71lb Thames tope landed

AT 71lb, this tope was a true ‘fish of a lifetime’ and came during a session on the Thames estuary for Stewart Morrell.

The impressive specimen is just 11lb shy of the British record for the species and one of the biggest caught from the area for decades.

Malden-based Stewart was fishing aboard Ron Angel’s boat ‘Why Worry’ out of Burnham-on-Crouch in Essex,  uptiding with a mackerel head attached to a 7/0 circle hook and a 130lb nylon trace. Skipper Ron said he had been seeking a fish like this for a long time for his clients:

“The last 70lb-plus tope caught here that I can recall was in the 1990s and a fish over 50lb is considered a specimen. The really big tope are females and we usually only get a six week run of them between May and June. They’re a bit later than usual this year though and there’s a really good run of them,” he said.

For more on his trips visit www.whyworryanglingcharters.co.uk or call 07956 439244.