WWW.SEATROUT.DK YOUR PLATFORM FOR CHASING SEA TROUT ON FYN, ÆRØ AND LANGELAND. HERE, YOU CAN FIND EVERYTHING YOU NEED IN YOUR QUEST FOR SEA TROUT APART FROM THE SALT WATER!
Check out the interactive map of the 1,100 kilometres of sea trout coastline. For the first time, EVERYTHING you need has been brought together on one sea trout map. There are 117 fishing spots with satellite photos, topographical maps, descriptions of fishing spots, seasonal recommendations, conservation zones, special rules, etc. – all right at your fingertips whenever you need it!
You can also:
• Find accommodation at a certified anglers’ establishment • Book the island’s best sea trout angler as your own guide • Watch a video about fishing for sea trout • Follow our work to promote Fyn’s sea-trout stocks • Read news from the coasts, the fishing guides and partners • Gain new knowledge about sea trout and practical fishing • See conservation zone information and fishing rules for Fyn’s coastlines
FIND SEA TROUT FYN ON
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WHERE TO CACH
A SEA TROUT
SEA TROUT FISHING
More and bigger sea trout are exactly what any angler always puts at the top of his/her wish list. This is why we at Sea Trout Fyn are working on several fronts to help fulfil this wish. Sea Trout Fyn has been around since 1990. Over the past decade, we have existed as a collaborative project involving the 10 Fyn municipalities, and this cross-cutting collaboration – without petty observance of municipal boundaries – has been the project’s strength. However, the collaboration agreements established in 2007 will expire soon. Therefore, it will be essential to secure the political willingness to continue collaborating on Sea Trout Fyn in order to uphold the sweeping technical and financial efforts to restore water courses and promote catch and release in future. In this context, it is important to remember that Sea Trout Fyn not only focuses on the environment, but is also a Fyn-based business initiative: As the only angler tourism project in Denmark, we have key figures to prove the value of our work: Every year, Sea Trout Fyn generates at least 55,000 overnight stays on Fyn and the islands from sea trout angling tourists alone. This generates local added revenues of almost DKK 60 million and has created 38 full-time positions so far. These figures only show what we can document; we think they are much higher. Sea Trout Fyn involves in much more than sea trout, and we are proud of this. We work hard to improve sea trout habitats in the streams of Fyn so that fish stocks can thrive and increase naturally. This is where the ten Funen municipalities in Sea Trout Fyn play an important part in voluntarily getting restoration projects implemented together with affected landowners. In times like these, when the overarching political rhetoric relating to water course and wetland plans can seem harsh in relation to safeguarding significant wildlife interests in our water courses, it’s important for municipalities to enter into down-to-earth agreements with the (fortunately) many positive
landowners on the islands of Fyn, Langeland and Ærø. Yet more than a physical framework for healthy stocks of sea trout needs to be in place. The goal for fulfilling this wish list can also be achieved by regulating catches of sea trout. This can be done on voluntarily basis or by implementing national regulations in the form of conservation orders. Here, too, Sea Trout Fyn does what it takes to nudge developments in a direction that will eventually promote even more sustainable sea-trout angling along our coasts. The special protection order for Fyn and the Islands is up for amendment in 2019. The Key Angler Project shows us that Sea Trout Fyn’s cooperation with Fyn Laksefisk will also be necessary for many years to come to assist stocks of Fyn sea trout. In this context, the voluntary anglers in Vandpleje Fyn are indispensable to carrying out notably electrofishing and water course restoration. Last, but not least, how do I catch the unpredictable sea trout? You can also learn more about this in this year’s issue of our angler’s magazine. Happy reading and keep your lines tight out there! Jan H. Kjeldsen,
PROJECT MANAGER, SEA TROUT FYN
Publisher: Sea Trout Fyn / www.seatrout.dk Editorial: Martin Porsborg Hemrich Print run: 20.000. Published in Danish and English versions Layout: www.salarmedia.dk Print: PrintConnect Aps. Translation: Semantix Photo: Martin Jensen, Lars Kyhnau, Nikolaj Korsholm, Anders Christensen, Terkel B. Christensen, Jeppe Svendsen, Christian Skov, Finn Sivebæk, Fyns Laksefisk Elsesminde, Nicklas Engelbrecht Sørensen, Omar Gade, Frederik Lorentzen, Jonas Høholt, Mauro Barbacci. Cover: Lars Kyhnau
THERE’S NO FUTURE IN DEAD FISH SUSTAINABLE ANGLING FOR SEA TROUT AND TEXT: MARTIN JENSEN PHOTOS: FREDERIK LORENTZEN RELEASES: IN SOME PARTS OF THE WORLD OG LARS KYHNAU RELEASING CAUGHT FISH IS FORBIDDEN, WHILE IN OTHERS IT IS COMPULSORY, AND AROUND FYN AND THE ISLANDS THE CHOICE IS ENTIRELY UP TO THE INDIVIDUAL SEA TROUT ANGLER. THIS FORCES YOU TO CONSIDER WHETHER TO RELEASE EVERY TIME YOU’VE SUCCEEDED IN LANDING A SEA TROUT. BASICALLY ALL SEA TROUT BREED SOONER OR LATER, WHICH – WHEN THEY GET THE CHANCE – WILL IMPROVE SEA-TROUT FISHING AROUND FYN EVEN MORE.
WE HOLD THE FUTURE IN OUR OWN HANDS Few anglers would disagree that we want to have more and bigger sea trout around Fyn and the islands. And we have excellent chances of achieving this around Fyn, Ærø and Langeland. Fortunately, we can shape this future ourselves – for the most part. Because the efforts of Sea Trout Fyn (Havørred Fyn) and Water Care Fyn (Vandpleje Fyn) to release smolt and restore water courses will inherently always fall short. Restricted seasons, minimum and maximum size limits, catch limits, bans against selling caught fish and protected zones are well known conservation methods for protecting fish populations. We are all interested in both protecting and using local stocks of sea trout. But whatever the case, the “catch & release” method is
literally in our own hands as anglers. We are a wide variety of anglers fishing along the coast, and our different opinions of C&R are by no means new. On the other hand, new research and knowledge on the topic are emerging all the time. We are gradually gaining deeper insight into how different species of fish in different habitats are impacted by their interaction with us anglers. But the plain truth is that if you want to catch more and bigger sea trout – and you do, don’t you? – then you also have to release more sea trout. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with returning home with a suitable, legal and edible fish, but consider Lee Wulff’s words the next time you’re holding one:
“The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you caught isn’t someone else’s gift to you?”
