First ever visit for the Club to Sandland Brygge in Northern Norway, although it was our 4th time visiting Norway. We had high hopes for this trip, and we were not disappointed. Cod up to 46lb were taken, (2 x 46 pounders for a joint club record), a huge new record Wolf-Fish of 19lb 2oz. A new Halibut record fish of 12lb was caught, part of a total catch of 7 Halibut taken over the week by our group.
Our group of 18 anglers was made up of 12 Club members and 6 guest anglers, 4 travelling from England.
On the trip were:-
Roy McCoy, Stephen Montgomery, John McCourt, Frank Montgomery, Dan Boyle, Alan Buchanan, Mark Buchanan, Martin Buchanan, Stephen Burns, Glen Murphy, Alan Campbell, Gareth Peobles, Al Marsden (guest), Mark Heffernan (guest), David Hoolhouse (guest), Peter Ashton (guest), Colin Richardson (guest), Tim Newman (guest)
Due to the remoteness of the location, we booked our own private fast ferry to take us from the airport at Alta to and from the final venue. This was a great success, making the journey a lot quicker than would have been the case otherwise.
Day 1 in Sandland Brygge and we were lucky with the weather. Our 4 boats tried different marks from West of Loppa Island, and right over as far as Silda Island to see what we could find. I have to say we did very well on all marks. Top catch on the day was a new club record Cod of 46 lb for our Chairman Roy McCoy. We had numerous other cod to 28lb. Other good fish were a 10lb 8oz Halibut for Martin Buchanan who also took a nice 7lb Wolf-fish. We had Coalfish to 7.5 pounds and Torsk to 5 lb.
Day 2 and the weather was not so good. We all had to stay close to home, fishing in the large bay west of camp. We had no success there at all. 6 hours of fruitless fishing, only lightened by a new Club record 12lb Halibut for Martin Buchanan, (his 2nd Halibut of the trip), caught 200 yards from harbor as a last try for a fish.
Day 3 and no improvement in our weather. We decided to try for a bit of Shelter in the inner Fjords in the hope of picking up a few fish. Strong tides and big swells followed us however and fish were scarce. We picked up a few cod to 9lb, along with some small Coalies before calling it a day. Hopefully things would improve over the rest of the week.
Day 4 of our Sandland adventure. To be honest it had been poor fishing for 2 days due to bad weather, but today really brilliant! All 4 boats got out to the marks. Our boat had nonstop cod to16lb at the top of Silda, and no less than 25 Wolfish to 8lb 14oz, including a new club record for Dan Boyle, who also took a 6lb Halibut. We lost a huge Wolfie of at least 13 lb at the gaff. The other boats went over to Loppa and had a field day on big old cod, best of which was a 40 lb fish for Guest angler Al Marsden. Unfortunately this fish didn’t survive being returned and had to be brought ashore.
Day 5 in Sandland Brygge. No humongous fish but steady fishing with plenty of cod around 6-25 pounds. Loads of wolf-fish again, including a new club record brute of 19lb 2oz for Roy McCoy, caught just 100 yards from camp, along with a 9lb Halibut for Gareth Peobles. West of Loppa once again proved the best ground with numerous doubles and 20,s. Our boat intended to go to Loppa, but Steinar the owner recommended we try the “drop off” between Silda and Loppa for the bigger fish. The weather would be perfect. It certainly looked good on the way out, but the stiff North-Easterly wind kicked up a huge swell past Silda which proved difficult to manage for us inexperienced sailors. We gave it 45 minutes and picked up a few cod and haddock before discretion proved the better part of valor, and we slipped back into the shelter of the big Silda Island, where we did well the day before. Once again we caught loads of cod to 18lb, and an entire pack of Wolf-fish.
Day 6, last days fishing then at Sandland Brygge, and all boats headed for Loppa to try for big cod. Fishing was fantastic, with some of the highlights being a big Cod double for Mark Buchanan with a 32.5 pounder and a 17.5 pounder on one drop, a 35lb fish for guest angler Mark Heffernan, and a Cod of 46lb for Alan Buchanan, equaling Roy McCoy’s record breaking fish caught 4 days earlier. Everyone on all 4 boats caught fish, with 20 pound plus fish being a common sight.
Summing up our week, absolutely brilliant, a bit further to get to than some venues in Norway, but well worth the effort. Where else would you get access to fishing of this standard, more or less all season long? Our host Steinar looked after us really well offering excellent accommodation and fantastic, fully equipped very sea-worthy boats. Conservation was the priority of our weeks fishing, and apart from a few smaller fish kept for the table, all our fish were safely returned to the sea.
We can’t wait to return in 2 years time, possibly August 2017, for a repeat performance.
Best fish of the trip
Joint Club record Cod of 46lb for Roy McCoy (Fri), and then, Alan Buchanan (Wed)
Club record Wolf-Fish of 19lb 2oz for Roy McCoy
Club Record Halibut of 12lb for Martin Buchanan
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