Thursday morning on Å came with beautiful weather. Windless, sunny, and nice temperatures up to 7-8 degrees. Our only group this week consists of a really nice group of Dutch people which had a slightly slower start where we actually wondered if there were Halibut in the sea…
The goal for their first day was Halibut and after catching some bait fish of a suitable size, we drove out towards the Halibut marks. Once in place, we could immediately see that there were fish in the area as we could regularly see how Halibut of different sizes swam up and looked at our bait fish via the sonar. But each time, the disappointment was just as great when they at a fast pace turned down to the bottom again without taking the baitfish.
We started to feel hopeless… the group who had never been to Norway before started to wonder if there were actually fish in addition to the millions of bait fish found on the peaks. After a couple of hours of wear and tear, we chose to switch to a bit of Cod fishing to feel a little jerk in the rod and after just under 20 minutes, we were able to hook and land two fine Cod both over ten kilos. We enjoyed the beautiful sun and the weather for a while before we rolled into the harbor with big smiles.
On Friday, Halibut were on the schedule and Alex and I drove the guide boat with two acquaintances. Once out, we have a contact in the guide boat quite quickly, but after that, it just stays still. Alex, who I mentioned earlier, has a gut feeling and told us that if it goes in this area it is a 150+ and after a while, we can see how the Dutch hook on a nice fish barely 30 meters away from us, we hear how the reel literally screams when the line pumps out of the spool, but then something happens, the rod snaps off and chaos arises, we quickly pick up our stuff and Alex drove to their boat so I can help them land the fish.
After an intense but short fight on the broken rod, I was able to land a real dream fish for the gang! The fish measured 161cm and after some nice pictures we saw the Halibut accelerate to the depths again. Hugs and laughter filled the boat over the broken rod, which could probably be heard from miles away!
Saturday offered much more difficult weather, which limited us to fishing at certain times. But for my own part, I picked up my dad Martin who came here for a few days fishing and a nice hang out, we were really hungry for some fishing and drove an evening session where we were lucky enough to meet the Cod at our usual favourite place, with a constant session of the sickest bites I have experienced during Cod fishing, we chose to take a food fish and roll towards the harbour with really long arms.
Sunday morning was a really early morning, when my alarm was set at 04:45 and the coffee was already prepped the night before. My father and I met the Dutch at the pier and sailed out of port just before 06:00, a quick stop for bait fishing and then we headed out into a really cool narrow current system where we had nice Halibut fishing earlier this year. Once in place, it does not take long before the Dutch hook into something large and after a cool fight at a depth of 10 meters, they were able to land a fine fish of 150cm! Talk about a sick start!
Dad and I drive on and after less than 15 minutes I see how a brutally large fish appears on the sonar and seconds later it slams on my rod. I hook the fish and immediately feel that it is a really big fish, I hand over the rod to my dad to let him fight the fish! A completely crazy battle at a depth of 14 meters takes place where the fish pulls away from the boat and you drive steady 5 knots after it. We end up over the fish and finally we start to get it against the boat. Now when we catch a glimpse of the fish for the first time, we can see that it is a brutally large fish and that my previous guess of about 180cm is completely wrong.
The Halibut shakes its head and sets off towards the bottom again, the forces on my dad are starting to wane but after a little encouraging words from me “here we go old bastard” he got the last forces to get it up to the boat again where I could finally secure the fish. A couple of light tears and a hug party later, we were able to measure the 209cm long fish and then take some pictures before it swam back down into the right elements! Congratulations Martin from all of us at the NSA!
But why stop a big fishing story there when there are more barn doors to pry open? The next drift, the Dutch manage a fish in the same caliber as the 150-plus they got the drift before, it feels hot and me and dad put a new drift almost 200 meters from where we got the previous flounder, 30 meters into the drift it slams on for us again. This time I grab the rod and get ready for battle, the weight of the counterattack immediately shows that there is a big fish on! Drilling a large fish at a depth of only 6-8 meters is both demanding and incredibly cool and after a couple of turns down to the bottom and the other side of the bay, we were able to land another really large Halibut of 188cm!
Dad and I have then both drawn a new PB at barely 40 minutes apart, completely sick and an absolutely incredible experience! Another incredible thing is that this large Halibut was tagged, we have saved the number on the tag and will contact the Institute of Marine Research in Norway to see where it was caught before and how big it was when they tagged it. Catch And Release works and this is the proof!
It should also be added that the Dutch pulled a 115cm Halibut within throwing distance of us when we drilled mine at 188cm, talk about fish in the area! To sum up the first days of this week, we have on the Halibut top fish of 209, 188, 161, 150cm and a handful of food fish. Å delivers really well even early in the season and with the conditions weather-wise in the coming days we come most likely have more nice fish for the next report so keep an eye out for it!
Tight lines from Å,
Alexander, Daniel and Marcus
If you, like many others, have ever dreamt about fishing the prolific waters of Å on the Lofoten Islands and would like to know more information on how you can join us, you can contact our sea fishing specialist, Paul Stevens, on 01603 407596 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.