With a few free hours last night I decided to give the tope a go, so off I went to one of my usual marks.
I got there and wasted no time in setting up. I put one rod out with frozen mackeral on a wire trace and another rod baited with crab to see if anything else was about. The ends of the tope baits were getting munched on by dogs so I was checking my baits every thirty mins.
Two hours into the session the tope rod got walloped and line started peeling off the reel. I reduced the drag slightly to let the fish take the bait fully as I lost a good fish last week by striking too early. With the fish showing no sign of slowing down I was getting low on line so I decided to stop him and start getting some line on. It made a couple of more runs and I played it for about five minutes before ping it was off. I was devastated, each tope run is a golden moment so if you miss your chance sometimes that’s it.
I now switched the other rod onto a tope bait too and hoped that there was still more around. An hour went by before the original rod went again. I picked up the rod and struck in after a few seconds….. fish on!
I could feel the power of it as it tried to make its way down tide of me. It made a few runs and I was walking down the beach after it. I applied the pressure and soon I could see it in the surf it’s eyes reflecting from my headlamp. When I got close enough I dropped the rod and tailed the fish. Once I got it safely up the beach I could now relax a bit.
I took a few pictures on the self timer which is easier said than done! With a couple of pics taken I got it onto the mat with my Dublin vs. Kerry specimen card just in case. The fish was 155cm, and although not a specimen still a decent fish, I was delighted and I quickly got her weighed with the scales showing 30lb on the nose.
I got the fish back into the water and waited for it to revive a bit, but within seconds it was swimming off again strongly. I didn’t even fish on after that, By now it was getting late and I was on a high, mission accomplished. I packed up and made for home.
The rig I used was 6ft of 150lb wire on a rubbing leader with a 6oz grip weight on a tronixpro zip slider with 8/0 hooks and for casting I hooked the baits on to the grip wires.