Team OK Visit to Skarnsundet Fjordcenter- Norway

Norway 2015

15-22nd April 2015- Ian Pickering
After last years Cod frenzy, hopes were high as we returned with what turned out to be far too much gear. Myself, Keith, Jim and two Team Jackson guys (Mark and Martin) had mores lures than the local tackle shop!
As usual, Phill Dale at Skarnsundet Really looked after us. The apartments are amazing, as is the view…
The fishing turned out to be a lot harder than last year, with the average fish being 3-5lb, where last year is was 5-8lb. I had lots of Cod to 9lb and Coalies to 3lb on the Berkley Ripple shads.
No 20lb Cod this time but they’re all in great condition and give a good fight on the light tackle we used. 4-6″ shads with 12-20lb boat rod or 20-80g spinning rod are perfect for here. My Abu Garcia Orra Inshore baitcaster reel was perfectly suited and was faultless all week. A joy to use.
Mark and Martin did some evening bait fishing and ended up with a good mix of species. These included Black Mouth Dog Fish, Velvet Belly Shark, Haddock and Mark lost a Ghost Shark at the side of the kayak. I tied off next to them for ten minutes and I had 3 Black Mouth Doggies.

I tried to fish in 160m for the Ling. Problem was, this week there were really big tides. Fishing at this depth with the wind and the tide wasn’t without it’s challenges. I decided to shelve it on this trip.

We had a trip to Leksvik to try a new mark. It turned out to be a great decision. The drive there was amazing. Thick forest and frozen lakes made for a great spectacle.

I was fishing with shads and picking up small Cod but I had some dead Herring with me so I decided to paddle out to 40m of water and slow jig one of these on a 4oz lead head. 2 minutes later… the rod went solid. I knew exactly what was on instantly. I radioed the guys “HALIBUT ON!” They frantically paddled over during the first retrieval, just getting it to the surface as they arrived. Keith said it looked lightly hooked but it dived for the depths again anyway. They really do fight well.

After the second retrieval, I agreed the hook was looking dodgy. I needed to gaff quickly or risk loosing the fish. I gaffed it in the lower jaw but the fish didn’t take too kindly to it. It went ballistic! I tried in vein to control and then drag onto the kayak, but it took all my strength just to hang on! After a lot of wrestling it decided to go back to the depths. What a fish and what strength they have! Awesome fight. It was estimated at 40-45lb.  My Penn 20lb Travel rod and Fathom 15LW were the perfect combination. Mr Halibut, thanks for the ride….Very, very happy kayak angler!

Here’s a video of the scrap. Next time I will have a more streamlined game plan!
It was a breezy, slightly overcast day. We returned a couple of days later and were greeted with this…
Here are a few more pictures…..
A fish caught on an elastic band…!
In Summary, a fantastic place to paddle and fish. Don’t expect to turn up and drop a big shad and catch a big fish. If you work hard, you may just be rewarded with a cracker!  Anyone thinking of going, try and choose the neaps and fish light.
One thing is for sure, I was very glad of my Typhoon PS330 Dry suit when those winds blew off the mountains!
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