Skjervoy 2010

People: Barry Howlin, Patrick Gahan and Myself
Duration:-17th August 2010
Tide:Yes there was a Tide
Weather:See Below.
Bait:See below
Rigs: See below.
Results:See Below:

Base Camp

The Fishing: Well this was our second year here but at a different time of the year than our previous visit. It would be far too easy to say the fishing was constantly epic and just stick up a load of pictures of big fish to finish it off! No unfortunately, in the cold light of day, you have to work very hard up there for your fish, locating them is the key. When you do finally find them, they probably wont be there in the next hour, day or even week! There is a lot of water to cover up there both area and depth,and although we did concentrate on the shallower marks this year sub 400ft, we did stray into the 500-600ft area on a few occasions.
Our Main Target Species this year was Halibut and Coal Fish which we eventually found. Other species we encountered were Cod, Red Cod, Ling, Torsk, Red Fish, Wolf Fish and Haddock.

The Cod Fishing was excellent when it was on and was the most consistent of all the species, I do not recall a fish landed below the 10lb mark, the majority of the fish were in the mid teens to 30lb bracket and provided great sport on the heavy and light gear. Barry managed to winkle out a very aged looking Cod late one evening as it was getting dark. It gave him a fantastic fight on the 15lb WaveBlaster and tipped the scales at an impressive 47lb !!

Pat with a lump of Cod

Danny with a lump of Cod

Barry with a lump of Cod

The Red Cod fishing was very scare, we did try different areas for them but we only managed 1 lone ranger. I picked him up on a Chartreuse Savage gear eel attached to a 20g jig head fished Kilmore style!

Danny with a Red Cod

The Ling fishing is available up there but we did not target them intentionally, young Pat pick up a sneaky one inside a deep cove we were drifting. I didn’t get a picture because Pat and the fish had a falling out over a tangled line and neither were in a position for a suitable picture!

Where is the snow?

The Torsk fishing was as it always is up there, good if your into that sort of thing. Now don’t get me wrong there a grand fish to look at but theres more fight out of a plastic bag on a windy day! Just imagine your bait fishing for Bass on a perfect tide, all your ducks are in a row for a good night, but every time you cast out within 30 secs theres an L.S.D. on your bait…get it. Torsk are the L.S.D. of Norway. Hauling them up a few hundred feet each time is no joke either ! I think 13lb was the best one we managed.

Barry with his favorite fish.

The Red Fish fishing is available up there if your interested, I targeted them because I was interested in catching one. They are a deep water species and it was no surprise then the one I caught was in 600 feet of water in the middle of a Fjord. Cool looking little fella with mad poppy out eyes.

Danny with a Red Fish

The Wolf Fish fishing has some what of a cult following in Norway, the locals refer to them as Cat fish and prefer to pleasure fish for them over Cod. We targeted them one day at the entrance to a narrow fjord and had some good fishing. Great buzz when one lands on deck and starts to snap at everyones feet !

We need a caption for this picture !

The Haddock fishing up there at times simulated mackerel fishing here 6 years ago, hitting our lures on the way down and becoming a real pain after the novelty wore off. Still though we got some nice fish to double figures and plenty of banter was drawn from them.

Ya reckon he looks happy ?

The Coal Fish fishing up there was firing on all cylinders the couple of weeks before we arrived, unfortunately we couldn’t locate them in any numbers during our visit except for a couple of hours one evening when the sounder came alive with them. We had some fantastic sport that evening on the Lure Rods, speed jigging for them. Bang Bang Bang….3 rods bend round as the fish tear off at a rate of knots, these babies know how to party !!

Danny with a double figure Coalie

The Halibut fishing up there is hard to describe. For example we were talking to some very experienced anglers up there who were on there 5th visit and still were waiting on their first Halibut. Where as we were lucky and made contact with 12 Halibut best 2 estimate to be over the 100lb mark. Interesting the marks that are supposed to hold them ( shallow sandy bays) didn’t throw one fish for us. Must say though these are a very special fish, and their power is simply frightening. I nick named them the ‘Greater Diamond Back’, Barry nick named them Hayabusa and Pat just says ‘ That is not coming into this boat !’ haha.

Pat with 60lb Halibut

Danny with 60lb Halibut

Barry with 100lb Halibut.

