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Tope from the shore?

Discussion in 'Sea Fishing Forum - Shore, Boat & Kayak Fishing' started by Ramsrod, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. Ramsrod

    Ramsrod Rockling

    While fishing down Bempton during one of the rock anglers summer matches last year I hooked into a fish which I believed at the time to be a Billet. After winding only a few turns my rod lurched over and I had to quickly press the release button on my reel to prevent the line from breaking. The fish sped off at breakneck speed much to the disappointment of my thumb! Suddenly it stopped and I even managed to move it back towards myself about 15yd. Once again it sped off, taking my line off down to the backing. I had no choice but to engage my reel and my line snapped like cotton. I can only assume that it was maybe a Tope. I know after talking to Chris Scaife he was catching them from his boat around that area at the time. It wasn,t a seal, the water was like a mill pond with thousands of birds lolling around, there,s no way I could not have seen it had it surfaced. Has anyone else had any similar experience.
  2. Steve

    Steve Rockling

    not personally had the pleasure of a tope on, on the cliff tops myself but i know of a couple of anglers who have reported something similar down at flamborough.those anglers one who is a very good angler reported one snapping 60lb hook length.personally i had one on down at tunstall a couple of years ago that was like trying to stop an express train only for it to snap 30ld braid. could be a good omen for future sessions on the bottoms at flamborough or bempton.
  3. Ramsrod

    Ramsrod Rockling

    That would be good sport with the right set up. It makes you wonder if it would take long to get one if you fished for them in the right conditions from shore with the right baits. Mr Scaife might shed a bit of light on the matter.
  4. Smoggy

    Smoggy New Member

    i remember one summer when the pier at saltburn was broke.........???,,,,,fishing saltburn beach in the corner near the cliffs..... about maybe 1978......... when one of my mates hooked into something that took off like a steam train ....we were left jawed by what we saw.... but thinking back theres every chance it could have been a tope cause we were using fresh maccy chunks ......it was one of them fishing moments that no one else ever believes .... ??? ???
  5. Baramundi Bob

    Baramundi Bob Super Leeds United !!!

    I saw Andy Spilman foul hook a porbeagle at Whitby pier. That was late 70's early 80's Also saw a sun fish landed the same year.
  6. cps

    cps Rockling

    i think hookin em would be the easy bit , the next 20 mins or so would test how good your drag is and line and arms and knots and hooks and if you were real lucky how good you are at tailing them because usaly the don't take to kindly to being grabed by the tail :)
    seriously though they are caught every now and then from the holdernes coast , ask dave brown skipper of the lizzard at brid he's had a few.
    i think sitting it out on the end of the crab scarr down roll up or front of thornwick scarrs would be a good place to start, what i will say is though you need lots of line ask mww i saw one strip 300 yards of 50lb braid and some of the backing of a lever drag with about 10lbs of drag and thats alot of pulling , mint he was cheeting he'd gafed it through the dorsal fin ;D

    SHARKO New Member

    any body help me out just baught a boat fishing out of hartlepool i just want to fish inshore weres the best place to go and best way to fish thank you
  8. Baramundi Bob

    Baramundi Bob Super Leeds United !!!

    For tope ??
  9. baza

    baza New Member

    ray just ask macky about the possabilities on the lincolnshire coast. a friend of mine is going down this weekend with wire traces, using freshish mackarel im not sure how much line he has on his reel though. theres a good chance of him hooking one from what i saw last night
  10. macky

    macky New Member

    HOoked one at chapel last summer, moved to quick for a hound and strippe dline of the reel at a rate of knotts

    just started to gain line and the bloody 30lb snood parted, come back all fraid

    i cant see them coming off bempton!
    tope tend to stick to the sandy banks in deepeish water (say 20 -30ft)
    and cant really picture a tope chasing a billet that is been cranked up to the surface in shallow clear water, i think it will of been a seal ramarod?

    topes main diet is dabs, which they root out of the sand
    people say they chase mackrel but i dunno, cant really see it myself, they are more a scavenger/bottom feedein type of fish

    i might be wrong tho

  11. baza

    baza New Member

    chris what do you rate pauls chances if hes targeting them? ive also heard the best bait for tope is dab. how would you go about presenting one, or would macky be the better option. the tope seemed to be at range.
  12. macky

    macky New Member

    #Theres every chance m8

    eel section would be a better bait
  13. Ramsrod

    Ramsrod Rockling

    Definately was,nt a seal Macky, it was flat calm on the day with birds all over the water, a seal usually spooks them causing them to take off, I would have spotted it easily that particular day. I have had seals grab my fish on more than one occasion and it was a totally different take. Cps was catching Tope off Bempton quite close in at the time, something he informed of after I told him about my little episode.
    Billet cranked up to the surface??
  14. Dav