- Lee Wulff
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A SIMPLE CALCULATION On Fyn, many of us local anglers are organised in almost 30 associations dedicated to efforts involving Fyn’s sea trout, particularly through our associations and Water Care Fyn. Our dedication is impressively manifested by volunteers restoring water courses, electrofishing, laying out tonnes of gravel for trout spawning beds in water courses, etc.The source of their dedication springs from a desire to conserve and care for wildlife and fish. And, of course, from a wish to ensure that sea trout populations grow and thrive. This instils respect for the stocks of local fish which they have worked hard to help replenish. Anglers are now very aware that releasing caught sea trout is also a very specific contribution to bigger populations of (bigger!) fish. In addition, Sea Trout Fyn’s longterm objective is to arrive at a situation where Fyn’s sea trout population is self-sustaining so that it will eventually no longer be necessary to release smolt. The math is simple: A released sea trout is one more sea trout that can reproduce. Obviously, anglers must comply with current rules on restricted seasons and whether the trout is in its brown spawning colours. But basically every fish will breed sooner or later: a shiny silvery sea trout caught along the outer coast in June is just as much a breeder as the brown trout caught in an autumn stream. It is estimated that Danish anglers alone catch around one million sea trout every year. They take 316,000 of these back home with them. (Source: DTU Aqua
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Report No. 240–2011: Eel, sea trout and cod catches in Danish recreational fishing, pp. 18–19). How much better could Fyn sea trout fishing become if we released more of these 316,000 potential breeders? It is precisely these big trophy fish that are the most valuable for reproducing the population. In this context, big female sea trout are particularly priceless. But only a voluntary, self-imposed minimum size above the current 40 cm (Odense Fjord: 45 cm) will enable greater numbers of sea trout to grow bigger. If we follow this guideline as anglers, we will have done our best to give a sexually mature sea trout the opportunity to breed at least once. This will result in more fish around Fyn. NOTHING WILL HAPPEN IF WE DON’T TRY We have many sea trout in and around Fyn, Langeland and Ærø. Some are small, others are big. The size of a population is of course key to determining how many breeding fish can be removed without harm. Conversely, sea trout did not get here by themselves: 25–30 years ago, there were virtually no sea trout compared to today. This is worth remembering. Several factors affect how releases of sea trout progress and whether the fish will survive: Where did you hook your catch? How long did you fight the fish? How did you handle the sea trout after catching it? If you want release your catch, there are a few simple procedures to follow that will result in a
more considerate handling of your sea trout. To increase a sea trout’s survivability after release, the Technical University of Denmark makes the following recommendations:
be an excellent alternative and a big help, especially a finely meshed net of soft silicone • When you release the fish, help it gently on its way. Do not release it until it can swim off by itself.
• The quicker you land the fish, the greater its chances of survival: Avoid playing it to exhaustion
You can find more helpful advice and recommendations on the website for the Technical University of Denmark, DTU Aqua, in their online article “Anbefaling til skånsomt lystfiskeri” (Recommendations for gentle angling) at www.fiskepleje.dk and on Sea Trout Fyn’s website www.en.seatrout.dk
• Limit the amount of time the fish is out of water: Consider whether it is even necessary for you to take it out of the water. “Keep ’em wet” as many say – and do • Wet your hands and land the fish by hand or use a net made of mesh (without knots)
Keep your lines t ight out t here!
• Avoid touching the fish unnecessarily: Protect its important mucous (slime) coating • If possible, remove the hook while the trout is still in the water. An added element could be to use barbless hooks - they are also faster to remove from the fish’s mouth • Use hooks that are small as possible. They reduce the risk of bleeding injuries to the fish’s throat latch andgills. • Use hook-remover pliers or other release tools • If you need to take the fish out of the water (to take a photo, for instance), lift it gently and horizontally under its gills/head and under the abdomen. A landing net can
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FISHING GUIDE BOOK
FYN, ÆRØ AND LANGELAND OFFER KILOMETRE UPON KILOMETRE OF COAST JUST MADE FOR SEA TROUT AND SEA TROUT ANGLERS. MORE THAN 1,100 KILOMETRES OF COASTLINE AWAIT, WITH SCARCELY A SINGLE METRE WHERE, AT SOME POINT, A SEA TROUT CANNOT BE CAUGHT. BUT WHERE DO YOU START? WHICH ARE THE BEST FISHING SPOTS FOR DIFFERENT SEASONS? AND WHAT ABOUT THE WIND AND THE CURRENT? HOW DO THEY AFFECT VARIOUS LOCATIONS? Answers to these and many other questions can be found in our guide book to guide you to 117 brilliant fishing spots around Fyn, Langeland and Ærø. Several of the islands’ most experienced saltwater anglers have contributed to the book and share the benefit of their fishing experience. The guide book is full of inspiration for the seasoned trout angler and the novice alike. Good maps and accurate descriptions make it easy to find just the right fishing spot – depending on the season, fishing method and wind direction.
Buy the book from your local Fyn fishing tackle store 8 · SEATROUT.DK
BOOK CONTENTS: • 117 coastal spots on Fyn, Langeland, Ærø and the numerous smaller sea trout isles. • Aerial photos of every single fishing spot bring a brand-new dimension to fishing. • Fifteen detailed maps with depth contours. • The best season and wind direction for each fishing spot. • Useful tips about tackle, strategy and how to fish all year round. • Useful knowledge about the sea trout. • Guide to sandbars, reefs, troughs and other coastal features. • Ten fascinating tales from some of the spots described in the book.
TIPS, TRICKS & A LITTLE PEAK INTO A TACKLE BOX
BY CLAUS EKLUNDH CHRISTENSEN, CERTIFIED ANGLING GUIDE
BE CREATIVE AND MOBILE Undoubtedly there is something special about being the first one to arrive at a fishing spot, because of your much greater chances of catching a sea trout. There is nothing better than knowing that you are the first angler to fish a site that day. The first angler is usually the one who gets the most fish at the site. I usually move on to another location if I see one or more anglers fishing a stretch of coastline I had picked out for myself. If I decide to fish there anyway, where other anglers are or have just been fishing, I try to fish differently from the angler who has just covered the fishing ground before me. Naturally, I do this while respecting and considering the other anglers around me who were there first. For instance, if a fly angler has just been there, a spin angler can exploit the longer casting length provided by a spinning rod. If a spin angler has fished the spot with spinner bait, then I fish it with bombarda and fly.
