Puca-Shannon estuary/loop head 7 august

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Puca-Shannon estuary/loop head 7 august

Postby bigkev » Sat Aug 13, 2005 10:25 am

Late post, but here ya go
My crew have been unreliable lately due to holidays and drinking etc, so the brother in law was press ganged into crewing for me on sunday
We set out for loop head in lovely sunshine with light variable winds .
There was a small swell off the head which reduced the said in-law to a green and retching heap, so after catching enough mackerel on 5 drops, I took pity and we ran back up the estuary.
A miracle recovery, and a half hour stop to photograph the resident pod of bottlenose dolphins, saw us anchor off littor strand to fish for tope at slack water. Mackerel flappers were lowered, and while waiting for the tope, some baited feathers set up to see what small fish were lurking on this tope mark
Immediately, we boated 3 whiting at nearly 2 lbs each. I was pretty amazed as it was bright and sunny, and I thought the whiting were out in deeper offshore waters. It soon became apparent, that the bottom was full of small fish , as there was a constant rattle of small fish at the rod top.
Then the brother in law hooked and landed a tope at 37 lbs, the biggest of our season so far, as all the fish have been like carbon copies at 22-26 lbs.He spent the rest of the day grinning like a cheshire cat. He then lost what appeared to be a much bigger tope, before we had to steam for home
Interestingly, all the tope we have taken have been male!
An absolute refusal to put sunblock on and a lack of a hat meant I dropped him home looking like a giant stick of beet root.
A nice day out, and good to see the tope back at my favourite mark
Kev
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Postby Peter Kinsella » Sat Aug 13, 2005 12:12 pm

Nice, colourful report Kev.
In what depth of water were you fishing for tope? Also, were the flappers fished on the bottom ?

Up here, in Galway Bay, I fish for tope on sandy banks in about 80 foot of water with the bait on the bottom. I have, however, seen anglers in the lower Shannon fishing flappers in mid-water.

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Shannon tope

Postby bigkev » Sat Aug 13, 2005 1:26 pm

Hi Pete
This particular mark off littor is 60-70 feet deep at the bottom of a steeply shelving drop off from the main beach,and we fish the flappers hard to the bottom as the run of tide can be very strong. Interestingly, we get far more runs using a side of mackerel rather than a full flapper, but recently we've been plagued with doggies.
In early june, there were large packs of tope on these grounds, but they seem to have dispersed into smaller groups across the estuary now. When the tope were really on it in June,there was zero doggy activity , and you could fish fillets with confidence that the only fish you'd catch were tope. Now we are using flappers as they withstand the doggies better
Keep floating
Kev
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