Micro Tope – Sea Fishing at Blackpool

Blackpool, North Wall - Looks Like we May Get Wet
Blackpool, North Wall - Looking a Bit Like Rain

After a weeks worth of truly dismal weather we joined the guys from BLAS (Blackpool and Layton Angling Society) for an evening sea fishing match, fishing a couple of hours either side of high water at Blackpool North Wall.

We met at the boat club on the prom where the weather looked like it was preparing to throw a few suprises our way, but the forcast was for the wind to drop so we set up and got on with it just as the incoming tide hit the bottom of the wall. The swell was fierce and although we had initially been hoping for Ray or Smoothhounds it was looking more and more like Bass were going to be coming out – conditions looked perfect, the bottom being churned up nicely and a nice big surf.

As it turned out no Bass were caught by us although we heard of a few coming out either side of our group – typical.

My First Shore Caught Tope
My First Shore Caught Tope

About an hour in I managed to snare a small flounder that had engulfed my crab bait and impaled itself on a size 2/0 hook intended for slightly biger quarry. I decided to try something different and as the swell seemed to drop slightly I cast a sandeel fairly close in to try for a dogfish – not something I’d usually target, but this was a match and a fish is a fish after all.

While preparing my next rig with a crab I noticed my line go slack and start to move downtide, assuming the lead had been broken out by weed or the surf I wound down only to find it continuing to move at a very odd angle.

A little thump told me something was on but I had no idea what it could be until I landed my first ever shore caught Tope. Not the biggest specimen by any stretch of the imagination but still a perfectly formed mini shark, forget the match – this was brilliant.

After chatting to a few of the guys who fish the wall regularly during summer (they live in Blackpool) apparently this is fairly common and you can usually catch them using baby squid as bait.

We didn’t have and squid but you can bet that Wendy launched a sandeel bait seaward in her effort to snare one of these little beauties.

Wendy's Second Whiting
Wendy's Second Whiting

That was it for me although Dave got another small Tope on crab, Millsy a Whiting, Sparky a Whiting and Wendy, after trying every trick in the book managed to land a couple of Whiting.

As per usual with these matches the weather played a huge part in our lack of success and no one managed to land an insize fish but the evening was great, with good company and, much to our relief stayed rain free even if the wind didn’t drop as we’d hoped.

That’s probably going to be our last sea fishing session until we go to Anglesey but we are going to try and get out and do some fly fishing next weekend as all the new goodies we’d ordered after our lessons at Mere Beck arrived last week.

We’ve sorted everything out (as you do) and have got a couple of 8 weight rods for salt water fly fishing and a couple of cheaper 6 weight ones for normal fly fishing – for those times when no matter how hard you try time, tide and weather are against you. I’ll chat more about the gear once we’ve tried it.

So next weekend the plan is to go back to Mere Beck for a bit of practice on a lake before we attempt fly fishing in the sea and maybe, just maybe, catch a trout.


  1. SeatackleGuy said:

    I didn’t know you could catch Tope so small lol

    February 9, 2010
  2. Stu said:

    Small but perfectly formed 🙂

    February 10, 2010
  3. amanda edge said:

    Hi Nice tope, i took my grandson there last year and we caught 1 (dont want to brag but it was a little bigger) 🙂 my grandson is only 7 but loves fishing, he is autistic and finds catching fish and then giving them a cuddle then letting them go back home as he calls it a great calming but enjoyable night,
    I have been told that the council and police are stopping people driving to the lower prom and parking/fishing, can anyone tell me if this is right? or if we need to get a permit? we only go night fishing, from sept to nov (it gets a bit rough after that) hope some one can advise

    August 30, 2010
  4. Stu said:

    Hi Amanda

    I’m glad your Grandson likes fishing and finds it relaxing – it’s a great way to chill out.
    As for stopping car on the prom I believe (I could be wrong) that you can no longer drive down there, I’m not sure as I haven’t fished down there this year.

    The best thing I can suggest is ask on the BLAS forum (Blackpool and Layton Angling Society) – those guys will certainly know the parking situation.

    Click for the forum BLAS Forum

    August 31, 2010
  5. john said:

    I live near the wall, and am assured that no vehicle is allowed down the ramps to the sea wall any more. permit scheme was muttered about, but the truth is the police and council dont want the vehicles down there.

    August 31, 2010
  6. rhiann said:

    hi there is cars allowed down there but im sure its only with a permit :s .. fishing was amazing for me last year , had allsorts out , dogfisg, tope, thornyback ray , soul, and a 7lb bass which was amazing.. id never been fishin untill i went with my partner one night and i loved it.. im only 22 and i always thought fishing was for ‘oldies’ but i sure was wrong lol ….

    April 17, 2012
  7. Stu said:

    Hi Rhiann, You’re right – you need a permit to drive onto the wall now, best bet is just park higher up and walk down 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed the fishing last year – see if you can get your other half to take you up to Anchorholme during the back end of June, low water, calm sea and hot – use crab as bait and hold on 🙂 it’s Smooth hound time 🙂

    April 17, 2012

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