Be very mobile, in terms of both the individual fishing spot and the number of spots you fish during the day. I often have favourite stretches at specific sites that I fish out first. However, the fish won’t always be at your favourite sites, so it is important to cover some water. If you do not find fish along a certain stretch within an hour or two, go somewhere else. This means you will often end up trying three or four locations during a good day of fishing. As a rule, you can choose your fishing spots according to the season, but sometimes it pays to think a little out of the box. This is also true when it comes to choosing fishing grounds. Fishing several sites a day will substantially increase your chances of finding fish. On days when I have time to try out several different spots, I usually try a completely unknown site or a spot I don’t fish very often. This means I find new fishing grounds every year or rediscover old ones. It’s particularly exciting to find a handful of sea trout at a brand-new spot you SEATROUT.DK · 9
haven’t fished before. A fishing ground can easily afford fantastic fishing, even if it isn’t described in a guide. To enhance your mobility, it is crucial to consider the amount of tackles, clothing and food you will need on your outing. Then, leave as much of it as possible in the car. Pack only what can fit in your wading jacket and forget about backpack chairs and big tackle boxes. The key element is being able to move freely without having to consider whether to have a bag or something else standing somewhere on the beach. WHAT’S IN YOUR TACKLE BOX? This is where everything gets a little secretive and risky. There are many different opinions about which lures are good, and about what works best when and where. In my experience, some lures are better than others, of course. But as an angler, it is paramount to trust that what you are fishing with will work. I prefer lures with “natural” colours, but in winter, pinks and reds sometimes sneak in. ;-) In my view, it is essential for your tackle box to contain different types and sizes of lures. Some days, sea trout will prefer big bait retrieved quickly. On others, slow retrieval through shallow water with a big lure works best, while on the third day the fish react to small lures reeled in with deceptive slowness. This makes different demands on the choice of lures and is why tackle-box diversity is crucial. Line retrieval techniques are the key area of focus for a spin fisherman. This is where you can make a big difference on any single day where fish are otherwise difficult to entice. Vary your retrieval techniques until you find a pattern to fit that particular day – from reeling
in quickly with occasional pauses to reeling in slowly, interspersed with brief and long reeling pauses. On some days, the lure must lie on the seabed to be taken the moment it rises, whereas on others, it should preferably break the surface before there’s a strike. In short, try everything! USING A SMALL EXTRA FLY – WHY AND HOW? I almost always fish with an additional small fly in front of the lure, and it definitely generates more contact than fishing without it. Once you’ve tried using an extra fly, it almost seems wrong to fish without it. In some periods, more than 50% of the fish take the added fly. I always fish with a sliding fly set-up; I use a 60–70 cm fluorocarbon leader, 0.30–0.36 mm, attached to the main line at one end and the lure at the other. The line for the added fly is firmly tied to a 3-mm rig ring, held in place by float stops. I use two float stops below the rig ring to ensure proper hooking and one above to keep the rig ring from getting “stuck” in the knot (see picture). You can experiment with different patterns of using an added fly and line. I often use quite simple, lightweight hackle flies such as Omøbørsten and Agerhønen. In winter when the water is cold, I often use a pink fly as my extra lure. The lure determines the depth and pattern in which the fly moves. Light flies are less inclined to get twisted around the leader and at the same time they move more freely during the angling itself.
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BOMBARDA FISHING WITH TWO FLIES When I go fishing with a bombarda, there are almost always two flies on the leader. This makes it possible to present two different flies to the fish. It also maximises my chances of getting it to strike. Often, two very different flies are attached to the leader, either large/ small, light/dark, prawn/fish imitation lures. This makes it easier to find out which types of fly work that day. Even if you’ve found a fly that works on the day, it still makes sense to fish with two flies. Because when trout are really biting, you can experience catching two at the same time. This usually works out all right if the fish are small. But if you are lucky enough to run into two good-sized fish at the same time, you had better be fishing with a strong leader. Also, having two flies on the leader makes it possible to fish with the more unusual flies. The ones you sometimes happen to make in your fly-tying vise, which you might not otherwise tie to your leader.
Fishing with two flies on the leader takes a bit of getting used to and a calm and composed casting technique. No doubt this causes more tangled leader, but this is fully outweighed by the higher catches. I can only recommend using two flies on the leader, despite the challenges it poses at times. You are usually rewarded for your trouble. The bombarda leader is made up of about three metres of fluorocarbon 0.26–0.30 and then about half a metre of 0.23–0.25, tied together with a half-blood knot. Leave about 10 cm of a section of line from the strong – and also thickest – part of the leader and tie the added fly to it. This is a way to approach your choice of coastal spot, as well as select the end tackle for the day in question. The most important thing is to get out there and, of course, trust that the fish are there, ready to take the bait you’ve chosen…
HAPPY FISHING A
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FACT BOX: Rod: 9–10 feet with casting weight of 7–30 grams
Reel: fixed spool reel, size 2500 to 4000 Line: braided line 0.11–0.16 mm Rig and leader material: fluorocarbon 0.26–0.36 mm Bombarda ﬂoat: Intermedia 15–25 grams A selection of line-thru, wobblers and lures weighing 10–25 grams
AND TIGHT lines SEATROUT.DK · 13
#PLASTICINTHEBASKET BY NIKOLAJ KORSHOLM
OCEANS OF PLASTIC Traces of human activity are found along coastlines all over the world, and one of them is plastic. The plastic strewn along Danish coastlines. The plastic polluting our environment. The plastic found in our sea trout. You can fight to reduce the amount of plastic we use on every single fishing trip by putting #PlasticInTheBasket. The coasts of Fyn are some of the most beautiful in Denmark. All around the island, you will find beautiful cliffs sloping down to the water, countless coves winding their way through the landscape and endless beaches with small stony reefs, trees reaching for the sun and teeming wildlife. But down among the stones, you will also find items besides the treasures of nature. Looking closely, you will soon be able to see old bottles, toys, cutlery, cups and all sorts of other things among the stones. Many are made of plastic. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE DOING TO OUR NATURAL SURROUNDINGS Researchers have determined that between 8 and 10 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the sea every year. As a result, more than 90% of all birds have plastic in their stomachs. These numbers are frightening and are rising year by year because the production of plastic is increasing along with the growing world population. Much of this plastic comes from plastic bottles, disposable plastic such as straws, shopping bags and wrapping film. After a plastic bottle enters the sea, it slowly starts to decompose. However, the worst thing is that the plastic doesn’t disappear. It breaks down into what are commonly referred to as microplastics. Microplastics are almost invisible and are found everywhere in the sea. Most remain in upper layer of water where there is a risk that they will be ingested by birds, prawns and small fish. The small fish are then eaten by bigger fish, which ultimately means that the predators at the top of the food chain accumulate large amounts of plastic. So when we catch a sea trout, there is a great risk that it will contain traces of plastic. WHAT IS PLASTIC? The first synthetic plastic was invented in 1907 and 14 · SEATROUT.DK
it was a fantastic product. It could withstand being stretched, hold liquids, be thrown about and moulded into an endless number of shapes. The raw material from which plastic is made is crude oil which is distilled at an oil refinery where heavy crude oil is separated into lighter petroleum products. Naphtha is one of the lightest and it is a crucial component in making plastic. There are thousands of different types of plastic, however, and each has its own unique properties. This is why plastic is currently used in the pharmaceutical industry, in computers and all sorts of wonderful products. The problem is that much of the plastic produced has a very short service life. A plastic bag has an average functional life of about 15 minutes. In the United States, 500 million straws are used every day – EVERY DAY! Did you know that it actually possible to drink liquids with your mouth, i.e. without using a straw? Ever since plastic came into existence in 1907, none of the plastic that ended up in the wild since then has decomposed. It takes approximately 400 years for a plastic bottle to decompose, for instance. In contrast, the same process takes two weeks for cardboard, six weeks for a newspaper and 200 years for a beer can. YOU CAN HELP The hashtag #PlasticInTheBasket came to life on a fishing trip. It had been a good day with a few fish in the bag, but on the way home, the shore became colourful. Red, blue, green, transparent and dirty fragments of plastic were scattered up and down the
coast. Comprehending what our beautiful coasts are being subjected to was a terrible realisation. As anglers, we wanted to do something, but all we had with us was the stripping basket we used for fishing. It was perfect. In less than five minutes, the stripping basket was overflowing. It held about two kilos, but hundreds of kilos were left behind on the shore. What else could we do? After a few moments’ thought, we decided to share our frustration on social media. This resulted in the hashtag #PlasticInTheBasket. Shortly afterwards, the idea was liked and shared many times. If anglers and the general public want to make a difference, collecting plastic must become as natural as breathing. If you feel up to it, spend five minutes on your way back putting #PlasticInTheBasket whenever you can. HOW MUCH CAN WE ACCOMPLISH? According to statistics, 55,000 visitors spend the night on Fyn for the sole purpose of fishing for sea trout.