Look at the teeth on this baby !

Danny with 12lb Halibut.

Halibut incoming.

The Weather: We encounter all of the 4 seasons during our trip. From T Shirt weather right back to full flotation suits, hats and gloves. The Arctic weather systems really move quickly up here and there is always some form of a breeze or wind. One day we had to bring the boat in as it was starting to get a bit hairy, que an hour surf back to port ๐Ÿ™‚ . No sign of any snow though !

As calm as it gets.

The other side of the coin, 15ft swell.

The Boat: We choose the Arvor 215 (21ft C class) again. The boat handled the conditions very well, very stable while drifting in large fast swells and the GPS worked perfectly this time around. Excellent fuel economy from the Inboard Cummins 2.0 turbo diesel engine. We used a lot of fuel for our trip this time around, and we covered a lot more water compared to our previous visit. This a fantastic pleasure platform to fish from, my only gripe is the engine cover which extends above the deck line, this becomes a hazard when fishing in lumpy sea conditions.

A bow view from the Arvor.

Fishing Equipment: We each brought a Lure rod and a Boat rod (all wave blasters 20/50lb class). Also brought multiple reels Fixed spool and Multiplier. We fished the lure rods where possible, casting up tide and trotting the soft plastics back. Speed jigging for the Coalies was brilliant craic, the speed at which they hit your lure is surreal for a fish of their size. They sure take the limelight from the Pollock for aggressive takes. We used the heavy gear when targeting Halibut in deep water, it was just easier on the body. The constant fishing does catch up on you by day 3/4, you would be grateful of fast retrieve ratios on the multipliers. Mainline was 30lb/50lb with a short lenght of 80lb leader on the heavy set up and 20lb on the lure rods. Wiggler 300g and Flashmer 250g lures were the most successful although Barry did well shading on the drift near the end of the holiday. We didn’t use the Plain Jane or Green Goblin this time round !

Torsa. Barry you tackle tart !

Oh we like to fish it light.

Giant Jig Head..looks nice ....caught nothing!

High Lights:

Money for Old Rope

Fish hits my lure as we drift over a deep under water depression, nod, nod …I strike, some line is taken quickly so I wind down and apply pressure. Hummm this feels heavy ! The Wave blaster is bent double as I lean into the weight, I am pumping and winding the Avet, 20 minutes pass as I start to go red behind the gills . The video camera is out again, Halibut is being whispered by Pat…. this really does feel heavy says I! ‘I see a head’ shouts Pat as he leans over the side ‘Halibut’ he shouts…I can see the leader knot now..good God Im thinking this must be a ridiculous size to have the rod in such a state! …’Ah No’ Pat starts giggling and Barry follows suit…’What?’ says I…. Pat looks at me with a sympathetic expression….’Its a lump of rope lad’
I just spent 40 mins hauling up half a deck of rope used to tie up ferrys ! Oh how glamorous ๐Ÿ™‚

Whats on the end of this then?

47 lb Cod
Its getting dark, Pat and myself had finished up for the day but last last cast Charlie wanted one more drop !
We had been working an area with a large peak which came within 50 feet of the surface with little success. Ah but Barry was to have the last laugh, He hooked into a substantial fish on his light Wave Blaster and battles it out as the light faded more and more as we bob up and down in a shipping lane. ‘Its a Grouper’ I shout as the Fish breached the top of the water. It was a ridiculous size Cod which looked very aged. We got the pictures in and spent the next 30 mins reviving the fish and getting it to swim back to the deep. What a way to round off an evening !

Barry with 47lb Cod.

Bird eating fish.

Drifting a 600ft deep plateau in the middle of a fjord, fishing has been slack this morning, my rod arches over as the familiar feeling of a Torsk tugging at my lure releases another long sigh from my lips. Winching in Torsk is no fun because there is absolutely no fight out of these bottom dwelling fish ! I get the fish on board and guess what he coughs up!! a fecking bird !! crazy or what, these are a bottom dwelling species and were in 600ft of water and this dude just spat out a bird?? what is going on in the world ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes that is a pair of birds feet !

