

    It was another wet ride home, as we quartered into the swell. Nevertheless, despite a less than impressive start to the day, we ended up with some nice fish. Rodney had thoroughly enjoyed himself and gave the day a big thumbs up!


    Rodney subsequently contacted me to say that according to the length/girth tables, my big tope weighed 71 lbs, so I was capped with that! Not bad on a pike lure rod eh!
  2. Howard

    Howard Blenny

    Re: A busman's holiday to..... HORNSEA!

    Great fishing , brilliant write up . Thanks for sharing it with us. Now youve got brimmi twist who knows what might turn up?
    We were listening to a small Scarborough dragger working 1.5ml off brigg the other day doing well on turbuts. Your deffo not codgog R. :wink:
  3. dan the pollock

    dan the pollock Rockling

    Re: A busman's holiday to..... HORNSEA!

    nice one rupert,

    great fishing as always, always wanted to have ago at those beasts
  4. bucko

    bucko New Member

    Re: A busman's holiday to..... HORNSEA!

    71lbs!!!! Great stuff Rupert.
    A nice warm up for the porgies eh?- but maybe not on the pike rod!
  5. willybendit

    willybendit Rockling

    Re: A busman's holiday to..... HORNSEA!

    Hi Rupert well done on your PB thats a nice size of tope cracking wright up& Pictures tightlines Alain
  6. stonefish

    stonefish Any fool can criticise , complain and most fool do

    Re: A busman's holiday to..... HORNSEA!

    well that tommrow fixed topeing
    a great report and some great fish
  7. andym

    andym Rockling

    Re: A busman's holiday to..... HORNSEA!

    A superb report Rupert and some cracking fish well done
  8. Sambo

    Sambo To the MAX!

    Re: A busman's holiday to..... HORNSEA!

    Excellent stuff Rupert, that 71lber is a cracker! like you say not the best start to the day but finished well :yes:

    Florida Keys vs Hornsea, mmmm know which one I'd go for!
  9. rupert

    rupert Blenny

    Having seen Rodney's website, I'm with you Sam.

    Florida does look cool doesn't it? :cool: :cool: :cool:

    One day! :yes:
  10. robq

    robq Rockling

    awesome report and pics as always Rupert :cool:

    That 70lb plus fish is a belter :yes:

    Thats a real nice outfit you have there now !!

    Do you have any plans for some of the rarer and more unusual visitors to our coast this summer ?

    Porgies, halibut etc ??

    cant wait for the pics :cheesy: :cheesy:
  11. rupert

    rupert Blenny

    Yes, I love targetting different species on our doorstep.

    I have some sneaky plans afoot method wise for a halibut, but I know already it's going to be a pretty tough nut to crack.

    The porgies have been elusive so far this year. Maybe they're just running late, but their movements this year have been very different to the past 3 years. Experience shows they're usually present well into the autumn, but so are tonnes of baitfish, so it's increasingly difficult to make your bait stand out for their selection. I haven't ruled them out altogether though, and to catch one on a small boat like mine would be entirely possible and immense fun.

    As we approach locally, what is probably the optimum time here species wise, when you have limited time on your hands, it's a hard choice between targetting a species you're quite likely to catch and risking a day doing something entirely different........

    Maybe I should be brave and alternate!
  12. robq

    robq Rockling

    I have always seen your approach as alternative and groundbreaking Rupert !!

    Plenty of time to go for the "safe" and "easy" targets :yes:

    Now you have that tasty outfit and the flexibility that goes with it have a go at those obscure targets :yes:

    Look forward to a pic of you with a monster flattie :happy:
  13. Baramundi Bob

    Baramundi Bob Super Leeds United !!!

    One word. "Quality"
  14. mww

    mww Rockling

    Great report Rupert & good to see Rodney again...if you happen to be talking to him, pass on my regards.

    Just waiting for an opportunity to get down there for a go after the tope now...

    Well done on the big one....


  15. j99oel

    j99oel Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    Belting fish Rupert, well done

  16. predatorman

    predatorman Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    very well done, a superb tope by any standards. i went topeing yesterday off aldbrough and managed just the one aboard, my mate had one at 42lb so we were made up. a guy from our compound also fished, he had 8 on thursday to 37lb but yesterday at the same mark drew a blank?!
    dean jude II
  17. Shadrap

    Shadrap Rockling

    Quality stuff Rupert as usual.

    I have no doubt your going to have a whole lot of fun in your boat and like one or two others you aren't afraid to try something new and will reap the rewards.

    Superb fish well done.
  18. predatorman

    predatorman Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    another little update for anyone thinking of trying tomorrow, one boat from our yard (north cliff hornsea) and two boats from belvedere all blanked today. maybe the small tides have knocked them off the feed ?
    dean jude II
  19. Fishy Rich

    Fishy Rich Guest

    Great write up Rupert, well done on the new PB
  20. rdngd

    rdngd Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    Hi All
    Just like to use this forum to thank Rupert for a fantastic days fishing despite all the problems Rupert still came through I know what it is like but he said do you fancy a days tope fishing and we caught tope job done. Yes it was very different from my normal days fishing in the Florida Keys but the same pressures, the boot was on the other foot. Thanks for all the comments on my website and my operation in Florida we do have this year a few deals on late season fishing holidays if any one is interested please get in touch at rdngd@aol.com and I know I can pull your string big style and for less than you think.
    Thanks again Rupert

    Rodney Goodship


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