FAKTA ABOUT PLASTIC
There are probably far more fishermen all told, but using this as our point of departure and assuming that each angler collects two kg of plastic in his/her stripping basket, we would be able to gather 110,000 kg along the coasts of Fyn alone each year. That would be quite an accomplishment. There are no signs that the dumping of plastic into the sea will decline for many years to come, so plenty of plastic is waiting to be collected along the coasts of Denmark. If you want to do even more for our natural environment, then think about your own consumption habits. The less plastic you use, the less will end up in the sea. Therefore, use reusable drinking bottles, cutlery, bags and storage containers that will last far into the future. When you need a quick bite or something to drink on the go, avoid using disposable packaging which is discarded after use. This way you help reverse a trend and improve our natural environment and increase the number of healthy fish.
• We dump more than eight million tonnes of plastic into the sea every year • More than 90% of all birds have plastic in their stomach • There are approximately 5,000,000,000,000,000,000 microplastic particles in the sea • A plastic bag has an average service life of about 15 minutes
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ONE DAY’S FISHING IS NEVER ENOUGH! IF YOU INTEND TO HUNT FYN’S SEA TROUT OVER SEVERAL DAYS, THERE IS GOOD NEWS FOR YOU AND YOUR FISHING BUDDY: STAY IN AN AUTHENTIC ANGLER’S COTTAGE AND GET MORE FISHING TIME BY THE WATER.
ALONG THE COASTS OF FYN, ÆRØ AND LANGELAND THERE ARE CLOSE TO 30 CERTIFIED ACCOMMODATION ESTABLISHMENTS, ALL MAKING US ANGLERS, IN PARTICULAR, VERY WELCOME. THAT MEANS THEY ARE AWARE OF THE THINGS THAT MATTER TO US. THE ACCOMMODATION ESTABLISHMENTS HAVE LOCAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE FISHING; THEY CAN ASSIST WITH PROCURING CERTIFIED SEA TROUT GUIDES, FISHING LICENCES, YOU CAN DRY AND STORE YOUR GEAR AND EVEN HIRE FISHING BOATS AND KAYAKS – AND MUCH MORE BESIDES! 16 · SEATROUT.DK
ALL THESE ESTABLISHMENTS CAN BE FOUND VIA
www.seatrout.dk AND YOU WILL RECOGNISE THEM BY THIS SIGN:
SEA TROUT FYN PARTNER.
SUMMER NIGHTS ALONG THE COASTS OF SOUTH FYN TEXT: TERKEL BROE CHRISTENSEN PHOTOS: TERKEL BROE CHRISTENSEN, MAURO BARBACCI
ANGLING FOR SEA TROUT ON A SUMMER’S NIGHT AND TIPS FOR HOW TO ENTICE YOUR FAMILY TO TAKE A SUMMER HOLIDAY NEAR ONE OF THE BEST COASTAL FISHING GROUNDS ALONG FYN.
MY OLD FRIEND KARSTEN IS ON THE PHONE: “WOULD YOU AND YOUR FAMILY LIKE TO COME VISIT US IN OUR HOLIDAY COTTAGE? WE COULD TELL OUR WIVES WE’LL TAKE THE BOYS FISHING FOR PIKE IN THE MOAT, BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO BRING YOUR SEA TROUT GEAR WITH YOU. IF YOU HAVE A SET I COULD BORROW, TOO, IT WOULD BE GREAT. THEN WE CAN SLIP AWAY TO THE SHORE AFTER DARK. BUT DON’T MENTION THE LAST PART TO YOUR WIFE. I DON’T THINK THEY’D LIKE IT IF WE RAN OFF.”
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MISSING THE COAST FOR 25 YEARS Karsten and I always went fishing together when we were growing up. In the river, abroad and especially along the coasts of Fyn. But many years have passed since then. Karsten moved to Canada almost 25 years ago, and every time we talk, he blabbers on about two things: 1. Buying a house in south Fyn. 2. Angling for sea trout along the coasts of Fyn. A CUNNING PLAN His dream of a house came true, initially on a rental and weekly basis only. He and his family have rented accommodation at the Old Watermill by Broholm Castle. The site provides access to fishing in the moat encircling the castle. Perfect for ten-year-old boys and their dads. So we land some pike during the day. They may not be the biggest fish in the world, but when you’re a little boy, a 60-centimetre pike is big. They’re told that the moat contains huge pike that eat adult ducks and that they mustn’t go too far out into the water due to the risk of pike attack – which is more than enough to keep them excited all day long. We
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spend a pleasant day together, with good food, landing pike and reminiscing about the good old days, not least about angling along the coast. Karsten suggests that we eat early, so we don’t leave too late. His wife Olga has yet to be let in on our coastal angling plans. But when she happens to see all my gear in the boot of the car she quickly sees through Karsten’s plans. “Eat early. Right... You can’t fool me!” A few hours later, after we’ve sat politely conversing at the table, Olga finally gives in: “Get out of here, the both of you. It’s unbearable to see you two acting this way.” ELSEHOVED – THE PERFECT SUMMER FISHING GROUND Summer darkness is settling on the Great Belt as we park at Sea Trout Fyn’s car park near Elsehoved. Elsehoved is a classic summer fishing spot in south Fyn. After a five-minute walk, we sit down next to the old lighthouse, which is already switched on, projecting its light for vessels out over the Great Belt. We drink a
cup of coffee, waiting for it to be completely dark. The darker the better. Only when it is totally dark and the moon is rising do we get ready to fish. As we wade out, Karsten exclaims: “You wouldn’t believe how much I’ve looked forward to this.” A PLUNGE INTO THE DARKNESS Out on the belt in the distance, we can see the lights from one of the big container ships headed south. I pull out fly line from the reel. Karsten has already cast his bombarda float into the darkness. The wind died down quite a while ago and the water is smooth as a mirror. In the dark, the seabed fauna comes to life. It is difficult to imagine the enormous difference between light and dark. I tell Karsten about my first, and so far only, experience as a UV hunter. A friend lured me to Svendborg Sound one November evening the year before. He wanted us to go out and spear flounder. He brought a thick wetsuit, torch and harpoon for me. All I had to bring was plenty of hot coffee. We were ready before sunset and jumped into the water right away. It was a very
chilling experience. My friend’s extra wetsuit me didn’t fit me very well, so water flowed down my neck and back. Nor did the boots and wetsuit quite fit together. And 4-degree Celsius water is – you guessed it – very cold. After a few minutes you overcome the chill. As we slowly flowed with the current and searched the seabed for prey, our sheer excitement suppressed the cold, strangely enough. I saw a single flounder vanish in the distance; otherwise there wasn’t much life to see. ANOTHER WORLD After half an hour, I had to get up out of the water. My toes and hands were numb. We went back and sat in the car. It took an hour of full-blown motor heat and lots of hot coffee before I got warm again. I wasn’t allowed to sit much longer because, according to my friend, now was when it all started happening. Now that darkness had settled. It took a few minutes to get used to the cold again and realise that I’d entered a whole different world. Now, after dark, the seabed and water were teeming with life. No matter where I pointed the torch beam, something alive was moving.
