What a phenomenal season its been for the guys over in Vesterålen this season. Even with difficult weather the guides have still given all guests an amazing experience, and to end it with a fish of 205cm on the last day of the season is even better.
Last week we closed down our camp at Vesterålen for this year, and said goodbye to our last guests for this year. It is always sad to close down a camp for the season, but it will also be good to come home to family and friends after an absolutely fantastic season in Vesterålen. Since the last report, we have only had small groups visiting and fishing with us. But we have really fought the last few weeks, because the autumn came fast with strong winds and sour weather. But occasionally there were flashes of light with flat seas and a lot of fish when we first came out!
2 weeks ago we had a visit from Victor, Sara and Tomas who have been guests with us before. The goal of this year’s trip was simple; catch fish! Although the coming days looked tough, we really gave it all these days, and drove hard to find the fish. The first days were spent chasing Halibut, as the weather did not allow us to get out on the open sea where the Cod and Coalfish wander. It was without much result… Strong southerly winds made fishing very difficult, and we really could not choose the best places. But the coming days looked bright, and we could go out a long way from the camp and hunt for Cod! On Saturday, the weather was absolutely glorious, and the wind had completely subsided. The Cod was really in demand, and we had a good breed of Cod up to 12-13 kilos, which was really needed after a couple of tough days without much result. The coming days looked again just as hopeless… Håkon took the gang out Halibut fishing the next day, but again it was tough conditions that did not allow us to get out in the right places. Fortunately, it all turned around in the last few days. The weather was now absolutely magical, and we could aim for a slightly longer trip. We therefore went a little further north to search for an area that had delivered solid catches earlier in the autumn.
As there was only one boat at the camp, there was unfortunately no long trip for us this week, but rather a nice substitute north. This is where the Cod were, under the small Coalfish, and we ended up in a very small patch of Cod, with fish up to 14 kilos! Unfortunately, there was only a short biting period, and the fishing died down after 3-4 drifts. We continued our search, but it was really difficult to find the larger fish. So I decided to give it a try. I started looking at 100-150 meters deep, and not entirely wrong, it was thick with fish 10-15 meters above the bottom; a bit like skrei fishing. Here we found a good spot with big Cod, and a couple of great fish of around 12-13 kilos! After all this cranking, we were all just as tired and happy. Therefore, we spent the rest of the day on the Halibut, but the large areas should prove to be difficult today. Victor pulled a fish of about 75 cm at once, but other than that it was only a few simple contacts, and a couple of hungry medium Cod that bit for us. Anyway, it was a great day to end the fishing week, and we could go home in glorious sunshine, and flat sea. Thanks for an incredibly enjoyable week Victor, Sara and Tomas! See you next year…
On Thursday night we were visited by a group from Kiruna, who were to have 2 days guided fishing at the end of the season. I have never fished Vesterålen so late in the season, and above all, not for Halibut. Even though we spent the first day looking for Cod, with a very good result with some nice top fish of around 10 kilos, it should easily be topped the next day… The very last godsend for us this season should be a completely magical day. We went out early in the morning, and were going to fish for the queen in the deep. With the gang in my boat, we were to have a head start where Mickey went with a nice food fish of 95 cm already 2 minutes into the first drift! Here we go, we thought and continued fishing. Håkon and the gang in his boat had contact with a much larger fish, but unfortunately, it tore off after a few seconds of fighting and came off. But the big ones were here and… We got a couple of Halibut immediately below the minimum size, but the power had now turned, and we could finally put our dream drift. Because on this spot we have in fact pulled several big ones this year, and now we could finally drift perfectly over the spot. I put a drift on the spot, while Håkon tested a little further up the edge. Not entirely wrong, Soot looks at Kim in Håkon’s boat, and they immediately think they are at the bottom. But when Håkon sees the shaking of the rod that suddenly comes, they realize that this is not the bottom anymore. It’s a monster fish. Håkon calls me on the radio, and I come over to see. Kim stands with an extreme bend on the pole, and they can almost look like bottom buttons, but that was not it…
After a fairly short fight, the fish begin to slowly slide up towards the boat. Now it was important to keep the pressure on it from going down again. Kim pumps hard, but has to take a short break and gives over the rod to his friend Janne. He gets to pump up the rest, and I, who is 10 meters away, can see the echo of the fish under my boat. Now it was approaching, and Håkon got ready to put the Halibut hook in. “Oh my god”, I hear from everyone in the other boat when they see the fish, and Håkon can land the fish. Then the celebration was completely crazy, and we probably did not quite understand that we ended the season with such a monster. We witnessed the whole session from the other boat, and we saw that this was a big fish, and when they measured the fish, the ruler showed 205 cm! A completely insane fish, which really rounded off this season for us in Vesterålen! That we have so many big fish in Vesterålen this year only shows what potential this area has. After a couple of quick photos, we let go of the beauty that had offered both cheers and a wonderful fight! This was really the icing on the cake this season. After this we slowly slid back towards the camp, and said we were happy with this fishing day! That Kim and co came to fish for 2 days, and then go for a 2-meter fish, is just fantastic .. Congratulations from us! It’s a real dream fish…
With that we would like to thank all our happy guests we had this season. The season has been different considering the Pandemic, but I think everyone who has visited us in Vesterålen has had an incredibly cool experience! The weather may not have been the best, but the fishing has been fairly stable throughout the season. Another season is over, and again; Many thanks to all the guests who have made this year one of the cooler years as a Guide! To sum up a bit, we have Halibut of 240, 205, 190, 177, 174, 173 and several other very nice fish this season. We have Cod up to 31 kilos, Monkfish at 27 kilos, Coalfish up to 15-16 kilos and grotesque Ling in the 26-27 kilos class. We hope to see you all again next year!
Tight Lines // Jørgen Zwilgmeyer & Håkon Nilsen
If you would like to know more about our Vesteralen availability, we do still have the odd week available for the 2022 season at Vesterålen. If you would like to join us at the famous Northern Norway destination call us on 01603 407596 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.