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micky

TOPE ?

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I found these pictures from a few years ago they were taken at Snettersham  on the East Coast  [the Wash ] , there was a good Dozen on the High Water mark and I often wondered what brought them there, I think they are called Tope and over the years I have seen many caught there in nets that the Old boys put out at low Tide, there used to be masses of Cockles there but now they seem to have gone sad realy because as a family we used to gather Buckets of them every day we were there .

hunstanton sept 2011 030.jpg

hunstanton sept 2011 031.jpg

hunstanton sept 2011 029.jpg

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Done some tope fishing with my mate mile of mappleton of the east coast not far of Hornsea had them up 2 42 pound brilliant like shark fishing but in miniature haha atb longers01 

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They are great craic on light tackle. Had this one a good few years ago

25660 (2).jpg

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Yeah I'd say they're smoothounds.... strange to have so many washed up, probably lay their purses just off the coast there and a few have died during it....

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On 15/06/2019 at 09:35, NEWKID said:

Yeah I'd say they're smoothounds.... strange to have so many washed up, probably lay their purses just off the coast there and a few have died during it....

Dumped off a trawler or netted I'd hazard a guess at

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5 hours ago, South hams hunter said:

Dumped off a trawler or netted I'd hazard a guess at

Yeah good point....

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100% Smooth Hounds in the original post images. 

For a long time it has been assumed we have two species of smooth hound in British waters, the starry smooth hound and the common smooth hound (which grows considerably bigger in warmer foreign waters). Recent genetic research, however, has suggested all of the UK's hounds are in fact starry hounds, some just don't have the visible spots/stars. 

We shouldn't be too quick to assume these fish are commercial cast offs. Whilst that probability is high, as per the comments in this feature: Solent Hounds, these fish, like their smaller cousins the lesser spotted dogfish, have a tendency to swim back ashore after release. You have to keep your eyes peeled down the beach to make sure they've not re-beached themselves on an ebbing tide. 

There's also a slimmer possibility that the fish beached themselves in a feeding frenzy as the tide retreated. It has been known for packs of smooth hound to feed on crab in barely enough water to cover their backs. A fast retreating tide leaving them abandoned in pools that soon dry out is plausible. 

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Those look a lot like smaller smooth hounds. The easiest way to tell if you are unsure is to look at the teeth. Tope have little sharklike teeth whereas smoothounds have pads. Australians call them "gummies" for that reason.

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