Folklore of the Haddock.
Did I ever tell you of the great story teller that is Pat Gahan? Seriously this man can tell a sceal or two!
Did you know how the Haddock got the famous thumb print just behind its head?
Well legend has it around the Northern Troms region of Norway that Pat Gahan is the man to ask about it !!
If you ever meet the man just ask him about the Folklore of the Haddock!

The Haddock Expert.

Turbo Charged Coal Fish to double figures

The Coalies were proving hard to locate in our area, but we had 2 fantastic sessions where we literally ran into two large shoals of coalies in the 5lb – 11lb weight bracket. Que the lure rods, rapid retrieves and explosive takes resulting in smiles all round. The sounder was full with fish as rod after rod bent down seawards drags screaming for mercy……too late your in Norway now Boy !!!

Barry with a Coalie.

Pat with a Coalie.

100lb Halibut on a Supermix 270 and a near 2 hour battle
The weight is just a guesstimate between the three of us on the boat based on length and size comparison with a 60lb Halibut, to be honest I really didn’t care what it weighed, the beast gave me the fight of my life and I was happy out to see her swim back down to the depths. I didn’t get any pictures of her but I did get this video thanks to the lads:
Cant really describe the fight as the different emotions that go through your head is just crazy. The concentration level induced a severe headache, constant adjustment of the drag, rod position, body position,jelly fish getting caught in the line, the fish suddenly changing direction, watching out for swells etc.
Auto pilot kicked in and it all just happened ๐Ÿ™‚

1 snapped rod.

‘Are ya snagged on the bottom Barry?’….’Yep’… Barry’s Rod bends down hard as the boat drifts away from the snag.
Up we rise on a large swell ….BANG… Seriously sounded like a gun had just been let off in the boat, ears ringing and Barry standing there with a big smile holding a now 3 piece Wave Blaster !

Want to break a rod? Call this man!

Conclusion: A Great trip, we all had great craic and met fellow anglers from the UK who were Halibut hunting too. On the whole it was agreed by the lads we spoke in the camp that we did very well up there especially on the Halibut front. We had 12 in total, we will be back up there again in a couple of years.Thanks to Northen Colin and his lads,Nick Plum off WSF for the pointers and the GPS co-ords, This time we could get to some of the co-ords provided by you guys. Id highly recommend going up here to anyone considering it. Again the only draw back is the travelling you need to do to get there.

And remember:


This is what you pay your money for !


31 responses

24 02 2011
13 09 2011
Les Messenger

Hello lads,going to be fishing on the 21st sept,any halibut marks would be greatly appreciated…..This is my third trip and have had Halibut on both trips previous.Straight out of the harbour behind the small island,slightly to the right,had one there to 100lbs and a baby 5lb, using a wiggler pirk with a white muppet.The other lads are Skjervoy virgins, can’t wait to see there faces light up with the Cod.

14 09 2011

Morning Les,

I will email you details when I finish work this evening OK.

24 02 2011

Well……it was worth the wait!!!

Great pics Danny and a great story told.

I know it took hours (days) to compile and re-size pics etc so thanks for the effort in order to share.

27 02 2011

Aye, you will have to join us next time !

24 02 2011
RockHunter - Frank

Fnatastic fishing, great report and photos, makes me green with envy.
Puts the fishing in ireland into perspective!!!

27 02 2011

Thanks Frank, Yeah the Norway folk know how to look after their fish stocks. Thank God because I wouldn’t be able to stick the heat to fish the tropics, I burn quicker than petrol !!

25 02 2011
James Barry

Well worth the wait, savage pics and a great report!!! Very nice lads!!

27 02 2011

Cheers James. ya gotta yourself up some time man, its some experience.

25 02 2011
Steve Mullins

Really impressed guys. That was some serious skill getting that baby up on the mix!

Well done Steve

27 02 2011

Cheers Steve, hope you enjoyed reading it. I need to back up there for the buzz !

25 02 2011
John Hartin

Hi Danny having just read your report I doubt if I,ll sleep tonight – it was great and I really mean that . I was in Skerjavoy a few years ago with the Mrs so no fishing !. We were staying in Tromso for a week and went on a day trip up there – fantastic scenery etc and it being above the Artic Circle made the trip worth it . I have always wanted to go up there to fish but getting any of my mates to dig deep into their pockets is a waste of time .. I,m in the Middle East – Yemen to be exact and return home on 17th March do you mind if I get in touch with you for a chat .. regards John

27 02 2011

Hi John, yeah thats no bother, give me a shout when your back sure.
The scenery up there is spectacular alright, well worth the visit. Did you take the ferry tour around the fjords?

