Full Report Hosted A Lofoten Islands Norway 2017
Well, that’s another hosted trip to Norway done for the year the next is only 5 weeks from now to Havoysund so while the trip is still fresh in my mind I thought I would share with you the weeks activities from my latest hosted trip to Å on the Lofoten islands.
After meeting everyone at Heathrow and a good hearty full English, we soon found ourselves on our first flight from Heathrow to Oslo then we were due to fly Oslo to Bodø. Flights and transfers all went smoothly then it was on to a ferry from Bodø to Moskenes, which was a new route for us. The ferry took just over 3hrs and everyone agreed that it was better than a 4 hour coach journey because at least we could walk around, eat food in the café.
The ferry leaving Bodø
Some of the scenery on the mini cruise!
Once we arrive at Moskenes our guides were waiting to transfer us the short 5-minute drive to our accommodation in the village called Å. I have been here before and was very much looking forward to the trip, as the fishing was excellent last year.
“This part of Norway is fast becoming one of the best Halibut and Coalfish destinations in North Norway”
Cabins allocated and gear unpacked it was time for our little briefing on boat safety and being out on the sea which the guides conduct each week to new anglers. This service is something we think is invaluable as it is your chance to ask any questions and of course ask where fishing is good. So meeting over it was time to cook some food and get all our tackle ready for the first days fishing.
The boats at Å waiting for us
Thursday Fishing Day 1:
The weather was looking ok for our first day so we decided to Halibut fish first then when the tide changed we would head round the north side of the Island to the deeper areas for the Cod and Coalfish. The morning started off a little slow until Colin opened our account on the Halibut with one around the metre mark. Then 10 minutes later Martin caught his first ever Halibut and this one was 113cm around 13 kilo which was a great start.
Colin well bent in to the first Halibut of the trip
Martin’s first ever Halibut plus the biggest fish he has ever caught
With the tide changing it was time to head out to the North Side and fish the deeper areas for Cod and Coalfish. As soon as we arrived it was clear that the guys were going to catch a lot of fish as the shoals were huge and they looked hungry. All in all we had tons of Cod to around 25Lb and plenty of super charged Coalfish with Colin catching the biggest at just over 30LB. What a great first days fishing!
Rob making the most of the good Cod fishing
Colin with a supercharged Coalfish
Friday Fishing Day 2:
Today’s weather was not looking so great with heavy rain and 4 – 6 mts wind, which would make fishing a little more difficult. A plan was hatched to fish the north side first for Cod and Coalfish before the wave height got too big. This decision was a wise one as around lunchtime the winds came and so did the swell so after catching plenty of Cod and Coalfish we moved in to the stream to target the Halibut.
The rain would not ease up
Mike getting in on the Cod action
Andrei cradling a great Coalfish
After fishing a few marks we decided to move area and finally we found some Halibut that were up for a feed. Martin on my boat managed another Halibut at just over 1 metre, which fought very well for its size. Then over the radio we heard the Ken had caught his first Halibut at just over a Metre then the fishing completely switched off due to the tide being wrong for Halibut fishing, so with everyone soaked through to the skin we decided to call it a day and head in for a cupper.
Martin with yet another hard fighting Halibut
Ken manages to get off the mark
Saturday Fishing Day 3:
As soon as the alarm went off I checked the state of the weather and it was looking worse than the previous day with more rain and heavier winds. The decision was made to stay fishing in the stream today and not even venture round the north side as the wave heights were going to be too strong.
So with the news given to the rest of the group we headed out to fish some marks that are located around the main stream for Halibut. The fishing was hard today and with hardly any contacts from the Halibut the day seemed to last for ever. We tried many different marks but apart from a few Cod to show for everyone’s efforts the Halibut just wouldn’t feed.
So after many hours trying a decision was made to troll the stream for the Coalfish. Now, I have never tried this before and after a quick chat with the guide we set up for some trolling. This type of fishing is very explosive and after trying various different speeds we finally managed to find just the right speed for the Coalfish and believe me when they hit whilst trolling the takes we explosive!
Trolling for Coalfish is awesome fun
Martin with a troll caught Coalie
The guide told us to use any shads of any sizes with the Westin Slim Jims being the best for this type of fishing. First lower your shad to around 30mtrs then put the boat into gear and drive the boat from standing still to around 6 knots then take it out of gear let the boat almost stop so the shads sink then start again and when you start again you normally get hammered by the coalfish.
