We launched onto a calm sea. I had brought frozen Mackerel but was hoping we would catch fresh. Soon enough the Dragonfly 5 screen filled up with a mass of fish. Strings of Mackerel were soon being pulled aboard! 20 minutes later and we had plenty for bait. Time to send one down for something bigger....
10 minutes or so and i had a bite. This was a good sign! Soon enough it developed into a run and a Tope was on! It wasn't very big but gave a good account of itself. A small Tope of around 10-15lb was soon onboard, unhooked and released. That was a promising start. Another Mackerel was sent down and minutes later another run! Hell, this was looking very promising!
The hook was set and the fish powered off. This one was a bit bigger. They really do go well and several powerful runs later it started to get near the surface. I called Rob over to photograph the fish once i got it onboard. It was still going nuts beneath the kayak and then headed towards the surface straight for Rob and breached!! This Tope was mental! I finally got it beside the kayak and pulled it onboard. A respectable Tope of around 20lb.....
The Tope seemed to be on the feed and soon enough Rob had a hook up....
The fish was giving him a good run round and he was hoping it would be a new PB. It looked a good fish and after a few powerful runs back to the bottom we had it on the kayak. Unhooked, measured and photographed before release. The measurements gave a calculated weight of 28lb, Rob had a new PB!
30 minutes in and 3 Tope between us, fantastic! The action didn't stop there either. The baits were getting smashed! Another one soon came to the kayak
And another around the 20lb mark!!
I stuck the Hokkais down to get some more fresh mackerel. A few more strings were caught and then i hit solid resistance......Uh oh! The fish powered off and the Ugly Stik 6-12lb took the strain as i tried to turn it. This fish was fast, and kept swimming back towards me making everything slack before powering off again. I was waiting for it to bite through the line but then thought it may be fouled hooked..... nope. The Tope had taken a bare hokkai square in the mouth...crazy! It was around the 20lb mark again and it went really well on the lighter rod
I had another couple and so did Rob before things went a bit quiet for half an hour. We had only been on the water for two hours and had 8 between us. We had a few more Mackerel out for bait before paddling quite a way offshore to a reef mark i fancied the look of. We anchored up on the clean ground beside it and sent down baits again. Being near a reef i thought we may be in with a chance of Bull Huss and Conger incase the Tope had switched off...... they hadn't.
The reels were soon singing and rods bending. The rigs were getting wrecked and my arms were starting to ache! The Tope were feeding hard and the sun was shining.... This is why we go kayak fishing!
5 minutes of battling and she appears beside the kayak.....
We had a double hook up which was fun avoiding tangles which resulted in a couple of mid-doubles.
The Tope seemed to be homing straight into my baits despite Rob having an identical set up and bait. Number 9 was over the 20lb mark and number 10 was a baby....
Number 11 headed off for America and pretended to be twice its size. A cracking fight saw another around 20lb on the kayak. You really wouldn't have wanted to be a Mackerel swimming this stretch of coast on this day!
Rob eventually had one taking his bait. A spirited fight saw a mid-double brought to the kayak. This was fantastic sport!
Number 12 was another powerful fish that was darting around all over the place. Several times i thought it had come off only to wind in 30 yards of slack line to find it swimming at the kayak! Another one getting on for 20lb....
It was time to go but i had a bite! It was chomping away at the Mackerel before moving off at speed. I bent into it and it went off hard. This one felt better! It fought hard and powered off again and again along the surface. It was looking to be my biggest of the session. Rob was ready to get some photos and once i had it under control at the side of the kayak i pulled it onboard for measuring. Tope number 13 was my biggest of the day at 26lb 8oz (calculated weight from length and girth measurements).
We up anchored and began the long paddle back. It was the best Tope session i have had so far in terms of numbers of Tope. I had finished up with 13 to 26lb 8oz and Rob had 5 to 28lb. 18 Tope between us and we had dropped at least that many too. What an incredible session! It was a Tope feeding frenzy! Other species really didn't have a chance to find the bait. It was a session that will be remembered for a while and it will keep the fishing spark alive during the cold winter months when the weather doesn't allow for a launch. Sessions like this are the reason we go kayak fishing - beautiful weather, stunning coastline, plenty of hard fighting fish and good company. We wanted Tope and we got them. Mission accomplished. Happy Days indeed!
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