Who out there has caught a tope from a kayak?

Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:12 pm

A mate of mine Gary Robinson has boated (kayaked) two tope from his kayak in recent weeks. Is this a common occurance around our coastline? Here's Gary's story, http://bit.ly/qVlEYv.
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Re: Who out there has caught a tope from a kayak?

Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:23 pm

I seen a few pics from a lad in Galway . He had 5 in the one session last month. Haven't heard of anything else

Re: Who out there has caught a tope from a kayak?

Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:17 am

this would be a great achievement.id imagine a goo 50lber would pull you everywhere :mrgreen:

Re: Who out there has caught a tope from a kayak?

Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:17 am

Fantastic achievement and I am sure great fun. Having spoken to Gary even a 25.lber will pull you around and is a bit of a handfull when unhooking. Given that you can become attached to a forty, fifty, or even sixty pound tope from the location Gary fished I would wonder how wise the method is.

I can just imagine six foot of angry tope thrashing that big lobed tail and bearing those banks of teeth, much as it seems exciting I'll stick to the boat.

Re: Who out there has caught a tope from a kayak?

Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:15 pm

Hi Ashley Its common enough for us yakkers to fish the tope, I must admit I usually only fish the shore for them. Id say the big females that run kilcoole this time of year would be a struggle on the yak to be honest. The pliers would be wanted on standby :lol:

I know a guy who has fished blue shark from the kayak....with boat backup of course.

Re: Who out there has caught a tope from a kayak?

Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:46 pm

hi lads, i'm the captor of the tope on the kayak. it was possibly the most fun i have had while holding a fishing rod. having said that i would certainly not encourage anybody to go out and buy a kayak and then hit the high seas in search of tope straight away. i have been kayaking now for a few years and only in the last couple of months have i been targeting large fish from the yak. i have spent many hours on the water, without fishing gear, learning the limits of what i and the kayak can do. the yak is very stable in the water and is not like conventional kayaks - it is designed for fishing and has a very stable flat bottomed hull. the only time i have ever capsized is when i have done it intentionally. i have done this countless times to practice getting back on board in case one day it does happen for real. i can re-board the kayak pretty much in my sleep at this stage.

i have only caught a couple of tope on the kayak and to be honest this is due to the measured, methodical approach i take to this style of fishing. despite the stability of the craft, i will only go out after tope in very calm weather. in fact i came in early the other day because the wind started to pick up and even though conditions were not dangerous i always prefer to err on the side of safety. i bring out minimal gear when i go after fish like this and the kayak is never overloaded. i have seen lads venturing out with ridiculous amounts of gear. all i carry is a couple of spare leads, hooks, traces and swivels. aside from this the only other gear i have is safety gear. i wear a full wetsuit and pdf and i would be a fairly strong swimmer, having learned how to swim through lessons from the age of four when in primary school. i also use an anchor in conjunction with an anchor trolley which ensures a safe stable platform to fish from and i carry a buoy that i can attach to the anchor rope so that if i do hook into a really big fish then i can cut the anchor loose, drift with the fish and return to the anchor at a later stage.

also in the photo that shows the tope laying across the kayak you can see a long nose pliers and wire cutters which are always to hand. if the tope are struck into early it ensures a clean hooking and the first fish i got didn't even need to be removed from the water for unhooking. i only hauled the fish in the photo onto the deck of the kayak after sizing it up and making the decision that it would be safe enough to bring on board. a much bigger fish would be unhooked in the water. also in the photo beside the unhooking gear can be seen a sharp knife. if anything ever gets too "hairy" it will be a case of me cutting the line. better safe than sorry. all gear, rods included are fastened to the deck so that if i should capsize, nothing will be lost.

i would never advocate that everybody should try the method, just those who are confident and competent in their kayaking , fish playing and unhooking skills, not to mention swimming ability. the method is not 100% safe, no method of fishing is and accidents happen to those fishing all the time, be it from a boat or the shore, sea, river or lake but i am confident that if anything bad happens that i have practiced and trained myself to get out of a tricky situation. the method is not for everybody but after watching footage of kayakers landing 350lb+ marlin from their craft after fights that have lasted over 8 hours i came to the conclusion that a tope would be "well doable". i am taking a calculated risk but i have weighed up the eventualities and i am confident that if i fish for them in the right conditions that no harm should come to either angler or fish.

with the weather not looking great for the next few weeks, it looks like my next attempt for the tope will not happen until next year. in the meantime i hope to try and target some bigger pike over the winter, assuming that the lakes do not freeze over.