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   MMBFC Home      Norway Trip 2019      Skipper's reports

This report from Mark Thomas Skipper of Boat 1.

After a faultless journey , well except for a iPad been left in Gatwick Security,  we arrived at the stunning location of Mefjord Brugge. The camp is great with brilliant facilities including a great bar /restaurant, filleting room and drying room, and a view of the Fjords that you cannot get enough of. 

We were hindered a little bit by the weather but only lost one day so the fishing was a bit harder than usual due to this. Saying that some great fish were caught including the 1st halibut of the trip, a whopping estimate of 150cm or near 100lb, I say estimate because Mike lost this fish at the surface due to my poor gaffing skills . The good news is that Mike did manage to still get some of the biggest fish of the week including a 50lb halibut the next day. As I said the weather did cause the fishing to be a little off , but it's been said that everyone had enjoyed the experience and many are going back next year.

The one thing you do learn about on these trips is the people your with, the banter between the 3 groups was hilarious , from myself been accused of pulling all my connections and getting the best room and boat ( too bloody right) to Steve Harvey being the Halibut King and Mike being Magic Minnow Mike. Ashley and Ian were the “Mash means Smash kids”, John and Ritchie, well they were arguing as much as ever.

Big fish on our boat were with Mike 50lb Halibut, 16lb Cod, Steve 40lb Halibut Phil 25lb Halibut

I have enjoyed the whole experience of organising the trip and hope that this is the first of many more.

This report from Dean Gifford Skipper of Boat 2.

The first mornings trip started with Pete Jordan attempting to reverse his braid, something we do regularly on the cat, without any issue; unfortunately, this attempt was less than successful, 5 mins into the first trip, 300m away from the camp Pete wound in a massive snarl of braid, amateur! I did this with my brand new JBraid too a little later in the trip... if a mistake is worth making, it's worth making twice!

We arrived at the fishing ground and 2 things quickly became apparent:

1) Richie's 'Pink Pirk' was doing some serious damage, he had more fish and species on that one pirk than the rest of the boat combined. 

2) John Bevan had serious Torsk appeal!! Had he dipped his hand into the water, I'm sure within seconds he could lift it out and would have a slimy Torsk writhing and twisting on each of his fingers.

Throughout the trip we occasionally stop to get coalfish for bait, Pete found the technique to fill the bucket quickly - dropping quickly through the shoal saw him foul hooking them on the drop, not too sporting but definitely effective for bait collecting as they didn't seem fussed on the feathers being fished normally! 

On day 4 we were restricted to fishing inside the fjord, this is where Richie was back to familiar techniques, taking 3 monster dabs on 3 drifts before losing his rig. We had lots of variety and some nice cod inside the fjord fishing in the sheltered waters and treated to the sight of feeding Sea Eagles close by.

Day 5 we were completely blown out so after getting the gear sorted for the next day, we spent a few hours in the Harbour where Pete achieved one of his targets which was to get a scorpion fish, he achieved this in some style as it was an absolute monster!

Day 6 saw us back out on the boat, after speaking with Dominique (Guide) the evening before. He gave us a top tip while weighing a 70lb halibut caught that afternoon. While on the way to the fishing ground I saw Pete Jordan intensely rubbing his Bright Pink fiiish black minnow. Turns out he wasn't just being a bit weird or perverse, he was rubbing prawn on the lure as the top tip from the guide was scent on the lure. This paid off with Pete getting a double figure cod before his lure had hit the bottom on the first drift. Later in the day, foul hooked double figure cod would also provide Pete with some heart racing fun when the thought he had 'the BIG one'.

The prawn scented lures took lots of cod, coalfish, wolf fish, haddock and a surprise whiting for John Bevan (amongst his many Torsk!)

This report from Paul Eaton Skipper boat 3.  

 The first day consisted of a trip around the outer fiord fishing marks.  After fishing the Bristol Channel it was quite a shock to find that 40 metres was considered a shallow area.  We tried the big shads but found a pirk had the most success which resulted in cod, small Coalies and Torsk (the Norway equivalent of a dogfish, which I will eat and give a run down on how it tastes !!). 

On day 2 the weather was good so another trip to the open sea. We feathered up some small coalfish, these were to be used as dead bait for the halibut (FYI - Pink was the killer colour).  Myself, Alun and Ian continued to use the pirks whilst Ashley swapped over to a dead bait rig. After a few dropped takes Ashley was rewarded with a lovely 20lb halibut. The day carried on with more cod, torsk and a 12lb coalfish. The winds speed started to increase and doing so played havoc with my eyes and resulted in me having to call it a day (actually a lovely scenic trip to hospital, not that I could see the sights though  !!) and Ian took over on the wheel. I met the boat later on and they had a lovey catch of cod ready to be filleted and frozen down.

Day 3 seemed to be the day the fish really started to turn on for me.  After persevering with the large pirks and I decided to follow Mikes advice and use a small pink savage sand eel 150g and work it with a very slow retrieve. Straight away and I had 3 cod on the same drift, then a 18lb coalie (just for the record this was I can honestly say the hardest fighting fish I've had, the power on these things is mental !!) followed by a 12lb halibut (another powerhouse of a fish !!). Ian using a pink eel and he too had a monster take but it snapped him up, shame as this was a big fish !!.  The boat had a great day with over 100lb of fish to fillet.

With the weather starting to build on day 4 we decided to try for the big dabs and plaice in the safety of the fjord. In close the depth was still 50m and flat calm, move out a few hundred yards and the winds would howl and the sea turns into a washing machine.  So if you could tuck in close fishing was possible in any weather. We had a great day catching good size cod haddock and halibut. 

Day 5 and the weather gods had turned, we had been advised that a storm was coming in and with 30mph winds it didn’t disappoint. With this the resort manager put up the dreaded “no fishing” barrier and we were land locked. So out came the playing cards and the beer and banter started to flow. Later in the evening we did kill a few hours just fishing off the marina jetty.  Catching lots of codling, coalies and scorpion fish.   The fishing off the jetty was even better than fishing Swansea bay !!

So day 6 and good weather. We decided to stay in the upper fjord area.  The day before a Russian who did brave the seas managed to pull in a 70lb halibut.  When asked how he bagged it, with broken English he described using a pirk tipped with a prawn.   

As soon as we tipped the pirks and hit the magic 100m depth we were all into the fish,  it’s amazing how a little local knowledge helps.   Anyway this turned into our best day with a fish box overflowing and multiple cod, ling, a bonus big plaice on the deck we headed back to the marina for the last filleting session.

After 6 days of fishing bliss it was time to head home.  In our apartment it was agreed that we would do it all again next year. We didn’t get the massive fish for which Norway is renowned but there is always the next time. As they say fishing is called fishing not catching. All credit to Mark Thomas for working hard to put us on the fish and making sure everything ran smoothly. He really did help to make this trip something very special, roll on next year !!