September 30, 2011 Featured Article Read More →

Kayak Angler Towed Over Half a Mile by 65lb Tope

Hooked swimming tope2A man sea-fishing from a kayak was left wishing he had a bigger boat when he was dragged for half a mile after hooking a 6ft (1.8m) shark.

Rupert Kirkwood, 51, was fishing from the tiny craft a mile off the Devon coast in the Bristol Channel when he hooked a 65lb (29.5kg) tope shark.

The species is harmless but that did not stop the fish turning tail and dragging Mr Kirkwood, a conservationist and vet, along behind it on his small kayak.

He told the Western Morning News he had been sitting on the sea off Ilfracombe in poor weather for four hours without a bite when he felt a “great tug” on the line, which was baited with mackerel.

image“These creatures are known to do a run and it is just like Jaws – the line flew off the reel for what seemed like about 10 seconds,” he told the paper.

“I tightened up the drag and swung the rod around and it started pulling me along – eventually I reeled it in and carefully lifted it out by its pectoral fin and tail.

“It was thrilling to catch something that big and it knocks spots off anything I have landed before.”

The shark Mr Kirkwood caught was later released unharmed.

For more information on this story see here.

For advice on handling tope check out our handling codes of best practice to ensure both your own and the sharks safety!

Posted in: Shark Bites
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