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Huge kayak caught tope

Discussion in 'All Time Best Topics' started by Chris-NW, May 20, 2013.

  1. Chris-NW

    Chris-NW Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    With a brilliant opening to my tope season a few weeks ago I could not wait to get out for another go. Sadly due to weather and work commitments this had to wait a few weeks. After checking the weather forecast about every two minutes the last weeks it finally looked doable and plans were made.

    I tend to buy bait from local tackle shops near my fishing destination, perfect for catching-up on some local info and the baits haven't been in a sun-baked car for the last 3 or so hours... However due to supply issues I could only get hold of one pack of frozen mackerel, hardly enough for a decent tope session, especially after the dogfish and bull-huss have had their share. I bought some squid to lure out a few dabs as mackerel is still thin on the ground around these parts this time of the year as a back-up plan.

    Arrived at our destination early Saturday morning to a relatively calm sea, wind was picking up slightly and will continue to do so for the next few hours before a predicted change in wind direction will decrease the wind speed. Feeling comfortable with the weather and very keen to get out there I got my gear set-up and paddled out a few miles to a likely looking spot. Anchor down in about 60(ish) feet of water the first frozen mackerel got the knife treatment and had it's head chopped off and rigged through the nose on a 12/0 circle hook. After giving the bait clear instructions I flicked it away from the kayak hoping for a quick hook-up.

    Must have been very clear instructions as the bait did what it was told and two minutes later the line screamed of the reel, I was still faffing about with clearing the deck and by the time I grab hold of it the bait was dropped. Gutted but at least I know they are about. I got absolutely hammered by dogfish and huss the following couple of hours not giving anything else the chance to find the bait. Running out of bait and the sea state worsening considerably I made the decision to head closer in to more sheltered waters. Fantastic paddle back, I changed coarse and went slightly on an angle for about a mile before pointing the kayak towards the beach and paddled in with a following sea, this added about 0.5 miles to the paddle but got out a lot quicker than if I took a straight line back.

    Once on shore that predicted change in wind direction came true and about an hour later I was heading back out. With wind and tide working together the sea calmed down which made things a lot easier. After an hour or so I saw Dave's Evo popping out over the swell as he came over to join me. Just in-time really as I needed more bait. Dave bought some frozen mackerel before he left Manchester so all was good. However the tope was no where to be found and only the doggies and huss took a liking to Daves mackerel. You could see it have been de-frosted and re-frozen a few times so not Dave's fault.

    Except for the doggies and huss the only other critters that showed interest was a few soft corals and a lovely star-fish...



    With the sun disappearing slowly we called it a day and headed back in. The weather for the following day looked very good so not all was lost.

    Up nice and early Sunday morning we packed up camp, got the cars loaded and headed off. Getting there we un-packed while the sausages were sizzling away in the pan. After scoffing the lot it was time for the compulsory pre-launch photo...


    Once back out on the water the frozen baits got some more swim time luring in more doggies and huss...



    Running out of frozen bait and not having a lot of confidence with what I had I rigged some tinsels on my bass rod in the hope for a few early mackerel, failing that the squid will be deployed on the dabs but one thing was for sure and that was getting fresh fish bait no matter what. I was pleasantly surprised when I hooked into a nice little mackerel, boosting confidence a lot. Where there's one mackerel there will be more so between the doggies and huss robing my tope bait a reeled in a few more mackerel on the other rod. Not happy with the snaggy ground below me I moved upped anchor and moved towards another spot. Turning the last of the frozen bait into chum I launched it over board and started using the fresh bait...


    Soon after the reeled screamed, that can only be a tope, slightly increasing the pressure to set the hook and the fight was on. Whether it was the fresh bait or the arrival of the tope I wont know but they kept on coming with frequent hook-ups between me and Dave.


    Dont want you fingers anywhere near those...



    After a good run of tope the tide changed and the fishing became difficult with the odd run here and there. The doggies and huss started to thin out and all went quiet. That's until my rod folded over and something big was on the other end, all hell broke loose. This fish was all over the place doing it's best to shake my hook. It was only once I could see the fish I realised what I just hooked into. It was bloody huge! I had my hands full trying to control her next to the kayak. Dave lost his anchor earlier and was tied to my bow and my anchor line on the stern so there was no room for play. Dave un-clipped to allow some space but controlling the fish was hard work. My Gopro mounted on my head strap was filming the clouds as I did not realise I accidentally pushed it up when I tried to put it on my head with one hand. I grabbed my deck mounted Gopro and tried to get a few underwater shots while fighting the tope with the other arm, what a mess!

    Finally getting her to the kayak I could not believe the size of it, she was heavily in pup and a really long fat fish. I grabbed hold of the leader and pulled her in, tried to lift her onto the kayak but she was not very happy about it and I really struggled with her. I lifted her up in the hope the Gopro will get a good shot at her. During the scrap the hooked pulled and I let go... What a fish, certainly my biggest tope to date and one that will be hard to beat. Not having pulled it over my legs it's hard to tell but everyone I have spoken to and pics I have been showed put her around the 70 lb mark. Will never know the exact weight but she was one fat fish that's for sure.






    Well, what a day! Defo one to remember thats for sure, I'll be back out there soon trying for another...

    Tight lines.
  2. andym

    andym Rockling

    Fantastic stuff Chris not envious at all!!!!!!
  3. Roger Melly

    Roger Melly Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    Great underwater shots.... when you hook a big goer like that one, does it not pull the kayak around , having had Tope to 65 lb myself on charter boats I know how much they pull.

  4. stickman

    stickman There's a difference between fishing and catching!

    Brilliant - nothing more to say :cheesy:
  5. vrs_1

    vrs_1 Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    Fantastic report for a fantastic fish, a big well done Chris :)
  6. Baramundi Bob

    Baramundi Bob Super Leeds United !!!

    Awesome. thankyou so much for posting. Love the pictures too.
  7. Chris-NW

    Chris-NW Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    It does pull it around a bit, since I am mostly fishing at anchor all it can do is spin the kayak around a few times, even the pack tope around 30 - 40lb will give it a spin. It's when you catch them on the drift you go for a wee bit of a ride, they tend to dive rather than run along the top so it's not like you are going skiing. I might un-clip from anchor if I think its going to cross my anchor warp but not always doable... If on the drift with a big fish I just use the rudder so they pull the kayak sideways on a slight angle, they run out of steam quicker that way.
  8. nevbob

    nevbob Whitby Fishing Forum _ Simply The Best

    Unreal chris, I think I would have deposited something in my dry suit if a saw that coming up :yes:

  9. carpyken

    carpyken New Member

    Brilliant stuff Chris, you'll have to get yourself over here in the not too distant future, we have some lovely big fish to target too :happy:

  10. mike_t

    mike_t Jackson Kayak Team Member

    Fantastic report and pics, Love the underwater pictures the fish looks like a beast underwater

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