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Tope fishing



Fishing for Smoothhound and Tope from the shore with light tackle is the nearest you can get to big game fishing in this country and can be just as exciting. These are probably the only fish you can realistically expect to catch from the shore where leaving your rod unattended could mean your tackle disappears into the sea never to be seen again!

Steve Harder with 41lb 8oz Tope

Tope (Galeorhinus galeus) is the largest of our inshore sharks, also known as the soupfin shark, tope differ from smoothhounds in appearance in three keys areas:

Teeth - tope teeth are in rows, triangular, sawtooth shaped, designed for cutting. Colouration - a brownish grey without spots.Skin - rougher than smoothhound.

They are primarily bottom feeders but will come within the surf line to hunt shoaling fish such as whiting and pout. In fact, tope have been taken in surprisingly shallow water of only a few feet. Although they can be caught in daylight, they will more readily feed at dawn, dusk and in darkness. They are particularly fond of sandy beaches where there are flatfish in abundance and where there is a fairly fast current but they will also come in close to rocky headlands. A tagging programme is now in place and this has established that this shark is a long distance traveller with journeys of up to 1770 km recorded.


Tope remain in British coastal waters all year round but shore anglers have the best chance of making contact from May to October.


Float fishing using a balloon float. Legering.


Mackerel, a whole sandeel or frozen herring.

Tronix Tope Rig

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