Mark Heffernan had some huge tope last week, something that is becoming an annual occurrence for him at this time of year (Tope Legend lands legendry tope of 67.5lb on Carlingford Lough and Small boat FishMagnet a tope magnet with 7 to 53lb landed)…

Very good few hours fishing. Everything was a hurry for me as I had work this afternoon and wasn’t even gona bother going out at all  , but I suppose those unplanned trips are often the very best ones.

70lb tope
Mark's huge tope, stimated at a shade under 70lb

The best fish came first and fought very hard, it was like being attached to a seal. It porpoised twice on the surface like a dolphin, before tearing off on long runs. Pound for pound these tope definitly put blue sharks in the shade by a big margin.

Speaking of seals, we had 2 in close attendance all morning, but they didn’t seem to put the fish off at all. They were probably full as there were loads of mackerel about.

I got all my fish uptiding on a whole large mackerel on a 10/0 VMC circle hook. We only fished 2 rods between us all morning, one up and 1 down tide.


Niall also had good tope - 55lb!
Niall also had good tope - 55lb!

Gally’s wee fella, Niall was really the star of the trip, boating 2 tope and would of had 3 only I let one slip off at the side of the gunnel. All the tope weights are approximate as there are no scales on the the good ship Tope Legend. We measure, fork length and girth and used the formula of Girth x Girth x Length divided by 800. The best fish was 62″ fork length by 30″ girth. Which is coming in just below 70lb. But even allowing for error it’s still a good 60 odd pounder


With word of a few tope about , Matthew Corrigan found it too hard to resist not launching the SIB (Small Inflatable Boat) last Friday morning.
Matthew and his sone Kian headed straight across Dundalk Bay to the fishing grounds, and after getting the few mackerel needed for bait it was not long before we were into the tope .  Although none were as big as the 70lb fish reported on above Matthew broke his PB twice.  He started off one of 40lb, followed shortly by a 58lb, then a 62lb and last but not least a 48lb tope.


62lb tope for Matthew
62lb tope for Matthew
bull huss
Kian had some huss and doggies and kept the bait supply topped up

Matthew had some great help on the boat from Kian, who had all scales and slings ready, the minute the tope were at the boat. Kian was kept entertained with numerous doggies and the odd huss, which kept him more than content, while also keeping my bait supply topped up.

Matthew tells us, “There are a few biggies round at the minute, one tope I could not stop, just took off and left me with the job of re-tackling the whole rig  – as mentioned above pound for pound these girls leave the Blues in the shade”.


Then on Sunday, 01 September, Mark was out again!

…Today it was back to every man for himself (Paddy and Gally) and none of this handing around rods stuff. After some dog and huss interest I finally had a screamer on my Uptide/Bait runner combo which is on fire at the moment. A good fight later and we had a plump tope on board and tagged. It went 46lb on the scales, allowing for the sling.

52lb tope
A 52lb tope for Mark

Soon after a tope nearly pulled Paddy’s rod into the sea, but then dropped the bait . It then took my bait and did the same. Things went quiet, so a move was made to a different mack. Here we no sooner had the baits in the water when my ratchet started screaming. Another great fight, when the tope circled the boat 3 times, but eventually surrendered. This was a long lean female which went 52lb on the scales.

Old tag
This tope looks like it was tagged a while back...

Interestingly she had a banacle encrusted tag in her Dorsal which must of been in place for some time as her skin was starting to grow around it. It will be interesting to find out this Topes history.

The next couple of hours were blank apart from the odd dog and Macks, so when the tide turned and the sea built up we made for shore.
There are still plenty of mackerel about and Paddy and Gally are now gunning for revenge

All reports courtesy of Boat-Angling-Ireland.