Impromptu 11pm topknot

LRF fishing provides many opportunities for anglers, wether it be chasing new mini species, maximising the sport with small rockfish such as wrasse, enjoying the fight of mackerel and scad or even light game bass there is something for everyone. The beauty of LRF is how quick you can be fishing and how little tackle you need to get fishing.


When i first moved to Dorset i'd often decide to go fishing at 10:30pm for 30 mins before bed, it helped that i lived on the edge of the harbour but the mystery of what lurked beneath drew me and the speed of getting to the waters edge often made the decision an easy one to make. Thursday just gone Matt Drake a long term friend gave me a call at about 10:50pm, he was holidaying local to me and he'd said earlier in the week the plan was to catch his first ever topknot this week. For those who aren't familiar a topknot is a small flat fish that likes to live vertically on rocks, in cracks on the wall and on other structures. Matt said excitedly 'I've spotted 3, 2 small ones and a bigger one' straight away i knew where he was and which fish the big one was as he's a fish i've caught on a number of occasions before.


Matt was struggling and i know how much it meant to him to catch one of these so i grabbed a bag, a warm coat and an LRF rod and headed out to see him, by 11pm we're looking at 2 of the 3 fish, the big ones stubborn and had retreated into a crack but was still visible- just not active. The smaller one was on 'THE' post, for anyone who's read my book Hooked on Lure Fishing you'll know the topknot story and the illustration of the harbour featured a topknot in tribute to it! Well - this wasn't that fish, but it was the same post.



The topknot kept coming and going but was timid, i spent about 5 mins coaxing it up to where i thought it would take the lure whilst Matt was pacing around puffing on his vape wondering if he'd get one. Once i thought it was ready to strike i called Matt to have a go, by ready i mean his fins were all undulating like a fish that's alive, his eyes were fixed on my lure and tracking it's movement, when they're inactive and trying to blend in nothing moves, not even their eyes. Matt dropped in on it, it bit almost instantly with its small mouth shooting out from it's body to suck in the lure, Matt struck but the hook didn't stick, we both peeled away in pain whilst Matt cursed! Un-deterred Matt dropped back in and the fish hit again, this time the hook was in and the fish was landed quickly.


Matt was rightly buzzing with his first topknot, i was relieved, i filled a clear crab bucked that i had in the boot with water and we rested the fish so we could look it it from underneath/ closely in the water, as soon as it was in the bucket it was clinging to the sides preferring it to the bottom - it's so odd to see! A quick photo shoot followed and we got the fish back.




Not much else happened after this, i teased the other smaller topknot with a metal jig but it wouldn't bite and the big one was completely hunkered down, we had a quick go for other species where i managed a long spined scorpion on a Major Craft Aji Do metal, Matt had a bunch of gobies and blennies, by this point it was 12pm and time to head home as I had work the next day, Matt fished on and added flounder and bass to his total.







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