My good friend, Sidney Kennedy took an angling trip to Norway, I asked him to write a short blog on this adventure.
Cod Fishing In Norway by Sidney Kennedy
This holiday was booked through Anglers World Holidays. Jerry O’Connor, Myself and a group of angling friends, Colm McDade, John Lynch, Jerome Quirke and Josea Clearo headed for the popular destination of Skjervoy, Norway.
Acting on advice from lads that had already been there, and in particular, Dan Lynch of “Half-way angling”, Cork, I brought along the following tackle and equipment.
An assortment of shads, large pirks fitted with 10/0 trebles, and a range of nylon leader from 80lbs-200lbs. Heavy swivels etc.
Suitable rods were 20-30lb class and 30-50lb class, matched with reels loaded with 50lb and 80lb braid respectively. Don’t forget a quality flotation suit and good boots.
Angling World will help with particular flights if required, and remember to package your valuable rods in a good travel tube or similar.
We departed from Dublin Airport in the early hours, having stayed at Travel Lodge, Swords the previous night. The cost was thirty Euros per night based on three sharing. The only other cost was for parking.
The breath-taking scenery eased the long journey, and on arrival at Skjervoy, our lodge was only a stone’s throw from the harbour and our waiting boats. The accommodation was fantastic, as were the fully equipped Arvor boats. They are roomy enough to fish four anglers, although there are larger boats available that will cater for six. The fishing camp is well run, and the management are extremely helpful.
Just a word of warning, the price of food here expensive, and If you have room, bring along a few simple luxuries such as sugar, coffee, tea, chocolate etc. The price of a steak is around 50-60 Euros; so obviously, we made use of some of our fish we caught!
Before venturing out, it pays to have a species game plan. First on my list were Wolfish and Torsk. These prefer fish baits, so having replaced the large treble hook on the pirk with a size 10/0 single hook, I was good to go. This may seem a little excessive, but there is the real chance of running into cod to over 50lb and 150lb Halibut, and the end kit must be able to cope with all eventualities. Also, the single hook minimises “snagging” on the sea-bed as Wolfs and Torsk are primarily bottom dwellers.
Bounce the pirk off the bottom with slow lifts. These fish are greedy, so give them a second or two before setting the hooks home. Make sure the drag is set correctly, just in case your Torsk happens to be a halibut instead!
When targeting Cod and Halibut, use Shads and pirks. For the pirks, treble hooks must be extremely strong. It is normal to fish the pirk close to the bottom, but it is also normal to sea Coalfish breaking the surface in a bid to escape large predators. In this case, be prepared to fish high in the water column. Three of our group fished Shads, three fished pirks to determine which method was more successful. By fishing at different depths, we soon found the fish.
Regarding the Shads, this is a very enjoyable way of fishing. We found the best way was to drop to the bottom, and as you wind up from the depths, count the turns of the handle until you get a hit. This will give you a good gauge as to when to expect a take on subsequent drops. As with Pollock fishing in Ireland, once you get a take, keep slowly reeling until the rod buckles, the weight of the fish will set the hook.
Hold on tight, these fish run big and are extremely powerful. Mark my words; you will get the fight of your life! The Halibut, although a flat-fish, rarely hug the sea-bed. All mine taken on this trip were caught in mid-water, and they are known to take injured fish off the surface.
Hopefully this will give you a little in-sight into my Norway trip and inspire you to have a go. For me, Jerry and the rest of the guys, it was definitely a trip of a life-time.