    Dav Rockling

    I thought mackerel was a top tope bait .? and plus if it was a seal that eat your billet there would be a 99% chance youd get ure gear back complete with a fish head , seals have a tendancy to just grab the fish ,happens at least 10 times a day maybe more up on the south gare in macky season ...unless u were unlucky enough to lip hook the seal in which case youd of probably seen it surface , or milling around prior to you hooking it ,,,, lets just say it was a big fish ,,,
  15. rusty1

    rusty1 New Member

    Setting off for Dingle in a few hours and been reading up on the shore tope fishing over there. Apparently best conditions are calm warm summer evenings when the tope come in really close chasing dabs and flounder like macky says. Apparently your best bet is to use half a Flounder and then hang on.....

    Hopefully if the conditions are right ill have a crack at them off Inch or tralee bay ;D
  16. Ramsrod

    Ramsrod Rockling

    Best of luck Rusty, we,ll have to get the members match sorted while you,re away ;D Let us know how you get on, tight lines.
  17. Baramundi Bob

    Baramundi Bob Super Leeds United !!!

    Yeah quick lads its our only chance of winning ;D ;D.

    Hope you enjoy the holiday Phil, look forward to your reports when you return.
  18. prof tench

    prof tench Guest

    Hi Rusty off to Ireland soon then you lucky lad?

    Regarding shore tope Macky is certainly correct in their taste for flatfish when near shore but I’ve read this business about them digging flatties out before and am sceptical about it. Has anyone actually witnessed this behaviour, or is it just another ‘fisherman’s tale’ that has become accepted as fact? The reason I doubt it, is if you look at the head and mouth shape of a tope they clearly are not evolved for digging things out of the sand. Like any piscivore they will exploit whatever food source happens to be available to them at the time so they may do this. Our tope drop their pups in the wash, which must be loppy with dirty little ‘flukes’ and no doubt the big girls gorge on these after the rigours of childbirth? Have a close look at the mouth of a sole if you want to see a mush properly evolved for plucking worms out of the sand, and they stand on their heads to do it.

    Half a flatfish on an 8/0 was certainly the favourite bait of shore tope specialist Peter Lace at Baggy Point in North Devon, which is where Ray White set the record with a fish of 58lb 2oz in 1982. This is a rock mark casting onto mixed ground at the entrance to the Bristol Channel. Shallow chalk reef like Bempton most definitely is tope territory; it is almost identical to the Sussex marks off Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters that has produced many tope to dinghy anglers. I believe CPS has had some fantastic tope results over similar ground just off Bemo? So I do believe that Sir Ramrodicus did indeed hook a tope off there, given the experience he has there, had it been a seal, I reckon he would have known about it? The only alternative I have suggested to his nibs, is that it may have been a porpoise, although you usually see those priming too. Tope also turn up over deep-water wrecks and cross oceans, so they are a very adaptable species.

    Once offshore, pack Tope certainly do attack mackerel near the surface, they may hit herring too in the North Sea. This has been witnessed a number of times, especially in the Mull of Galloway where they’ve been caught on shallow set float-fished mackerel. Spurdog also come up for fish. The North Devon tope have been tagged and turned up in the South Atlantic; if they feed when they cross the Atlantic they will definitely hit fish near the surface. Open oceans are effectively ‘biological deserts’ and fish, other than specialist deepwater species, congregate where there are plankton blooms or surface debris.

    Dav, you are spot on about mackerel still being top tope bait and there is a very strong correlation between the arrival of mackerel and tope. There are, however, very good reasons for the big fish man and shore angler to plump for eel section. Their use was pioneered, like many things, by John Rawle and Bob Cox while uptiding on the Thames Estuary. They appear to select the bigger fish and I think all their 60+ ladies came on eel, including the record busting 70’s and 80’s. Initially they rated the tail section, then the head but it seems a 3-4” section of 0.5-1” dia’ eel is top tope tucker. John Rawle tells a brilliant yarn about the same bit of eel accounting for 4 tope over two days on his boat. For the shore angler, they are the most crab resistant bait you could wish for, barring a lump of concrete dunked in fish oil. While the crabs keep their pincers down when there are numbers of skate and hounds about, I doubt if this applies when you are targeting shore caught tope as you aren’t likely to catch many. They used to thread eel section on the hook like worms, which must make a filthy mess of your hands? These days it is normal to just nick them through the skin, or even hair rig them, the skin is super tough. Some of the Holderness lads split the section, lay it on the shank and bind it on with bait elastic. Crabs will muller mackerel and if you are backing up or want to leave baits for long periods you can’t beat a bit of eel.

