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My Accomplishments in Fishing

I thought I’d hone my fishing skills over a few months and report in this blog on catching “the big one”, complete with a photo of me grinning while holding a biblically sized cod or halibut. But readers demand to know my catch now, so blog on this topic I must.

Fishing on Rødøy started very badly for me. Marcus and Nora bought me a pair of lures for my birthday; on the same day I went out with an old set of rod and reel left here by Kristin’s father. I went to the car ferry pier about 200 meters from our house, and lost a lure within 5 minutes. Stuck at the bottom.

I went to the fast ferry pier another 200 meters away. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Then, a bite! It was a fighter, but the reel is so old that turning it was like turning a pepper mill. I managed to pull the fish to the surface: it was a mackerel about 1.5 feet long! I thought, I’m going to salt it and then smoke it. At that point, the reel stopped working altogether. While I fiddled with the damned thing, the cunning fish took out a pair of plier from its trousers and pulled out the hook and broke loose. Bastard. On my next throw I lost the second lure.

Obviously, I had an equipment problem. So when we went to mainland for my immigration papers, I went shopping with Kristin’s father and spent an enormous amount of money on good fishing gear:


The day after we returned to the island, I went to the fast ferry pier again, now armed and ready. I caught four small cod. On the way back home, I needed to stopped by the general store to get some stuff. An old man walked over and peered down into my bucket. Then a big condescending smile. “Small,” he said.

Small. I don’t care if I caught cod the size of herring! I’m keeping them. People eat small fish, don’t they, brother? I’m having a meal with fish I caught with my new fishing gear even if I have to filet 50 fish.

The following day, I did catch a much bigger cod. It was about 2 kilograms and 1.5 feet long. That, so far, is my biggest catch. No, I did not take a picture of it because it’s not worthy of a big grin. However, I’m preserving this first notable catch for posterity by salting and now drying it.

The massacre came 2 days ago. Our friend next door took us to see a salmon farm on a big boat, and on the way back, he stopped by a good fishing spot for us. We used a special Norwegian jigging gear for use from a boat:

Jukse, Norwegian Jigging Gear

We couldn’t pull the fish out of the water fast enough! I was the executioner in chief, while Kristin and our friend Hulda visiting from Oslo did the jigging and pulling. We had to stop, because throwing the hooks in the water one more time would be unethical. Here’s the bucket.

Pollock (Sei in Norwegian)

We fried most of them in butter that night and stuffed 8 hungry adults and children. The rest were added to my salt-fish gallery. The two big fish are cod, and the 4 smaller grey fish are pollack.

My Growing Salt Fish Gallery in the Wood Shed

So my accomplishments in fishing so far? Nothing to brag about. Particularly if you see the size of the fish that real fishermen bring to Steinar’s dock. But I’ll get there. You’ll see.

  1. “Readers”=Phil Cooper. 🙂

    September 19, 2011
  2. Carol Lidington #

    As an almost-vegan, I can’t condone the fishing, but you do tell a good fish story 😉

    September 19, 2011
  3. Dave VG #

    Wow–loving your instant learning curve and can only imagine the boat-sized fish you’ll catch by December.

    September 19, 2011
  4. Joe #

    Winston, 11 years ago when we were hatching the nutty idea of going to scandinavia (which was the ultimate source of this latest round of fish-slaughter…), I was a fisherman and you were working in an office… my, oh my how times have changed. Good job, young man. I’m particularly impressed by the salted fish hanging in the woodshed. That is truly a beautiful, beautiful thing.

    September 19, 2011
  5. rosa #

    I don’t care the size, they are fresh! they must be delicious! I am so envious!

    September 19, 2011
  6. Norma Stanford #

    Well done with the fishing, Winston. In the words of another Winston: ” Never give up: Never, never, never, never, never!


    September 20, 2011
  7. Hakan #

    Smaller the fish, the tastier they are. Bigger the fish, the prouder we are…

    September 20, 2011
  8. Right. It’s not the size of the fish…
    By the way, stock made from newly severed fish heads is a revelation. Sorry Carol.
    Thanks everyone for your comments.

    September 20, 2011
  9. Kirrily #

    I’ll trade you some of our beef from recently slaughtered cow (home grown beef is a revelation too) for some of your salted cod!

    September 21, 2011
    • I’m sure my salt cod will survive the trip to Australia. Beef jerky?

      September 21, 2011

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