Saltstraumen Winter 2016 Roundup

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PHEW!!!

What an amazing season it’s been. We’ve cooked dozens of breakfasts, driven hundreds of miles and broken 2 more shore records!

At the start of January we were greeted by cold Arctic conditions. We had temperatures down to minus 18C and winds up to 100Kph. The combination really tested our thermal gear and also our sanity! But we fished every day, always finding somewhere out of the wind, and were rewarded with some fantastic sport. Halibut to 44lb, cod to 35lb, Haddock to 9lb and Coalfish to 16lb. We hooked and lost a few monsters, including fish estimated at well over 50lb, but as our guests return each year their growing experience of fishing these marks will only mean better returns.

As we got into February the temperatures fluctuated between minus 12 and plus 8C. The fishing however improved, probably down to a combination of slightly more daylight hours and nicer conditions. We basically fished even more! There was a steady stream of Cod over the magical 20lb, with a few over 30lb, and then the unthinkable happened. We knew there were some really really big Cod around. One of the guides, John Strange connected with a huge one the night after landing one of 35lb. He had it on for only a minute, but he was confident that that fish dwarfed the one he caught the previous night.  Sadly it spat the hook, but it really made you think what might happen one day.

Well we didn’t have to wait long. A week or so later and Tom Ascott hooks into something very special. The fish empties his reel twice. Luckily he’s using our recommended method of filling his spool, and has over 350m at his disposal. With great skill and after a long battle he coaxes the fish in, it’s a new record shore Cod of 66lb 8oz. It’s obliterated the 50 year old record of 44lb. Everyone’s ecstatic and the next few days are a blur! His group are even greeted at the airport on their return journey to the UK by a news crew!   Plenty of other good fish are caught. The deepwater marks throw up Ling to 22lb, Lumb to 16lb and some jumbo Haddock. The coastal fishing produces good numbers of Cod, Wolfish, Haddock, Plaice to 4lb 8oz, Coalfish and Dab.

February rolls into March and now the Halibut fishing is starting to improve with the increased daylight hours.  We see an increase in temperatures too,  with some days warm and sunny in contrast to January.   It’s really beautiful seeing all the snow covered mountains, the rivers slowly starting to thaw, and the wildlife starting to pair up for Spring.  Again it’s good steady fishing all round with several species topping the 20lb barrier.  Cod, Halibut and Ling to name a just few.   Mid March and we get the best fish of the month in the shape of a 43lb Cod. A stunningly fit looking fish.

As we approach the end of the season in April we really see some terrific sport from the Halibut.  Cod are still about but not quite in the numbers of previous months. But we still get them well into double figures with specimens to 27lb. I’m sure if we stayed into darkness we would see  more numbers of cod, but as darkness is now falling at 10pm we are filling our time fishing mainly for the Halibut.

Just when we think we’re done one of our Norway regulars Wayne Hill catches yet another record fish. This time it’s a 20lb 8oz Wolfish.  So with several Halibut to 26lb and great sport on the shadding gear it’s time to pack up and head home.

It’s been a truly amazing season, new records broken, new PB’s for every angler and some new friends made. It’s not long until Autumn when we are back there.  We  will be posting regular blogs, so watch this space!!

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