Explosive North Sea tope fishing

by David Proudfoot

Excellent reports of tope caused many small boat anglers from Grimsby and the surrounding areas to put to sea this week in anticipation of enjoying an encounter with this toothy member of the shark family. Last Sunday Mark Taylor and Thomas Marshall enjoyed their first tope trip… and what an incredible adventure it turned out to be.
Wayne Baxter
Fresh mackerel bait proved hard to find but Mark and Thomas eventually located enough to begin fishing. A tearing run ripped line from a reel within minutes and Mark engaged a large and powerful fish. A huge tope was eventually battled to the boat-side; at 6-feet in length the impressive specimen was bigger than a goggle-eyed Mark! The scales only went to 55lb and the fish dragged the needle beyond the maximum without it completely leaving the deck. It was estimated at around 70lb and quickly returned to the sea.

Thomas was soon into another mighty fish, which unfortunately reduced his Abu rod to carbon splinters and was lost. Numerous runs resulted in a total of four large tope each for the pair who are now properly addicted to toping.

Tony Burman and Peter Spendlow put to sea on Tuesday and managed to find a few mackerel. A fresh bait brought instant action and Peter went on to land a fine 47lb fish. Tony mounted a freshly caught mackerel on a wire trace and minutes later found himself on the end of a ripping 200 yard tope run which ended in escape as the tope managed to snap the 100lb mono leader.

Wayne Baxter (pictured) was also out and landed a stunning 78lbs a specimen tope. This is an excellent fish in anyone’s book and personal best for Wayne.

If you fancy a crack at these big tope then fresh, live mackerel is the key to success. The sea off Withernsea is apparently stuffed with mackerel and the hope is that the baitfish will spread out and mark even better tope numbers, and perhaps a record breaking fish.

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