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Small tides meant tope would be the primary target for the weekend.

Saturday 17th
Only 4 of us onboard - we made our way out on the first lock; quick drift on an inshore wreck saw us have a few pouting for fresh bait options; we moved further off shore where we found good numbers of mackerel - 30mins saw the live wells full so we headed up to the reef to fish for tope.

Action started pretty quickly but wasn't frantic by any means.















Fishing was steady throughout the day; we ended with 8 tope to 32lb, smoothhounds to 14lb, bull huss to 7lb, 15 or so bream, a few pollack, codling, pouting, mackerel and dogs. We ended the day at 3 pm as I had a stag do to attend in the evening.

Sunday 18th:
The trip started at 8:30 - I planned a later trip as I knew I'd be worse for wear post stag-do!!

Mackerel were more patchy than the day before, it took maybe 2 hours of searching before the live wells were full.

We travelled to a different area which is more noted for tope, in the hope of staying away from the flotilla that descends on the reef on sunny flat weekend days.

In short - this was a poor choice; we only had 4 tope here for a few hours fishing. We had a lot of aborted runs which leads me to think there were only a few fish in the area so they had plenty of time to check out the baits.







We moved back up to the reef for the start of the ebb... here it was poor also, for 3 hours only the odd smoothound, bull huss or dogfish would make an appearance. Slowly the other boats started to leave which seemed to have switched the bream and hounds on. Over the last 2 hours of the trip we had 30+ bream, most coming to some horrible sticky, decomposing lug worm left from Wednesday's trip. Mostly small fish but about 60% were insize.

We turned a very slow day into a pretty enjoyable session by waiting it out. The day was very tough for me, I was horribly hung over; it was very very warm and still so trying to keep cool was a struggle; that was until I started putting my feet in buckets of cool sea water around 2pm after the toping was finished - I wish I'd thought of that at 9 am!!
 

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Great report & superb pics (despite the models) even more remarkable is that putting your feet in a bucket of cold sea water can cure a hangover? Patent that & you can buy an Oystercat for each of us :D
 
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