Tope Fishing This Summer - My Way

If you are planning a fishing trip, then let us know the venue and the time, even add meeting place for others to catch up with you.

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Tope Fishing This Summer - My Way

Postby wobbler72 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:36 pm

I’ve been fishing now since 2008 so I’m now into my 10th year. Not sure exactly how many, but I’ve certainly had dozens of Tope from the shore now. Enough for me to start refining my technique.

I’ve not been out much lately for a variety of reasons, but that’s not so bad; it’s given me time to think. I’ve got a boat now and intend to spend this season developing my watercraft and sussing out new marks. I’ll still be out there, but I’ll be doing a bit less shore fishing this year. Just enough to put my son on his first shore caught Tope, hopefully.

Now I enjoy my beach fishing. I enjoy getting into the rod and casting out a bait as far as I can, (although usually catch more fish closer in). I enjoy lure fishing for Bass too but if you’re fishing the craggier parts of our coastline as I tend to do then, for me at any rate, rock fishing for Tope is where it’s at.

It starts with the remoteness. I love getting away from it all, finding a perch for myself and then pitting my wits against whatever’s beneath the waves. Known “marks” have held little interest for me in recent years. I prefer to explore and find my own.

In recent times I’ve been travelling with just 2 rods: a medium rated lure rod; and a fairly powerful beachcaster.

Years gone by, I’d take loads of bait with me. Once in position, I’d make up the beachcaster (my century C Curve being my favourite option), paired with a Saltist 30 and 25lb mainline) and launch out half a Mackerel to the edge of any visible tidal movement. Not so any more. I tend to avoid large deadbaits now, principally because they attract too many pesky dogfish. There’s nothing worse than being plagued by them as it prevents the Tope getting to the bait.

So these days, what I’ve been doing is making up the beachcaster and casting out a big (7 or even 8oz) longtail lead with heavy grip wires into the tide. Oh, and a rotten bottom! Once settled, I clip on the livebait slider and clip the hook through one of the eyes in the rod, ready to attach a livebait. If you haven’t done it already, look for a safe place to land decent fish. This often varies with the state of tide, so it pays to review this up and down the tide.

I like to be active and I’d rather catch something, than nothing. So, out comes the lure rod. This is the weapon that’s vital to me. It will usually out-fish my beachcaster by a factor of 10:1 (at least) and it will be responsible for the majority of the fun I have on most days. It doesn’t have to be anything special. I still use my old Teklon Concept Spin 8ft 3” lure rod rated to 50 or 60g casting weight (can’t remember now), paired with a 4000size reel and 30lb braid. Occasionally I switch to a 9ft Teklon Royale which is sometimes handy in the faster tidal pulls and for extra distance, especially into onshore winds, but it’s not as comfortable to use all day.

I cast feathers and smaller Sabiki’s with a 2oz lead (3oz on the bigger rod).

Unlike deadbaits (where smellier fish like Mackerel tend to do best), livebaits can be anything. I’ve had my best Tope on small (6-8inch) Pollack, but Mackerel obviously work, as do Launce (had some cracking Pollack on them too). Whiting also do well for the Huss. Whatever it is, once I’ve got something suitable, I stick an 8/0 circle hook through its back, underneath the dorsal fin, and slide it out on the livebait slider into the depths. The real joy of this style of fishing is you can then leave it; all day if you like because Crabs and Prawn don’t strip livebaits off your hook! Just back off the drag on your reel and flick the ratchet on. No need to watch the rod tip. You’re fishing by sound now, not sight, just waiting for the ratchet to start screaming.

I then spend the rest of my day with the lure rod. I return to the feathers and sabiki’s from time to time to give me a good indication of what’s about (Launce, Mack, Pollack, Coley, Whiting etc.). I use a few of them (chopped up) to get a bit of a scent trail in the water. You do occasionally get a few surprise Bass, Gurnard, Wrasse etc. on them too, especially if baited. But for the better specimen fish generally, I switch to soft plastics. They don’t have to be fancy (although I do love the Megabass Xlayer tiny’s in Ayu). Most small to medium size stick baits will do the trick. Just cast out, and sink and draw, drawing as soon as you feel the lead touch down (whether it be on the sea bed, rock, top of the kelp etc.). Trust me, a 6lb Pollack or a 5lb Wrasse on this set-up is great sport! And if this is all you catch in the session, then it’s not so bad, for me at any rate.

And all the time, listening for the ratchet; waiting for the Holy grail of UK shore angling, the Tope. One of the few fish in our waters that can give a beachcaster a workout.

This is my way of fishing for Tope.

Roll on summer!

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Re: Tope Fishing This Summer - My Way

Postby Steve Duffy » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:10 pm

A good read Kev. :thumbsup:
Thats bang out of order !

Species--- Bass,ray,smoothhound,starry smoothhound,plaice,flounder,dab,LSD,huss,whiting,coddling,mackeral,pout,pollock.

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Re: Tope Fishing This Summer - My Way

Postby Tom » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:30 pm

Good read. Will come back to read this before heading to the island later on in the year :D :thumbsup:
Whiting, Pollock, Pouting, Dab, Codling, Huss, Dog, Plaice, Blenny, 5B Rockling, Flounder, Silver Eel, Bass, Thornback, Starry, Common SH, Ballan, Corkwing, Rock Goby, LS Scorpion, Tompot, Grey, Tub G, Launce, Mackerel, PoorCod, Weever, Cuckoo, Conger 29

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Re: Tope Fishing This Summer - My Way

Postby JIMMYJIZZMO » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:25 am

Great post :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

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Re: Tope Fishing This Summer - My Way

Postby Bobdeniro2 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:56 am

Very inspirational, has got me thinking seriously about my fishing for this year, thanks :clap: :thumbsup:
2018: Codling, Dogfish, Dab, Flounder, Plaice, Pollack, Rockling, Starry Smoothhound, Tope, Whiting,

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