Skjervoy 2009

People: Barry Howlin, Patrick Gahan and Myself
Duration:31st March 2009-8th April 2009
Tide:yes there was a Tide
Weather:See Below.
Bait:See below Rigs: See below.
Results:See Below: The Fishing This time of the year up in Skjervoy there is a possibility of catching big fish, but it is a lot harder than summer and autumn according to Holger (the skipper of the Troms Explorer), we met him in the local angling store up there at the start of the holiday. According to Holger this is due to the fish being preoccupied spawning and not aggressively feeding, instead the fish lie in Deep water hard on the bottom and do not move around like they do in the summer and autumn. Well all I can say is Holger was bang on the money. All fish bar a few were caught in 500/600ft of water hard on the bottom. We Caught 20 odd fish between 20lb +, Largest being a 30lb Cod caught on the last day by Pat. Countless amount of cod between 10lb-20lb. Loads of Haddock to 6lb Loads of Torsk to 10lb I picked up 2 wolf fish to 8lb. Barry picked up a Halibut 12lb.

The fishing was tough going with all things considered (Weather, No GPS, No Sea Map etc), the only method that proved effective was jigging AT LEAST a 750g PIRK (preferably a 1000g) hard on the bottom. This in turn resulted in tackle loses around 6 pirk’s in total between the 3 of us. Jigging 500+ of water wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but unfortunately it was the only method effective during our trip. Other methods we tried were Shading, Gilling, Bait fishing, Giant Jig Heads/Giant Storm Shads (bumping the bottom and slow retrieve etc) all produced no fish! Drifts were very fast due to the wind averaging 8 meters second for our stay! Keeping your line vertical in the water to jig effectively was hard going….constantly retrieving and casting up tide to counter the drift. Frozen rods, frozen reels, frozen line, frozen gunnels, frozen deck and frozen coca cola were a common occurrence due to the weather while fishing.

The Weather Well what can I say, High winds, Blizzards and huge swells just about sums it up. Wind was the biggest killer as it threw up the sea in an instant and killed the fishing instantly. We were constantly fishing into Horizontal snow blizzards which were interesting. Standing temperatures were averaging – 10 degrees with a wind chill to – 20 degrees. Shovelling snow out of the boat fist thing in the morning is great craic! We did manage to get a few hours in the early morning while it was calm, before the weather came in. P.S. It is powder snow up there so ya cant even make a fecking snowball or snow man !! The Location The most beautiful scenery I have ever seen !! Small Fishing Village located on a island surrounded by fjords in most directions. As Skjervoy is on an island you do have a shelter from the wind regardless of direction….but that doesn’t mean the fish will also be there to greet you! Our accommodation was excellent, wooden cabin style, very warm with all the mod cons. And was only a couple hundred yards from the boat.

The Boat We choose the Arvor 215 (21ft C class) for our adventure. It turned out the boat we got was brand new, we were given it its maiden fishing voyage… An adventure we had! , It turned out the Lowance GPS that was in the boat had no external antenna so the satellite constantly lost our position…not good. We informed Toureg the Boss of the fish Camp, but he said he had to get one shipped in as there were none available in Norway, and would arrive after we had left. Ok, so we could work off a local sea map and the on board compass….wrong. We were unable to obtain a sea map anywhere, tried the fish camp/ local angling shop and supermarket…none. And to add insult to injury the compass constantly pointed to North…ah well we survived anyway!. The boat handled the conditions very well, very stable while drifting in large fast swells. Excellent fuel economy from the Inboard Cummins 2.0 turbo diesel engine. We only used 120 litres for our whole trip, and we covered a lot of water during our stay.

Fishing Equipment We each brought multiple rods, spinning uptide and 20/30lb class. Also brought multiple reels abu seven, peen long beach and penn senator. We also took too much terminal tackle, different shapes sizes: pirks, shads, jellies etc etc Lesson we learned was next time we are going all we need is a 20/30lb rod each and a senator 4/0 with 30lb/50lb braid and 40lb/60lb leader. You only need 2 types of pirks each: 1, Plain Jane (Swedish Pirk) 2. Green Goblin (see pictures) These caught All the fish. Its really that simple.

High Lights Seeing a Huge Black Hawk swoop down from a mountain and pick up an 8lb Torsk in front of you is quite an experience, then watching 3 seagulls chase the Hawk was another !!!!
I was playing a 12lb Cod (weighed after the event!), had him about 100foot up and the fish felt tired, so I locked the drag to get him in quicker…..a few moments later I nearly took a swim as something very big grabbed it and tried to run. It hit the fish I nearly went over the gunnel much to Pats disbelief, I just managed to flick the drag off before I went. What ever it was let go soon after, but the marks on the cod was mental! See picture. 
Barry using a 60g spinning rod, stuck on a 750g Pirk for the Craic, and ended up hooking and landing a 15lb Cod. The fight was funny as hell, rod bent in a hoop, the language coming out of Carpets mouth was quality…
Pats fight with the 30lb Cod was great, that fish stripped line countless times, nearly spent itself in the process but eventually went back alive. sore arms for

Conclusion A Great trip, we all had great craic and met fellow anglers from the UK who had similar results as us on the same Pirks, and agreed with the lessons we learned from the first trip. A great session was had by all in the local bar on the Saturday night ( If Carlsberg did pubs ….it wouldn’t be this one!!!) And we will be back up there next Autum Thanks to Ronald off SAI and Nick Plum off WSF for the pointers and the GPS co-ords, unfortunatly we couldn’t get to them due to the weather. Id highly recommend going up here to anyone considering it. Only draw back is the travelling you need to do to get there….. These are just some of the pictures:


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