26 02 2011
Declan o driscoll

Hi Danny , this is Dec from clonanglingclub we are heading up north in July and would like any cordinates u can give us ,
Regards declan

27 02 2011

Morning Declan, thanks for the comments. I will dig out my notebook and I will email the ordinates on to you OK.
Take it easy.

26 02 2011
Declan o driscoll

Forgot to say super report one of the best I’ve seen well done lads

27 02 2011
willie o connor

hi danny just spent 20 mins looking tru it and what a trip well done to you lads great read and report take a bow for this report

27 02 2011

Morning Willie, thanks for the comments. Great trip alright. Still though im looking forward to the fishing down in Kilmore on the soft plastics from next month on ! Great Craic.

3 03 2011
skjervรธy fiskecamp

Good read. welcome back.

31 03 2011
Martin Founds

Really good report and what a mix of weather. Found another great destination especially March April for monster cod but it has to be skippered fishing (special boat and skipper too!!). Had 2 days with Dave Lewis and 3 Norwegian anglers, 1st day lots of cod but nothing bigger than 40, secoind day crazy… numerous cod into the forties, 10 in the 50’s, 2 in the 60’s and the biggest 73 and a half pounds (weighed). Dave’s arms were dropping off”!!!! DVD out soon.
Keep up the good work, hopefully I will get chance to fish with you again.

2 04 2011

Hello Martin.
How are you keeping Sir.

That sounds like epic fishing there with Dave. Fish touching the 70lb marker is something special indeed !

It sounds good, email me I will go over it with the lads.

Thanks for the comments.


16 05 2011

Hi Danny, great report brough back the memorieies of the last 2 yrs fishing in Skjervoy. We also experienced some of the magnificent 4 seasons in a day and would advise all anglers to be prepared and take appropriate clothing as the changes happen so quick. We went in May 09 and June 10 and are lucky enough to be going again in Sept this year for a change to hopefully target some Halibut. Biggest fish we had were cod to 47lb, 16lb Wolfie, 12lb Torsk but we were lucky to see two great cod brough to the filleting room 44 and 64lb caught by guys from bonnie Scotland. Do you have some tackle tips /coordinates for targeting the Halibut that your willing to share. Look forward in anticipation to hearing from you

18 05 2011

Good Evening,

I will have a look and see can I pull out the Co-ordinates for you.

Good point on the clothing, from T shirts to flotation suits in the space of a couple of hours, it is extremely unpredictable on the weather front.

They are some mighty fish!


23 08 2011

I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

17 04 2012

Enjoyed your report. We are thinking of going up there April next year. What time of year is best for the large Coal fish? Want to beat my best of 35lbs 4ozs caught out of Plymouth. Also have been trying to find details of fast ferry from Tromso to Skjervoy, if you have any info you can contact me at

19 04 2012

Hi Geordie, thanks for the comment.
I will do up an email there over the weekend and il send it on to you. That is a very impressive Coal Fish !


19 04 2012

Thanks Danny, yes it was a great fish in three months we had 3 records for the UK. First was one of 32 lbs, then a 35lbs then the Current record of 37 lbs Caught by John Brown who now lives in Newcastle. Caught my 35lb 4 onz fish some 5 years later, which is the second largest caught in the uk. But it wasn’t fair realy as being a skipper was out at sea every day.We may now be going over on 28 Sept subject to date being available.

20 04 2012

Danny that should have been August 28 not Sept

21 04 2012

just found out 28 August not available so are now looking at 4 sept 2012. which is free.. But this will depend on if we can get the party together for those dates. May have some places available if anyone interested. Booking two Avors no more than 3 per boat.
Anyone interested email me at

12 08 2012
Steve Clark

Great stuff Danny nice to see you caught what you set out for. Did you just use lures to catch the Halibut. I’ve been trying on 3 occasions without a sniff of one. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Tight lines

17 08 2012


Apologies for the late response, been a bit busy of late.

I will do up a mail for you, could you send me your email address please.


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