Paul Kirk from Dundalk & District SAC had a day to remember when fishing up in the Carlingford Lough area recently. Opting for an early morning start, he departed at 4am on well-known local angler Joe Mulholland’s boat. They began the morning by fishing for mackerel in 3 of the usual spots without success. They did manage a few small coalies and gurnards, which they kept for bait, but couldn’t get a bite on them. Then they tried some leftover frozen mackerel from last year, but that also failed to get any interest from the tope. Eventually, they managed to catch a few mackerel, 7 in total. They quickly switched to the fresh bait, each putting on a mackerel flapper. The fresh bait did the trick, as soon after, Paul’s rod bent over into a 68 lb whopper of a tope, which was tagged and returned in good condition. They caught six more tope averaging around the 35lb mark, and all were tagged and released as part of Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Marine Sportfish Tagging Programme.