    The real pick of tope baits elsewhere these days are the Ammo Launce and Rusty, I would forget the eel and flattie baits and try these or the biggest size of Ammo sandeel. The reason I suggest this is both eel and flatties are very selective for tope alone, yet launce and sandeels will catch you all sorts especially rays and bass (still the main reason I’d visit SW Ireland). Alan Yates and other regulars at the Manx festival have now had many shore tope on the NW beaches and favour these baits on a 7/0 Kamasan Aberdeen.

    One thing I must stress is this is at least second hand info’ I’m giving you as I have never caught a tope from the shore myself. I’m very interested in doing so, which is why I have researched the subject in great detail. If it’s first hand info you want, the man to listen to on this site is Phil A, so check his comments on the ‘Tope from the Beach’ thread started by Volusian, and Phil’s also fished the area you’re visiting.

    I’d certainly be interested to hear from both Phil and CPS re traces and hooks? When I began to take an interest in shore tope a few years back, I had a good chat about it with Steve in Veals. He fishes Baggy Point for them and recommended nylon covered 50lb seven strand wire, crimped to Bigmouth Extras. I don’t really trust crimps yet, my pike traces are made by twisting 7-strand wire back up the trace. Pike anglers are a bit sniffy about nylon covered wire too as it is allegedly prone to spots of corrosion under the nylon. I noticed in Henry G’s book that he used heavy single strand wire, knotted, for Bronze Whalers from the shore in Africa. I used light single strand Alasticum wire for pike as a kid but it was very prone to kinking. Conger specialists don’t like wire for that reason as these brutes are prone to spin on the surface and standard swivel don’t work under pressure. I’ve had a few 8-10lb conger from the Bristol C (plenty big enough for me, they give me the willies) on wire bite traces on pulleys without problems of kinking even though most had a good writhe on the surface. I don’t know if the heavy gauge mono conger freaks favour will handle a tope’s gnashers? I was show a Kevlar based braid in Olivers at Clevedon last week, that the owner reckoned was tope proof. The carp lads on the big pits down south use this gear as snag leaders to avoid being cut off by Zebra mussels on shallow bars. Some Harefield lads used to use Archers bow strings for the same purpose, but this gear was banned because of the risk of tethering fish on crack-offs and lost gear. The catfish lads favour Kryston Quicksilver but again, I don’t know if it would handle a tope? These Kevlar based products aren’t cheap either, ET Products now do a 49 strand wire for piking that is very limp so you can knot it and I’m tempted to try it.

    One thing I would definitely check Rusty, is that your drags are smooth, especially if you use the modern ABUs. These have carbon drag washers that can become sticky when dry, I much prefer the grease impregnated leather washers used by Daiwa in the 6HM. As most cod angler’s fish with the drag pretty much locked up most of the time, be careful you don’t come unstuck as you may only get one shot at a shore tope. I had a very hairy time with a good hound a Pagham in 2004, because the drag on one of my Elite’s had gone very sticky. The fish pointed me at one stage and I had to yank line of the reel by hand, I doubt if you’d get away with that on a tope. When I had a look in the reel the carbon washers were bone dry, a bit of light oil rubbed on them sorted the problem. I bought both my Elites s/h in 95 and have had no problems with the other and don’t really know what happened there.

    On clean ground I think the onus is on line capacity rather than strength and bog std 0.35mm should cope and allow you to use a 6000 sized reel. If you are backing up you’ll need the 7000-sized reel or a big fixed spool. The lads I’ve talked to on Holderness who’ve caught tope from the beach reckon they tend to run along the shore so you can follow them. I think Phil favours the Synchro, a brilliant reel that I have in the 6000 size for smuts and big bass, far better than a star drag. I wish you could get a small lever drag multiplier you can cast with, I think John Holden used to import the South African ‘Newells’ but they have no cast controls. I’d stick to good old fashioned, stretchy, cheap, West German mono’, which will give you some insurance against being pointed if you forgot to set the drag.

    Anyway, hope you get one, but don’t neglect the bass or forget your ‘wets’!

    Cheers, T

    Ps Did you sort a headlamp out? I can lend you one if you’re stuck but you ought to be able to treat yourself with all your winnings ;D.

    Pps Bet he’s already gone ????!
  19. Maxie

    Maxie New Member

    heres a little thread from wsf,is it ok to post links glen?
    if i lived over there i think june would be sicky month.

    here is a link to their website as well,match fishing for tope,jammy gits.
  20. Baramundi Bob

    Baramundi Bob Super Leeds United !!!

    Of course its ok to do links mate. I'm not one of these who thinks people should use this site and no others. It all adds to the content and the debate :) :)

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