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Each square metre was full of life. We saw juvenile cod, gobies, flounders both big and small – we speared the big ones, or tried to at least. There were also plenty of prawns, bristle worms and other delicacies. In other words, the sea trout’s prey had come out of their hiding places in deep water, from holes or the sand on the seabed or in the vegetation. PERFECT CONDITIONS About six months later, on this lovely July evening, things are much warmer. But the wildlife has definitely reacted in the same way now that it is completely dark. We can hear signs of life out in the darkness, at any rate. We don’t know what’s noisily splashing the surface out there though. It could be juvenile cod which always swim in towards the coast after dark. It could also be sea trout feasting on this big and lively buffet. Until proved otherwise, we think we are hearing sea trout hunting at the surface. Big sea trout, of course. This seems like the perfect time for Karsten to get his first sea trout in years. The conditions are perfect. The current is flowing well, and the many animals of prey in front of us feel safe and secure in the dark water of the summer’s night.
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WHERE THERE’S ONE THERE ARE MORE We walk and fish with a few metres between us. This may not be the most effective method, but we are also out here just to hang out. I’m fishing with a dark, plump fly, moving it high through the water. I want it to be high, so that at a distance the fish can see its silhouette against the surface. Karsten has tied a lure to his line. After half an hour, a few nibbles tug on the fly. There is definitely a fish on the prowl out in front of us. Sea trout usually swim in small schools. Now is the time to cast, and I show Karsten the direction where I felt the fish. Cast at 11 o’clock, about 15 metres out. Fish usually strike the first time they see the fly, so the lure or fly should be right above them, or if possible a few metres behind them. That’s when you need to reel in quickly. He must have made a perfect cast because moments later the fish strikes. Karsten cries out. I immediately think it must be a big one. It turns out a little later that it wasn’t. But nobody can take away my old friend’s enthusiasm. He seems just as excited and nervous as back in 1987, when we were on the coast together and he caught his first sea trout. Back then he was ecstatic and overjoyed, even though it was only a lean grey post spawn sea trout that had struck his redand-yellow Gladsaxe wobbler.
BIG FISH IN THE DARK Half an hour later something happens out in the darkness again. I feel fish tugging at my fly. I put my fly rod under my right arm so I can use both hands to retrieve the fly line. I work as fast as my hands can keep up. Soon the shooting head is in. In one steady movement I swing back the rod so the line circles behind me, while the fly follows along in water until it is lying a few metres in front of me. A moment later I’m ready to fling a new cast out into the dark and accelerate the fly. Right in front of me is a huge swirl and splashing. A big fish has been following my line until it is right in front of my feet and strikes just as the fly leaves the water. “Wow, that was a big one,” says Karsten from 10 or 15 metres away. I can only agree. After a dozen vain attempts to lure the fish to strike again, nothing else happens. In the end it turned out to be three hours of angling. Or, as Karsten put it,
t hree hours in paradise.
FACT 1: Just admit it. In your family it is your wife who decides where the family will spend the summer holiday and plans the activities. But with a little ingenuity and some really good arguments, it is actually possible to plan a perfect family holiday and top it off with a summer’s night of high-class angling for sea trout. If you choose south-east Fyn as your destination, you could stay at Broholm Castle, like Karsten and his family did. But there are also excellent possibilities of renting a holiday home right on the coast, or you can stay in one of the area’s many campsites. What follows now are all the good arguments you can use to entice your family to the vicinity of Elsehoved and south-east Fyn. The most important being coastal angling for sea trout, of course. But never mention this. And if you do anyway, cast it off as a side remark and as the last reason for going.
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The reasons to visit south-east Fyn are its many fine bathing beaches, which your children will love and, of course, the scenic countryside. There is a fine shopping district in charming Svendborg, and if that’s not enough, Hans Christian Andersen’s home town of Odense is only thirty minutes away by car. There are also plenty of attractions in the area, such as Naturama (Svendborg’s natural history museum), and Egeskov Castle, which the tourist brochure describes as an enchanting trip for the whole family on Fyn. There is also a gorilla park in the area and many other possibilities. In short, there are plenty of activities to keep the family occupied during the day before grilling supper in the evening and putting the children to bed. Then it will be time for your “short” nip down to the coast. To a fishing spot like Elsehoved, for instance. FACT 2: Elsehoved is a classic Funen sea-trout site situated on the Great Belt coast 10 kilometres north-east of Svendborg. It is one of the best coastal fishing spot along south-east Fyn all year round and offers terrific night-time angling in summer. You can park at Sea Trout Fyn’s car-park sign. From there, it’s a one minute walk to the coast and five minutes to the lighthouse. The site, which consists of a small reef with a few big stones, is just below the
lighthouse, and this is where fish are caught at night. There are fish along the coast in both directions, of course, but they are particularly concentrated around the lighthouse. Note that trout move all the way in to shallow water at night. Therefore remember to fish in knee-deep water before you wade out, if you can get through the thick bladder wrack, that is. Around Fyn, there are a number of other headlands and reefs with favourable currents, which also provide excellent enjoyment all summer long. These include: Sønderby Klint, Sønderhjørne, Little Belt around Middelfart, (such as at Strib lighthouse) and Fynshoved. Get hold of Sea Trout Fyn’s guide, 117 Fine Fishing Spots on Fyn where you can read much more about the individual sites. FACT 3: Select the days with the best current at the site If you’re an angling nerd who wants optimise your fishing, visit the website of the Danish Defence Centre for Operational Oceanography (fcoo.dk). This excellent website issues marine forecasts, i.e. current meteorological and oceanographic forecasts and measurements, including information about the currents in Danish waters. A good current flowing over reefs and points is often synonymous with good fishing. So if you only have a night or two available, it is a good idea to check out the website and then choose the days when currents are best.
