“The time had come the Walrus said” to take my first ever trip to Norway with friends Dave Collins and Martin Doe – we started the trip from Gatwick and were an hour late leaving Gatwick so in Oslo Airport came close to missing our flight to Bodo! Needless to say, we made but our luggage didn’t, so after sorting car out and travelling 20 minutes to Simon Smith’s house of Northern Norway Shore Fishing Accommodation and Guiding, we had to return to the airport for 23.30 hrs to retrieve the luggage. Martin’s suitcase was wrecked, luckily no damage inside, but he did manage to get a new suitcase out of them.
After a chat with Simon about the marks we headed for the landing in Bodo for our first day’s fishing, a very comfortable spot to get our bearings from. Target was going to be Halibut for the week ahead so, I couldn’t believe it when I caught an 11 pounder on the first cast on the first day!!! That was followed by Cod all round in the low doubles - must say, despite the waiting game most of the day, the stunning location and views more than made up for it with a steep learning curve.
Day Two started out fishing early morning on the gravel mounds and it wasn’t long before Dave was into a screaming reel, that ended up tangled around my line and ultimately a snap off. He didn’t have wait long before he was into another screaming run fish, but after a 200-meter run he was snagged him to the right, and another lost fish! GRRR!! Then it was my turn for disappointment as the fish came up in the water and headed straight out to the island over 200-meters away, only for a trawler cut me off, very frustrating. Meanwhile, Martin was on a Cod mission, while Dave and I were heads-in-hands wondering what we had to do to land one of these big Halibut?
Day Three had us heading to a stunning island location, with the focus on Halibut – but they weren’t playing ball despite us putting in a lot of effort. The Cod and Coalies more than made up for it on light lure gear with Cod to 17-pound for Dave, low doubles for Martin and a 10-pound Coalie to me to make up for lack of Halibut action. When you see a big cod trying to chase and eat your 4-pound Cod, you soon realise it’s a Cod-eat-Cod world out there! Downside of the day, I had a proper Pollock on that somehow managed to spit the lure just below the surface, looked a monster. Highlight of the day was swerving to avoid 2 Reindeer standing in the middle of the road en-route to the mark, early morning (don’t worry Santa, they’re both fine!).
Day Four saw us back at the gravel mounds in Bodo where Dave managed an 11-pound Halibut in the morning, with Martin and I only managing Cod. We soon went back to the lure rods and got back into the Coalies averaging 8-pound on light gear, all I’ll say is it was some proper sport and great fun.
Day Five we were back and almost straight away myself and Dave had screaming runs that resulted in no hook up, but again the Cod and Coalies kept us busy. Out of the blue came a screamer where I managed to set the hook after a short fight it managed to snag me up right in front of me, as you can imagine the frustration had now taken over and if it was being filmed there would have been a load of censorship bleeps. But that soon passed when Dave got stuck into a 13lb Coalie.
Last Day saw us again struggling with missed runs, though Dave did manage to land a 16-pound Halibut that was behaving like a Cod – Martinn and I were into the Cod but we were all soon back on the lure rods catching some stunning Coalies.
One thing for sure with all fishing you are always learning and I must confess that this trip was a big learning curve and as the week went on I made changes to tackle and technique and when I return (and I will!) I will have changed my approach for the better I hope. I knew there was big fish out there and needed a hook that I could rely upon to play these fish over rough ground and out of deep water, so I opted for 8/0 SCR25 Meat Hook and SCR32 Ultra-Chinu Hook on 100lb hook links and big baits and 80lb Hi-Seas Quattro shock leader and rig bodies.
I can’t wait to get back out there chasing bigger Halibut again and know I will put in all I’ve learnt this trip to good use I hope. If you want to go to Bodo, you won’t go far wrong if you contact Simon Smith of Northern Norway Shore Fishing Accommodation and Guiding. Only down side is you have to get a second flight, my advice is not do a quick turn around at the airport as things can go wrong with timing really quick, plan a nice lay over before your Bodo flight.