Well another Autumn season in Lofoten has been and gone. Five weeks of full on fishing has seen us battle all sorts of weather conditions, including strong winds, snow, heavy rain and on the odd occasion, all three at the same time. Nevertheless, the guys I’ve guided have fished hard and between them caught some fantastic fish this season. Unfortunately, that huge Halibut we long for still eludes us, but there’s always next year. Below I’ve detailed a week by week summary of the season.
Week 1 :
Our season started relatively slowly, with the small tides and non-favourable weather playing a huge part in that. Guests John, Aidrian, Carl, Glenn, Ian and Frank battled throughout the week and came out the other side with a number of nice fish between them.
The highlights were a brace of 20lb+ Halibut for Ian from the layby, a 13.6lb Cod for Glenn at Mortsund and the discovery of a new venue to the South, which produced a lovely Halibut for myself and some cracking Haddock and Coalfish for Ian and Frank. The first week was also our most species-rich of the season with 14 different species caught including Cod, Haddock, Coalfish, Pollack, Dabs, Plaice, Halibut, Whiting, Wolffish, Lumb, Ling, Short Spined Scorpion Fish, Redfish and Mackerel.
Week 2 :
This was probably our highlight week of the season, for bigger fish at least, with decent weather for the duration and bigger tides giving us some movement for the Halibut. My group of five anglers, Richard, Dafydd P, Dafydd J, Daniel and Ryan all had some good success on the Halibut during this week, Richard landing the best of the lot and our biggest of the season at 44lb. Other Halibut landed that week included some nice fish of 39.10lb, 23.10lb, 20.8lb, 18.10lb, 14.2lb and 13.6lb, with the Parry family landing all four of those bigger fish between them
The second week also produced our biggest Cod of the season, a fish of 22.6lb from the lay-bye for Daniel. Although a surprise capture at this venue, it was most certainly welcome.
Aside from the two main species, there was also an abundance of other species caught on week two, which included Plaice to 3.13lb, Dabs to 1.8lb, Coalfish to 10.7lb, Haddock to 6lb, Pollack and Ling.
Back on smaller tides again, but with better weather, this week was another good reminder that although the tides can make a difference on occasion, the weather is the biggest key to success. My guests Mark E, Mark J, Mick, Zac, Elliot and Antony were all keen as mustard having seen the reports coming in the previous week and their effort definitely brought with it some nice rewards.
The best Halibut of that week fell to Zac, another cracker at 43.7lb from the lay-bye. He would also have other fish of 22.6lb and 16lb during the week. Mick got in on the Halibut action too, landing a nice Halibut on the final day of week three, a fish that weighed 25.2lb. Aside from those fish, a few smaller Butts were also landed by Mark E and Elliot, who had also hooked and lost a 20lb+ fish earlier in the week, as had Antony fishing next to him at the time. Just bad luck that they’d been hooked on the much lighter Plaice tackle.
The cod fishing although not brilliant over the 5 week season, was probably best during this particular week. Mortsund in particular seemed to be holding some nicer fish, which Elliot and Antony capitalised on during days five and six, banking a number of nice fish topping out at 12.3lb.
The stand out fish of this week though was not one of the big two, it was in fact a fine Plaice of 5.13lb, caught by Mark E. This was a new shore record for us, so a fantastic capture. His travel buddy Mark J also got in on the Plaice action on the final day, landing his own big spotty of 4.1lb.
This was also a decent week for the species with Pollack to 6lb, Coalfish to 10lb, Dabs to 1.12lb, Ling to 8lb, Redfish, Haddock to 6lb, Lumb, Whiting and a Short Spined Scorpion Fish.
During week four, the winds switched to the North East, bringing with it some much colder weather, a bucket load of snow and periods of intermittent rain for good measure. As a result, fishing was difficult, but needless to say, we still found fish on a daily basis. In fact on the one day the weather was pleasant, the group consisting of Gary, Kevin, John, Tony, and Scott had a really good session, landing two Halibut of 16lb and 17lb, numerous Cod with the best going close to double figures, abundant numbers of coalies to a best of 11.11lb and a few small haddock and pollack.
During the tougher weather, the group caught a few more Halibut to low doubles, plenty of smaller Haddock and Cod, Coalies and Dabs in abundance, a handful of Plaice to around 3lb, Redfish, Ling, Whiting, Short Spined Scorpion Fish and a few Poor Cod.
Our final week in camp brought mixed fortunes for Tom, Kim, Tim, Pete, Mike and Lee. On the Halibut front, it was a lot more productive than I had imagined, with runs almost every day of the week. The best of those landed fell to Tom at 31.2lb. He also managed another two fish over 20lb and a few smaller ones as well. Another couple of Halibut were also landed during the week, with one of 23.6lb for Pete and a 14lb for Kim. I will always remember this week as one of missed opportunities though, as the lads must have had a dozen or more dropped runs, one or two bust offs from bigger fish and a few fish lost on the retrieve. Just one of those weeks that could have been so much better if things had gone the anglers way.
Aside from the Halibut, the lads also managed a good array of species, including Pollack, Coalies, Cod to around 8lb, Dabs, Plaice, Redfish, Haddock, Whiting and a Short Spined Scorpionfish.
So on the whole, as you can gather for yourself, it was a very successful season, with the weather being our main challenge during the weeks in which fishing was not quite firing on all cylinders. The highlight for me was the new camp record Plaice, which I think will take a while to be bettered, although I know there’s much bigger still out there.
We start again next March, which fingers crossed will see some much larger bags of Cod caught. That particular time of year, when the water temps are down to 6C seems to be ideal for them inshore, so I can envisage some real biggies making an appearance in 2022.
Really looking forward to it anyway, meeting and fishing with so many of you that have re-booked, as well as welcoming all the new visitors to Nappstraumen. 2022 promises to be a belter! See you there!
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