ELSEHOVED IS SITUATED ON SOUTHEAST FYN AND IS ONE OF SEVERAL INTERESTING FISHING GROUNDS FOR ANGLING FOR SEA TROUT ON A SUMMER’S NIGHT.
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COASTAL REEL AND ROD FISHING AROUND FYN, SPRING 2017: PRELIMINARY STUDY RESULTS DTU AQUA CONDUCTED A THOROUGH SURVEY OF CHRISTIAN SKOV AND CASPER GUNDELUND, COASTAL REEL AND ROD FISHING AROUND FYN IN DTU Aqua, National Institute of Aquatic 2017. THE SURVEY INCLUDED INTERVIEWS WITH MORE Resources in Denmark. THAN 650 ANGLERS ON-SITE AT FISHING GROUNDS WHERE THEY WERE ASKED ABOUT THEIR FISHING TRIP AND CATCHES. WE ALSO SENT THEM AN ELECTRONIC QUESTIONNAIRE WITH A FEW MORE QUESTIONS TO ANSWER AFTER THEY RETURNED HOME FROM THEIR TRIP. CONCURRENT WITH THIS, WE CONDUCTED AERIAL COUNTS FROM AIRCRAFT TO DETERMINE THE NUMBER OF ANGLERS ACTUALLY FISHING ALONG THE SHORES OF FYN AT A GIVEN TIME. LAST BUT NOT LEAST, WE SET UP A TEAM OF ANGLERS WHO HAVE REPORTED CATCHES AND FISHING TRIPS VIA DTU AQUA’S ELECTRONIC PLATFORM “FANGSTJOURNALEN” (CATCH LOG). IN THE FOLLOWING, WE PRESENT SOME PRELIMINARY RESULTS FROM THE SURVEY. ANGLERS’ KNOWLEDGE CAN ENSURE HEALTHY FISH STOCKS The purpose of the study was to improve our knowledge of how to ensure healthy fish stocks in future. An important step in this process is to learn more about how to best obtain useful angling statistics. Only a few Danish studies have been carried out in this area to determine how best to collect knowledge from anglers spread across a large area with diffuse access points, e.g. along hundreds of kilometres of coastline. Therefore, the main emphasis of the survey, which will be published as a report in 2018/2019, is to examine and test different methods of mapping knowledge about angling.
FYN IS POPULAR The survey focuses on angling along the coasts of Fyn because it is a good example of Danish coastal angling. In addition, Fyn has a large angling tourism industry, with anglers coming from far and near, especially in spring. This confirms the preliminary statistics from our 2017 interview-based survey, where 35% of the interviewed anglers came from abroad, 17% were Danes living outside Fyn and 49% were from Fyn. Anglers from Germany (65%) and the Netherlands (14%) dominated the group of tourists from outside Denmark.
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Breakdown by nationality of the 634 different anglers interviewed in the spring of 2017.
ANGLING FOR SEA TROUT IS PREDOMINANT The vast majority of anglers interviewed from 1 March - 31 May were fishing for sea trout (88%), but in May in May, angling for garfish was also popular. (Figure 2) The interview survey also reveals that 81% of the sea trout are released upon capture, either because they are below the minimum size limit or for other reasons. For example, 7% are released because they are post-
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spawn sea troutâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and/or in poor body condition, 2% are released because the anglers do not like the taste of fish, 74% are released because they are below the national minimum size limit and 17% are released because the anglers have a personal minimum size limit (which is above the national limit) or because they always release their catch as a matter of principle.
Overview of the number of anglers (specified in each column) interviewed at Fyn’s coastal fishing grounds in spring 2017 and the numbers of anglers fishing for sea trout and garfish respectively. The percentage of anglers primarily fishing for garfish increases during May. ANGLERS HELP BY USING THE “FANGSTJOURNALEN” APP DTU Aqua has developed a smartphone app (“Fangstjournalen”) where anglers register their fishing trips and catches, and in so doing contribute their knowledge to research and fish conservation management (BOX). A part of the Fyn survey deals with studying the usefulness of this app as a tool for collecting data about recreational fishery. Further comparisons of the “Fangstjournalen” with other methods are still in pipeline, but preliminary results indicate that the method indeed has potential. In spring 2017, 894 catches of sea trout from Fyn were reported in “Fangstjournalen”. Out of these, 717 were marked as “released”, corresponding to 80% of rod-caught sea trout. Thus, the release rates determined via the “Fangstjournalen” correspond well with the release
rate (81%) found via the more cost-intensive interviewbased survey. This example illustrates that statistics collected from angling apps such as “Fangstjournalen” can provide useful knowledge about angling in general. WHERE THE FISH WERE CAUGHT? The “Fangstjournalen” also provides a picture of where in particular angling took place around Fyn in spring 2017, as well as the hourly catches of sea trout in different areas. Overall for the three spring months, a higher catch rate (fish caught per hour) was reported from Fyn’s western fishing grounds compared to grounds along the north and south coasts. Monitoring catch rates in the years ahead will provide useful knowledge, and we hope that anglers fishing around Fyn will assist in this.
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The figure shows where on Fyn anglers reported their fishing trips in spring 2017 via the “Fangstjournalen” app. Most of the fishing trips were made in the yellow/red areas, with fewer in the blue areas. The statistics for the four areas are based exclusively on fishing trips in March, April and May of 2017 and from fishing trips where the angler specified sea trout as the target species. As the “Fangstjournalen” app makes it possible for anglers to keep entries of catches and fishing trips confidential, these fishing trips are not included on the map. A total of 1,457 sea-trout fishing trips were reported by just under 300 different users. USE THE “FANGSTJOURNALEN” AND GIVE THE FISH A HELPING HAND The “Fangstjournalen” was developed by researchers at DTU Aqua as a tool for making it easy for anglers to help collect useful knowledge about our fish stocks to benefit the conservation of fish populations in future. There are not enough resources to carry out costly questionnaire-based surveys or aerial counts every year, so we hope that anglers on Fyn will use the “Fangstjournalen” on all their fishing trips in the future. This will enable us to monitor developments in fish populations’ well-being in a low-cost manner. The app is also available in English and German versions, so angling tourists from abroad can also take part. PART OF THE REKREA PROJECT The survey of Fyn coastal angling is part of the REKREA project, which also include studies of Øresund cod fishery, salmon fishing in the Baltic Sea and eel fishing in the Great Belt. The project is supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the Danish Fisheries Agency.
