It was late evening and we drifted upon the tide, the sun sinking beneath a horizon of mountains and sea. It had been quiet on the halibut front and our confidence was ebbing. Rob glanced at his smart phone; Steve Perks had gone live! Up in the Rotsund a drama was unfolding a big fish and a well bent rod with running commentary. The sequence ended before conclusion?
“Lets take a ride up the Rotsund, we can have an hours fishing and see what’s happening’ suggested James and Rob. Ok let’s go I replied and we were off. It was now around 11.30pm.

We soon found Steve and Jaky drifting on a mirror calm Fjord. They called us over bubbling with enthusiasm. Tethered on a rope beside the boat was a fine cod of 37lb 8oz. The battery had expired on their smartphones and they hoped someone would come and take a picture. We of course obliged and shared their obvious delight.

The Rotsund was bathed in a mystical twilight the sun had sunk beneath the mountains its rays illuminating the snowy peaks and painting the sky in subtle shades of pink and gold. Not a breath of wind stirred the mysterious dark water. The enchanting sounds of sheep bells drifted across Stillwater’s.

We cast our lures on light spinning rods allowing them to sink 50metres beneath the boat as we drifted slowly on the tide. We worked the lures back and delighted in the savage hits as cod attacked the lures on a frequent basis. Our excited voices and those of Jaky and Steve carried in the still arctic air; a contagious enthusiasm enveloped us all in an orgy of bent rods and screaming reels.
When the action eases we simply move on and find more feeding cod. Many of the fish are double figure fish their flanks decorated with nature’s artistic flair.
It’s around 2.00am when I glance across at Robs excessively bent spinning rod. At first I assume he has snagged the bottom but then I see that tell tale lunge as the rod absorbs something moving far below; its all fish!

Rob looks slightly alarmed and has no control of what he has hooked. James steps in with sound advice. “Steady pressure, no rush the fish will tire you have all night!”
The battle ebbs and flows over the next forty five minutes. The cod continue to feed and numerous double fish are brought to the boat and released as Robs epic struggle continues, a small white mark on his braid appearing at the rod tip repeatedly before disappearing once again into the depths as hard won line is stripped again from the reel.
Eventually it is clear that patience is paying dividends the runs get shorter and whatever is on the line is tiring. Suddenly the lines angle climbs in the water and we gaze with anticipation. I hold the gaff in readiness; we gasp in awe at the sight of a huge cod appearing on the surface ten metres from the boat. Rob coaxes’ to the side of the boat and I slip the gaff carefully into the lower jaw. With a heave the fish is on the deck in all its glory. Triumphant cries ring out and we call Jaky and Steve to the boat.

The cod is placed carefully into the weigh sling, the scales read 43lb 5oz and we subtract the weight of the sling, which gives a weight of 41lb! A few pictures to capture the moment and the fish lowered over the side in the weigh sling. Our friends boat drifts adjacent and Jaky grabs the cod working it carefully in the water until its tail gives a powerful kick and the mighty fish glides powerfully back into the dark depths of the Rotsund.

We have a few casts savouring the memories of a magical night afloat. The sun is rising above the mountains once again and its time to head back for a bit of sleep its nearly 5.00am after all.
By 10:30am we are back on the lake as a brisk wind puts white caps on a blue sea. The mountains tower majestically decorated with white snow and forests of green. We once again find the fish; James tames a 26lb cod on his St leger Spinning Rod. We all enjoy some great sport for an hour but it’s a brisk wind and it’s not too comfortable.

James has a desire to climb a mountain and so after a bit of lunch we hike up above the treeline to savour the view. Wow what a view it is on top of the world.
I stand on a boulder looking out over the dramatic vista chatting to Pauline back in Devon. It’s a grand place planet earth!

It’s a good job we climbed the mountain that day for the next few days saw low cloud descend shielding the grandeur of the mountains. “Its like Minehead”, exclaimed James!
Havnnes Handelssted “ Artic Paradise” It states “ Norway’s “best Place to fish”.

I could try and write more and will in due course but words cannot paint a full picture. The fishing is not as easy as many think I personally had a very lucky trip landing several outstanding specimens pictured here.

Coalfish 32lb 5oz

cod 38lb

Halibut 47lb

cod 32lb

Friendships grow with a shared bond of appreciation amongst anglers on an adventure that transcends normality.

Strangely I felt invigorated as we fished through night and day, a little fatigued at times perhaps but not unduly so. Lack of sleep of course caught up when we got home and back to work.

About piscator2

An all-round angler I fish for fun and enjoy sharing my experiences and adventures at the waters edge. Each week I write a column for the North Devon Journal and occasional articles for various publications.
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  1. martin says:

    Fabulous trip Wayne nicely captured in word and picture

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