The Last Battle- Norway kayak fishing trip

Our kayak fishing trip to Norway was coming to an end. We had some 4 days left before leaving back to Czech Republic and we really wanted to get our for a last multiday trip… our goal: more halibuts!

Here you can read the previous articles about our adventures in Norway:

Norway kayak fishing trip-part 1-first adventure

Norway kayak fishing trip-part 2- gambling with the wind and halibuts

VIDEO day 1- Nothing but monkey business

VIDEO day 2- Better weather bigger fish

Norway kayak fishing trip- We Ride the Wind

Our halibut fever was peaking as the end of our stay in Norway was approaching. During the bad weather days after our last multi day adventure we had countless sessions… retying our rigs…”Will this hold?” “Is the leader strong enough?”. Then planning our itinerary for the last trip “Where do we go when the weather allows?”

We waited and waited… checking the weather forecast was a routine. We waited for favorable conditions to set out of the fiord for the last battle with the elements and the strong Norwegian fish. At last the right kind of forecast came up: the next day announced 24 h of 7m/s wind from the south, followed by 24 hours of calm, then strong winds from the north-west. This should do it… Will it? No matter… “Lets get ready!”

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Norwegian weather is capricious

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Our friends, the ferry guys, welcome us with a horn blast

We set out in direction of the mouth of the fiord. The southern wind off 7m/s is driving us outside the fiord, just like we want it. We start fishing on the drift and catch a few cod. Soon we reach the mouth of the fiord, our next stop is the rock known as the Submarine.

P1010016_compressedSurfing the waves at the Submarine rock (aka. Uboat rock)

Our fishfinders show big numbers of small coalfish around the Submarine, we catch a few for bait but the windy conditions do not allow for any successful fishing. The forecast still says that the 7m/s southern wind will calm down in the evening so we decide to cross the big channel to the northern tip of the Mindlandet island, the location that we chose for our last attempt at the elusive halibut.

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A is our basecamp/lodge, B is the Submarine rock and C is our campsite on our last adventure

We paddled sideways to the south wind and rapidly approached the Mindlandet island. Last time we camped on the southern side of the island, this time, we aimed at its norhtern point. The passage between Mindlandet and Rodoya island looked very promising for halibuts. After some 3 hours of paddling we arrived to the shore of Mindlandet.

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We paddle through the waves, Mindlandet island is on the horizon

After we arrive to the shore we take a little pause, eat a biscuit, stretch… you know the deal. Then we begin a drift across the promising sand plateaus. As we drift to the north, in the still strong southern wind, we start getting first bites on our halibut rigs. Unfortunately, despite the fact that we are using driftbags, we still drift too fast, over 2km/h drift means the halibuts are not taking the whole bait, just nibbling at it. I lose one and Jakub another. We decide to wait for the wind to come down in the evening and find a place to camp in the meantime.

We find a nice place on one of the small islands on the north tip of Mindlandet. The island has direct view of the mystical Rodoya island… the Mighty Red Rock towers over the sea like a big red bull. We camp on a flat area that is protected from wind by two small hills. We feel a certain presence in the air, this place looks old, the shapes that are now covered by soil and grass remind us that this place may have been a place of worship, or of rest for Viking fisherman, who knows…We make our camp, get a fire going and watch the wind… as soon as it drops we will be back on the water.

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Fire! Our friend…

We are back on the water, the wind has calmed down and the water is remarkably still, the sudden quiet around us reminds us that the next day in the afternoon the weather will turn again… calm before the storm. I am left with only one small coalfish as bait, all ragged from the take I had previously. I put it on the hook all the same, I will drop the halibut rig and try to catch another coalfish with the other rod. Jakub decides to check out a promising area some 1km away, given the very calm conditions we can split.

I am fancasting around my kayak, searching for a fresh bait fish… but nothing… The halibut rig is dangling under my kayak, the depth is 22 m and the bait is in 10m depth. I suddenly see a reflection on my fishifinder screen… and very quickly the shit hits the fan… I have a massive take on the ragged coalfish while holding the other rod… Typical, bloody typical. I put my baitfish rod into one of the holders, and take my other rod just in time to set the hook on a halibut.

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Fish on!

Now… I have a halibut on the end of my line, and there is another line in the water, the one I was using to try to catch a new baitfish. Well I just release the drag on the other rod and start fighting the halibut. The lines of course get tangled together and I am afraid… what if the small pilker gets tangled with my main line and the hooks damage it?? I must cut it away.

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Now the trick is: Cut the right line you moron!

Luckily I manage to get hold of the right line, cut it and I quickly feel that the two lines untangled. Now I can focus on the halibut.

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The biggest specimen so far shows itself

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The fight on the tail noose

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I am as tired as the fish

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The Norse Gods favored us again! After a 45 minute fight I land the halibut solo. As the sky gets darker and darker I reach Jakub to make a nice photo of the catch. The short night is quickly approaching and we decide to do last hour of fishing before we head back to camp.
More in next article!

Jan

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