The “Fangstjournalen” is a practical app enabling anglers to gather details about catches and fishing trips, upload photographs and other information. It is also possible to win prizes, see fishing grounds statistics, keep fishing grounds secret to other anglers and much more. Most importantly, the “Fangstjournalen” – developed by researchers to gather knowledge about fish populations – benefits all of us. You can download the “Fangstjournalen” from your usual app store. You can also follow the ”Fangstjournalen” on Facebook. 26 · SEATROUT.DK
BOOK THE BEST SEA TROUT ANGLERS OF THE ISLES PRICES: 1/2 day (4 hours): DKK 2,000 1/1 day (8 hours): DKK 3,000 Meet us at WWW.SEATROUT.DK
FISHING GUIDES ON FYN, LANGELAND AND ÆRØ
TURBO-CHARGE YOUR FISHING FOR SEA TROUT: SEA TROUT FYN IS 1,100 KM OF SEA TROUT COAST DISTRIBUTED ACROSS 90 ISLANDS – AND THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL FISHING IS KNOWING PRECISELY WHERE, WHEN AND HOW TO FISH. YOU CAN MEET A PROFESSIONAL FISHING GUIDE WITH LOCAL, UP-TO-DATE KNOWLEDGE OF THE COASTLINES, WHO WILL MAKE A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE TO YOU AND YOUR FISHING.
RENÉ GERKEN My name is René Gerken. Originally from Jutland, I moved to Fyn seven years ago. Almost all my life, I’ve fished for trout, pike, salmon and sea trout, in saltwater and fresh water. I graduated from Dalum Landbrugsskole college of agriculture as an agricultural technician specialising in nature and the environment, and then I trained at Sportsfiskeakademi (the Swedish angling academy) in Forshaga as a professional guide. I am certified as an International Federation of Fly Fishers Master Casting Instructor (MCI) for single-handed fly casting and a Two-Handed Casting Instructor (THCI), and as an instructor for Loop Tackle Sweden. So I run a lot of casting courses and demos for individual anglers, anglers’ clubs and shops in Denmark. When I’m not busy guiding or teaching, you can find me in the Ækvator Sport shop in Odense. I am interested in everything to do with fly fishing, and because of that I’ve also served as a guide in countries such as Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Argentina and Iceland. In 2012, I began running Lakseskolen (the salmon college) in Mandal, Norway, and I am a tour guide at several destinations – for example Punta Allen in Mexico and Lainio, Sweden, for Atlantik Travel. I very much enjoy helping other people to become more proficient fly casters or helping them to have a successful day by the water’s edge.
NIKLAS ALBRECHTSEN Niklas is one of just a few people in Denmark certified by The Danish Sports Fishing Association, and that is your guarantee of high quality and, not least, essential knowledge about fishing. Niklas is also a guide with Go-Fishing, Denmark Fishing and Outdoor Lodge on Fyn. Niklas has almost 30 years’ experience of sea-trout fishing, and through this as well as his day-to-day work for Go-Fishing, he has a great deal of contact with anglers, so he has his finger on the pulse of where the fishing is ‘hot’ right now. On the day, Niklas will give you a lot of information about good fishing spots, teach you to read the coast as well as how to catch more fish along the coast, and, not least, what bait to use in order to achieve success. Niklas will help you plan your fishing during your stay, taking due account of weather conditions and other important factors that might affect it.
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GONE FISHING FYN A FILM PROJECT ABOUT ANGLING
FROSTY WEATHER COVERS DENMARK. ICE CRYSTALS TEXT: CHRIS GREGERS HALLING GLISTENS IN THE EARLY MORNING SUNSHINE ON PHOTOS: JEPPE SVENDSEN LEAVES OF GRASS STRUGGLING TO REACH UP OVER THE SNOW THAT FELL IN SUCH COPIOUS AMOUNTS THE NIGHT BEFORE. ALTHOUGH A BEAUTIFUL SIGHT, THESE ARE NOT THE IDEAL CONDITIONS FOR COASTAL SEA TROUT FISHING. THE THERMOMETER I’M HOLDING AT WATER’S EDGE READS ONLY A PALTRY ONE-DEGREE CELSIUS.
The cars are parked at Agernæs harbour, a good point of departure for today’s Fishing expedition in Helnæs Bay. Martin and I struggle to stay warm in the biting cold and we’re just itching to walk towards the water. All the tackles were prepared at home, fitted with spoons and flies. The backpack is packed and each object is inserted in its proper compartment of our wading jackets to avoid wasting precious angling time. Fishing fever is raging, but we can’t leave just yet. Today’s project is not just about us and our passionate desire to fish. It is about something bigger. It is about 28 · SEATROUT.DK
helping others to fish and sharing our experiences of what we love most. As homework, we considered the things we usually take for granted, thinking back on why we do things the way we do when we’re out here on the coast with a fishing rod in hand. A passing thought about how bitterly cold it is today and the tough odds we’re up against is interrupted by Jeppe who wants to clip microphones onto Martin and me. Today’s fishing trip is in many ways unusual.
The team is ready for shooting at the eastcoast of Langeland
Jeppe got the idea for Gone Fishing Fyn, after he were photographer on the tv-show “Tanev ude med snøren”
“Will you guys be ready to shoot the intro in a bit?” Jeppe asks. Martin and I chuckle. It’s a standing joke that Jeppe is the one we always have to wait for on shoots. Television takes time – particularly when you have high ambitions and with the water looking so tempting just across the road.
During a break Teis & Jeppe are looking at some recordings from the GoPro
Jeppe has to film an introduction to the fishing spot and a description of our tackle. We will talk about our fishing strategy for the day, talk about the chosen tactics, express our excitement and describe our expectations. Each of the following has to be filmed for each scene. Cutaways, over-the-shoulder shots, underwater shots and drone shots. We struggle to stay focused while Jeppe enthusiastically directs us. The fishing fever is raging in our bodies and we’re beside ourselves with excitement, but we stay in control because this is important! The film will document everything that usually happens naturally on a normal fishing trip. All the things we normally just do without thinking about it.
Holding the camera in front of him, he asks us to move two metres to the left as that gives him a better angle in relation to the striking sunlight. We’ve reached the water’s edge and wait impatiently in our waders to fish the visible and enticing belt of seaweed in front of us. But before we do, we have to explain how we intend to fish this spot – and why. We have to do this because we won’t just be entertaining viewers with fish dangling from hooks. We also have to serve as the little fact box at the end of an article that gives readers the right tools to set out on their own. “Martin, how about you start by asking about the water temperature and what it will mean for today’s fishing, then we’ll take it from there,” Jeppe commands. We both look down into the cold water and start talking. The idea for Gone Fishing Fyn came about after Jeppe worked as the cameraman for “Tanev ude med Snøren” (Tanev Out Fishing), a series about angling on TV2 Fri. His encounters with many enthusiastic anglers inspired him, and fishing was definitely going to be his new hobby.
