Sportquests First Hosted Trip post Lockdown with Ross Johnson
The first report has come in from Ross Johnson as he embarks on his first hosted trip to Nappstraumen after the COVID lockdown that hit the world. We knew the travel would be quite stress-free and the fishing would be good but we didn’t expect this! I’ll now hand it over to Ross to tell us his experience first hand from travelling to hooking up with monster Halibut! –
Travelling to Norway
Well we’ve all made it to camp after what can only be described as hassle free travelling. Heathrow, which I usually hate being anywhere near, was actually far easier than first thought. No temperature checks, quick check in due to the lack of international flights running and getting through customs checks was easy for once without the zig zag queue’s for miles. One thing to note, is that face masks are now compulsory within the airports and on all flights though, which although is clearly for safety measures can get quite uncomfortable, especially on the ears.
You can read the full write up of Ross’ travelling experience in this handy blog, but now onto the bit you’ve been waiting for… the fishing!
Fishing Day 1 :
Yesterday, our two boats headed to the North East of the camp in search of Cod and Coalfish. Although, at times fishing was a little slow, searching around in the boat, we soon found some nice fish, including periods of madness when all four of the anglers on my boat would be bent into fish non-stop for an hour straight. Size-wise, the Cod were mainly in the 8-15lb range with a couple going 20lb+ and the Coalies averaged 5-10lb, with the odd ones going a little bigger.
We also had a couple of jumbo Mackerel, Ling, Lumb and a solitary Redfish. On head guide Calle Hjelm’s boat, it was much the same, with our anglers getting stuck into some lovely Cod and Coalfish throughout the day. Ex-Florida skipper Ron Grisedale was top rod on the day, taking in excess of 20 Cod to a best of 36lb. All in all, it was a nice start to the trip. Today we head North West to some of the Halibut grounds. Fingers crossed the lads can get stuck into a few. Until tomorrow…
Fishing Day 2:
The Plan for our second day was to head north and then east to some mixed grounds that has the potential to hold some bug Halibut as well as the usual Cod and Coalfish. Well the latter two species we found in abundance once more, but the Halibut proved hard to find. Two fish were located though, one small fish and the otherfish coming in at a lovely 1.54m or roughly 100lb.
Fishing Day 3:
Today, we rose early with high hopes of monster Halibut, as we headed to the world-famous waters around A. Things couldn’t have started better with 3 fish landed on the first drift and another 2 dropped. The second drift was much the same too with another 3 fish coming to our herring flappers. But then the tides changed and sport dropped.
For the next few hours we struggled with the tides, which eventually became too quick to fish. We decided a move was in order to see if the Coalies were hungry. It took a few drifts to get used to the pinnacles, but the guys soon found a few fish, albeit it the smaller ones ranging from 5-12lb. The big ones eluded all but Phill, who briefly hooked up to a steam train of a fish before one violent shake of the head dislodged his jig.
The last few hours of the day were again spent Halibut fishing, with a number of fish taking the baits but dropping them at the crucial moment. It was the same all round too, so we could only assume it was smaller fish grabbing the back of the baits and missing the hooks.
Either way, lessons were learnt and stingers have been added to rigs for our next halibut attempt. Tomorrow, the winds are showing a bit fresher than the first few days, so it might be a more relaxed affair inshore.
Fishing Day 4 –
Today, with the forecast being for strong North Easterly winds, we decided to try areas close to the camp and it was definitely a tale of two halves.
In the morning, we ventured out to a few reefs a few miles offshore in search of Coalies and Cod with the small chance of Halibut. It was a quiet affair, but after searching half a dozen areas, we did locate a shoal of Coalfish, which ran to around 8-9lb again. The sport was not prolific, but the rods were getting some action at least. The best fish of the morning went to Darrel, a Cod of 20lb+.
In the afternoon, we came inshore to chase after Plaice and Dabs. As usual, for this species, you have to put in the time, but with weed in the water it became a difficult job to find them. Nevertheless we did find a few, with 5 landed between the two boats to a best of 52cm.
The last stop of the day was a bay 15 minutes from the camp. Our first drift over yielded a few bites and snagged gear, so with everyone switching to lures, we drifted over once again. All the rods went over simultaneously, as we had found a huge shoal of hard scrapping Cod, all between 6-25lb.
For the next two hours, we all enjoyed some of the best sport we’d ever experienced. At one point we were sight fishing for Cod in 20m of water. In this short period alone, we must have landed over 80 Cod, a few dozen Coalies and one nice Plaice. A belting end to the day and a talking point throughout the evening.
Tomorrow, we head north east once more to have a last go for this weeks elusive Halibut. Let’s hope we can find one or two.
Fishing Day 5 & 6 –
We have so blessed with the weather this week so we decided to hit the Halibut hard on the last two days to try and tick some fish off peoples bucket list.
We tried so many marks to tempt the Halibut but for some reason it wasn’t their time, but we had lots of big Cod as a bonus and some pretty impressive Coalies. Not to mention some huge Plaice.
Well thats that for the first week now as all the customers head back home I am off to guide another group up at Havoysund a place I have wanted to fish for a long time. I have been chatting with the onsite guide, Douglas and he has got me fired up as the Halibut fishing is on fire…… So until next time
Tight lines, Ross
What a week its been for our First hosted Trip back on the waters of Norway! Its always great when the customers leave with smiles and memories to treasure forever! As of writing this, we have just got news of our second group of anglers touching down at the airport, ready for their week on the water! We look forward to hearing how you guys get on!