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Fishing with the Pros

Two days ago, I went fishing on a real fishing boat! Our next door neighbor Ove and his friend Kjell took me and another foreign resident, Pawel, to get out for a few hours on Kjell’s boat.

Going Fishing on a Real Fishing Boat

We left the docks just before sunrise, 11 am. The sun actually came up, a much welcomed turn of event since it had been stormy and rainy for most of the past two weeks. It was a few degrees above freezing, not warm but not bitterly cold either. Equipped with a diesel engine, a fish finder, and two people who grew up fishing in these waters, I was ready for the bigger ones.

We went to a spot about 30 minutes away north west of the island. The fish finder shows a big gobbled mess of stuff. We dropped the hooks and started jigging. Nothing. We went to another spot, and another. Nothing. There’re boat-loads of fish just under us, but they just weren’t biting. No matter how good your equipment is, or how well you know the waters or how good your technique is, if the fish don’t bite, you don’t get them. We all started to feel that it could have been a lost day.

Spot number 5 proved to be a winner. We were pretty much catching as many medium sized pollock as we wanted. Pawel’s line, which had about 6 hooks, often came up with a pollock on every hook. And he got a couple of big cod. As for me, I simply got the wrong side of the boat. I got a decent sized pollock, but nothing to brag about. Then the eagles came.

Ove threw out a bunch of the smaller pollock to feed the eagles. If the eagles wanted them, they got them. The seagulls knew who was boss. They came so close to the boat — these gigantic, fierce birds — that they could easily snatch the fish right out of our hands. It was tough shooting fast moving objects from a boat in low light, but a few did come out alright.

On a different note, we can close the books on another month. I just uploaded photos from November.

  1. Codfather #

    Because you showed the lowly cod no love earlier, the fish gods only rewarded you with pollock.

    Respect the Cod!
    The Codfather

    December 5, 2011
  2. bob potter #

    Great photos of the eagles!

    December 6, 2011
  3. Wonderful eagles! You remember me that one of the first book I’ve read in English was “An old man and the sea” by Hemingway. And you’ve got a good practice in fishing, isn’t it?

    December 6, 2011
  4. Joe #

    Awesome eagles, Winston. If I were a seagull, I’d stay the hell away from those monsters too!

    How is the pollack? It’s a close relative of the cod, right? I wonder if it’s better or worse for cooking. And how is the salt-cod turning out? I hope all that work you put into it redeems the humble fish.

    I don’t know if they have Hake up there, but if you get one of those guys, hold onto it. That’s the ugliest cousin of the codfish, but by far the most delicious. I love the 11am sunrise by the way…

    December 6, 2011
    • Pollack doesn’t have the same historical mystique as cod, and its flesh is gray which is less visually appealing. But it’s a great fish. Its flesh is firmer and more flavorful than cod. It also salts and dries nicely. In fact I prefer fresh pollack to cod. Yesterday I breaded and sautéed the pollack I caught with butter and scallions. It was fantastic.

      No Hake here. I had a Hake in green sauce in a Basque restaurant in Barcelona and it rocked my world. SInce then, I started to buy Hake at Wholefoods back in Boston. It was cheaper than cod and tastes better.

      Salt cod still rules. My salt cod collection is now hanging just outside our kitchen window. I dipped in the collection a few times and the results were very good.

      December 7, 2011
  5. Beate #

    Thanks for a grat blog Winston! You that in Norway there’s something called “haill” that you need to have to get fish 😉 Ask Kristin about that!

    December 12, 2011
  6. Genevieve Wolfe #


    your photos are breathtaking and your writing so engaging and thought-provoking. Thank you so much for sharing your blog. It makes for thrilling reading, even sitting on my couch at home in Somerville!

    genevieve (who is greatly enjoying your family’s wonderful Sohmer, together with Ayaulym, Nora and Marcus’ friend from piano class)

    January 24, 2012
    • Thanks! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Sohmer. Best wishes, and we’ll see you back in the US later this year.

      January 25, 2012

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