In the hope of a Tope May 28, 2018 10:13:36 GMT -1
Post by deerphil on May 28, 2018 10:13:36 GMT -1
Only five years ago I started my journey "in the hope of a Tope" from my yak. With
quite a few years experience of yak fishing for Bass, Pollack etc. with lures and
fly - tope was going to be a challenge, but one that I felt ready for. I researched
things and built up confidence with some great smoothhound fishing until the big day
arrived. My first attempt four years ago, and with a little help and advice from fishhunter,
duc, overrun and dizzyfish, all went well - success !
I will always be indebted to James for coming off anchor and taking this cracking
trophy shot for me. I was elated and I knew instantly that I would be back for more.
Over the last four years I have enjoyed some fantastic yakfishing for tope. So, when
Manfred said he would love to catch a yak tope, I didn't hesitate - "Phil'll fix it"
Here's Manfred the other day on his way down the Afon Dysynni on our way to the reef.
This would be our 4th attempt to "fix it" reasons for failure incl. sea swells, plagues
of massive jellyfish, broken down camper, but this was going to be different. I was very
confident of success today. We had planned, booked time off, driven 3 hours to arrive
ready to fish the ebb on a good tide with little wind and fresh frozen mackerel that I had
caught especially for today !
In mill pond seas we rafted the yaks together spot on the mark and Manfred dropped his bait
down to the reef.
How could we fail this time ? - we couldn't ! , either his mackerel had been re-incarnated
as a turbo charged tuna - or, it was a tope ? I hadn't even got my bait down yet ! Manfred
was using 20lb main line but after expertly handling a strong 100 yard run and a few hairy
moments, a good tope was at the side of his yak begging to come aboard. She would have to
endure a hairy moment of her own too - Manfreds legs were uncovered !
back she goes.
We had done it ! and I felt that same feeling, from 4 years ago, of elation, for Manfred
had realised his dream. Brilliant ! We grabbed a celebratory doughnut but before I got to
the jam my reel began to sing with that unmistakable sound of a tope run. Engage gear,
tighten up and .... Tope on ! another 100 yard unstoppable run - fantastic ! this tope
enjoyed some surface action too , quite spectacular. After an excellent display of power
she too was happy to join us for a pic.
back she goes, quite happy that she had avoided Manfred's legs ! He was quite happy
she had too.
Things were going well and it was not long before I was in again and another fantastic
run, these tope were really going for it !
This one reminded me why you shouldn't use pennel rigs for tope on a yak. Oh well
it is an old dry suit now - another repair required.
Whilst unhooking drysuit, tope wrestling, and on my wrong side, the tope caught
my paddle holder and flipped one end into the current.
A good reminder of how quickly things can go wrong with yak fishing for tope !
Order restored and another smile for the camera.
It was about now I found that my waterproof Pentax WG 10 - wasn't !!
It had let a little water in and was playing up a bit. I was worried that
we may have lost some pics and vid and my back up camera was, yes, in the car !
Manfred hooked a very good sized Bullhuss which came off just before we could
get a shot and then I hooked up a 3rd tope and luckily the camera played ball.
It made me smile when a small fishing boat with 3 anglers came over and asked
if we had much luck. I replied " yes we've had four " , " what, Mackerel ? "
" Err no,, Tope ! " , " what ? on that ?? " Obviously not met any tope crazed
yakkers before !! Just at that moment my reel screams and my fourth tope sped
off to the horizon - their faces were almost as entertaining as playing the fish !
Alas, this one came off half way in. This was to be the last of the action and
nearing low tide it was time to call it a day and make wakes.
So pleased for Manfred getting his tope, and a good one too, we will be back
again soon "in hope of another tope"
Take care all, and enjoy your kayak fishing.