This style of fishing for Coalfish seemed to only attract the bigger Coalfish and the guys and I absolutely loved it and managed Coalfish to just over 30LB and is a style I will be trying again. The day came to an end and a call was made to head in
Sunday Fishing Day 4:
Everyone woke up wishing and praying for better weather and it wasn’t to be and after a quick check on the weather it was looking like a repeat of the day before. So the stream for Halibut was what we had to do.
After a short drive to get some bait we headed slightly more east to a new location to get some shelter from the south westerly winds that were making even the stream choppy. With a new mark found we set the boat up for our first drift.
After only 10 minutes we heard over the radio that our other boat had just landed the first Halibut of the day, which sparked everyone’s enthusiasm in to fishing hard. Our boat was next and Colin was in to another Halibut, perhaps we had found a few hungry Halibut.
Steve with a fine Halibut
Colin is at it again with a slightly smaller Halibut
Soon after we had landed our Halibut we heard over the radio that our third boat had just landed their first Halibut of the day, things were looking up but then the tide changed and things went very quiet. After persisting for the Halibut for the next couple of hours we noticed the tide was looking good for some more trolling in the stream for the Coalfish. So that’s how we ended the day with many takes of hard fighting Coalfish.
Rob is at it again with this baby Halibut
Andrei loved catching the Coalies
Even Mike had a go at trolling
Double hook up whilst trolling
Monday Fishing Day 5:
As the previous days, we checked the weather and then made our decision on where and what to fish for and with the forecast looking dryer but more wind we only had one decision and that was to fish the same areas as the previous day. This bloody weather just wouldn’t leave us and was hanging around far to long, but at least we were getting out everyday.
There is a mountain behind those clouds
This day was very quiet on the Halibut front and I think there was only 1 Halibut caught all day plus I had a Cod of around 45Lb on my dead bait rod.
When we got back to harbour we spoke to the other groups of anglers and they had said that they had a few Halibut at an area we hadn’t tried and a couple of guys even managed to get a double hook up. So with this news we made a plan for our last day to travel to what the guides have named the ‘Glory Hole’
Tuesday Fishing Day 6:
As this was the last days fishing we arranged to go out slightly earlier as we had to get back to clean the boats, pack and clean the cabins plus we had all decided to have our final meal in the onsite restaurant.
After a quick steam out to the ‘Glory Hole’ all three boats split up in search of some last day monster Halibut. It didn’t take us long and we were hooked in to our first Halibut, this time it was Mike that hooked his first of the trip. After a great fight the Halibut was landed and Mike was over the moon. The usually call over the radio of “Halibut on the boat” was made for the guide to come straight back with “We have also a Halibut on the boat” the day was looking promising.
The rain finally cleared but left strong winds behind
Mike finally gets his Halibut
Awesome shot Mike
After our first drift we moved to a slightly different area and positioned the boat for another drift. It took around 10 minutes and Martin had a good take on his shad which decided to promptly spit the hooks before he even had a chance to set the hooks properly, then the next second it came back for Mikes dead bait rod and done exactly the same, just spat the hooks and believe it or not this Halibut then decided to take Colin’s bait and guess what happened next? It spat the hooks… So that’s three chances we had at the same Halibut and never managed to hook it, oh well you cant win them all.
After losing the drift in this area I made a decision to try the area where we had been getting all our bait fish for the week and after a quick 5 minute steam we were drifting a new area near the light house. After only a couple of minutes Mike was bent in to yet another Halibut and this one looked a better fish. After a good scrap we boated our final Halibut of the week at 110cm and what a great way to finish the day.
Once we were back at the harbour we cleaned down the boats and packed all our tackle away ready for the journey home the next day.
We had arranged a table for 12 people at the restaurant for our last night and boy was the food good. We all had a great evening with lots of laughs and a few beers.
To sum up with the week, it was a tough week with not great conditions and the fish just never really seemed to switch on. I spoke to the guides at the end of the week to get their opinions and they agreed with me that the previous week they had temperatures of over 20 degrees and the Halibut fishing was amazing and our week the temperatures struggled to get above 9 degrees with strong winds and overcast days and the fish just were not hungry.
I think all the guys had a great time as we saw and feed Sea Eagles and also saw Orca Whales up close and personal and even managed to get some stunning under water shots of the family or Orcas swimming passed the boat. A truly memorable sight and something people spend many holidays on achieving.
Pictures courtesy of Rob Bunday
Pictures courtesy of Rob Bunday
Hopefully you have enjoyed this report and thanks to every one who attended this year hosted Å trip.
To view this fully hosted trip to Å Click Here
Until next time, tight lines