Posts Tagged ‘Dinghy angling’

Tope Antics off Greystones

Friday, July 12th, 2013

A double knock registers, zzzzzz, zzzzzz, the ratchet emits audible staccato clicks, a four meter tide flows strongly past the anchored Jean Anne. Old yella now in hand, brain runs through a split second check list. Ratchet disengaged, reel disengaged, drag pre set, “cool”, thumb controled line strips from the narrow spool Penn 4, rhythmic banging transmits along taught braid as a heavy female tope powers away down tide. The run develops, ten seconds counted lean back no need to strike the fishes momentum will do the needful, in an instant fifth gear, old yella takes the strain.

A Greystones, Co. Wicklow tope swims alongside before being lifted carefully aboard.

Powerfully running towards Bray Head the wily female turns on a sixpence and doubles back uptide. Reeling like blazes the old glassfibre twenty pound class rod heels over as contact is made yet again, whoosh she veers left and the equally old Penn reluctantly feeds line. So it continues for five minutes in the rushing tidal flow, giving and taking, taking and giving until grudgingly the large female swims alongside ready for tailing. Not quite, a sight of the boat and off she goes, pre set drag whines,  now she’s sulking three fathoms down. Carefully pumping, the tope rises into view, no admiring this time. Gary grabs the running leader to gain control before swiftly transfering his hands to her dorsal fin and tail wrist, with all his strength he hoists the twitching, writhing, teeth knashing tope over the gunwale.

Thirty pounds plus of angry female tope.

Back in 2011 Gary and I set forth on four occasions in search of these underwater cheetahs before eventually striking it lucky at the fifth attempt, fast forward to July 2013 and we connect first drop, well almost. Motoring through the harbour mouth at 05.45am to catch the start of the flood our immediate concern was catching mackerel. Two hours later and with only four in the bucket I pointed Jean Anne towards a mark north east of the Moulditch ridge. Anchoring up we lowered our hard won bait to the seabed 10 fathoms below. Five minutes in Gary’s reel started to sing.

Mackerel, a top bait for tope.

Leaning into the fast running tope Gary connected preceeding to play the fish for around two minutes then nothing. Retrieving his line all became clear, a crimp had given way. Sods law but at least they’re about. However sod didn’t stop there, later while retrieving Gary gets hit again.  This time the tope powered off midwater before letting go after ten seconds. Reeling to the surface there she is following the bait, will she, won’t she, flick of her tail and she’s gone. Immediately lowering the rig within seconds a very determined run develops, she’s persistant but so was Gary’s bad luck, sod strikes three, now baitless we call it quits.

Playing a tope off Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

What a day it had been, glorious sunshine the result of a blocking high centered over Ireland creating clear blue skies and searing heat with inland temperatures hitting 30 degrees. One fish in the boat, four runs, a bull huss and a tope swimming up sixty foot to say hello, nature in full view. Firing up the engine I point Jean Anne towards Greystones, the high stool and a welcome pint in the beach house………

See also: Screaming Reels.

Click on: Heatwaves and Tope.