Tope (latin Galeorhinus galeus)

The Tope, a member of the Shark family, is fast and powerful. They generally have a light grey topside and white belly. Female fish grow up to 45 kilos (100 lbs) but a fish of 15 kilos (32 lbs) is a very good fish, and the smaller males are usually around the 12-18 kilos range. Tope are found in a variety of different waters, from shallow gravel bottoms, to deeper rough ground. Male Tope arrive in the Shannon Estuary as early as March each year. Tope hunt many different species of fish from mackerel herring and whiting to pouting and flatfish. We usually fish for Tope over sand and gravel, and with the boat at anchor as the tides can be very strong in the Shannon Estuary. Fishing Adventures is part of the Marine Sportfish Tagging programme so all our sharks are documented, tagged and released unharmed.

How To Catch A Tope

We fish for Tope using a 20-30lb class rod and Penn 4/0 or similar reel and a fairly large hook with a wire trace, as the shark’s rough skin will snap regular fishing line, and shock leader if using braid. We tend to use 30llb breaking strain fishing line, this is a guideline as some of our shark and Tope fishers are using lighter or heavier tackle depending on personal preference. We use a mackerel and remove the backbone to create a flapper, but Fishing Adventures has caught Tope using different baits, even a small flattie.