And that’s precisely what Gone Fishing Fyn is all about. Documenting fishing trips and sharing enthusiasm and knowledge. Knowledge about where, when and how to catch enchanting sea trout along the coast and immortalise the many brilliant moments that also make up the fishing experience. A common eider on the water. A swan standing upside down in the water nibbling seaweed. A spotted porpoise. Life below and above the surface. All these impressions that are part of the overall fishing experience – at any time of the year and in all conditions. Also, the difficult ones. And today is difficult. It’s actually close to a “mission impossible” that Jeppe is sending us on.
As the media person he is after all, it seemed only natural to find more information about his new passion on the internet. There were plenty of articles and texts about sea trout fishing, but Jeppe wanted images – moving images. There were many of those available too, but they were rarely helpful. He could find sequences of huge fights and landings of big sea trout, but they lacked the sharing of knowledge with the viewer. Where was the information about the importance of changing water flows, choice of bait, time of day and year and, most importantly, choice of fishing spot? Jeppe failed to find those important information’s online, SEATROUT.DK · 29
Thomas is the host of the program. It’s his job to ask all the right questions
Jeppe with a fish
but decided that something should be done about it. A spark was lit. The seed for Gone Fishing Fyn had been sown. “Say that again, Chris,” Jeppe shouts from a distance. He can hear everything we say through our microphones, and the conversation between Martin and me had turned to the strikes we had yet to feel. Sea trout don’t come when called on. They can’t be ordered through an app on the internet, just because it would fit into the moment. They won’t be coming here on their own just to be in today’s film. They still have to be caught, outwitted and teased to strike on tempting lures or flies, which have to be fished in just the right way under today’s conditions. We’ve moved out a few hundred metres into the cold water, down along the coast, with Jeppe walking between us. “It would be nice to meet a sea trout right now.” I’m thinking, while Jeppe holds the camera focused on me at this very moment. “If it strikes right now – what a cinematic moment that would be.” Is my next thought, as I lay out the fly line close to the seaweed cluster in front of me. “Chris, it looks brilliant with the sun right behind you, so just catch a trout!” Jeppe encourages, in a whimsical tone of voice, and I smile at the thought. But it doesn’t work that way. Sea trout are far more unpredictable than the angler who wants to catch them. They usually strike when it’s least expected, and we have to stay focused so we don’t miss it. This is also the truth for Jeppe behind the camera – he wants to 30 · SEATROUT.DK
immortalise the magical moment on film. This magic is crucial to get on film. Without it, this project would quickly lose interest. This is why the Gone Fishing Fyn project is aiming to create engaging, entertaining films that impart lots of knowledge at the same time. Shortly after the initial spark was ignited, the first draft for the project had already taken shape. Jeppe wanted to make short angling films, communicating facts about sea trout fishing. To benefit everyone who has been in the same situation as him. Looking out across endless coastlines, where one can quickly doubt his own ability. The films should inspire and make viewers want to go to the coast and experiencing it for themselves. Jeppe didn’t want to make “fish porn” – the internet has plenty of that already. No, Jeppe wanted to tell stories. Told by anglers – to other anglers. Stories told from one enthusiast to another. Stories about fishing spots, fishing conditions, gear, tackle and the joy of fishing. Stories about precisely what it means to be a sea trout angler with a tiny lure on a huge coastline. “The next stretch looks good!” I say to the camera. Fish have previously hunted along the seaweeds further ahead and it’s only 50 metres away from us. Subconsciously I start to move a little faster across the murky seabed. “Wait a minute, Chris, I’ll send up the drone. Can you walk back a little and fish the same stretch again?” Jeppe asks. I’m eager to continue to the spotted seaweed ahead of
me, but I know this is important. It is an important part of the experience – or instruction – to show the seabed we’re fishing on from the air. We’ve talked about the seabed we’re walking on. About the trout’s prey in the freezing water and how we’re now moving towards the spot’s actual hot spot. Because the details are what is important for this project. The fact that we, as guides familiar with the individual fishing spots, explain what we know about them and when and how it is best to fish them. Jeppe has entrusted us with the vision of Gone Fishing Fyn in front of the camera – the team of guides. The joy we experience out here at the water edges should be available to all sea trout anglers. For them to get the same experiences and those who have spent years acquiring special knowledge about a special fishing spot or tactics. Through Gone Fishing Fyn, we are now acting out what has become a shared dream of creating a living guide to fishing spots – from one angler to another – and it should be more than just know-it-all statements. It should be beautiful, funny, surprising, informative and pleasant. That is the mission of the project. That is Gone Fishing Fyn’s mission. Martin and I move out towards the point – the last stretch of the fishing spot. The seabed is different and the water is changing. We have fished in waters we believed in and that were intended for today’s ventures. A muddy seabed with
shallow water and low salinity. But this next stretch is different. Several rocks are placed on the shallow water and the seaweed changes into the rougher “bladder weed”. Everything we wanted to say has been said – plus everything that we forgot to say but Jeppe kindly reminded us about. Now all we need is the fish – because what is a film about fish without its shiny star? “This is a seabed I’m more familiar with.” Martin says to the camera. Martin usually fishes along open coastlines and, sure enough, this resembles an open coastline. We’re fishing in a deep gully with a strong current and increasing winds. We sense that rain is approaching. “Let’s go ashore over there at the point and round things off,” Jeppe says. I admit that we have dim chances of getting the fish that would make the day a success. I cast out my line anyway. There are still 20 or 30 good casts to be made before we reach the point and the dream of catching a sea trout never ends before the last cast is taken. I’m in my own world and thoughts as I feel it. The noticeable and well-known hit on the wrist, causes a reflex where I jerk back the fishing rod in reaction. The obvious thump indicates a fish firmly on the line, evoking another angler reflex: “Fish on!” I almost shout back over my shoulder. The camera is rolling! Of course it is, Jeppe is always in the right place, when action
It’s important for Gone Fishing Fyn to have fun during shooting. Even when the fish won’t play along SEATROUT.DK · 31
occurs and I feel a sudden wave of relief washing over me. The main character of this movie has appeared and is taking centre stage. The silvery body flashes under the surface and even though I’m saying out loud “I’m going to land this one.” I’m still in doubts about how. The sea trout rolls in the top water. It’s employing a strategy that has cost many anglers their trophy. It cares nothing about cameras, angles, lighting effects or theories about how it should be caught. An impressive tail fin flips up over the surface. “It’s a plus 3!” Martin shouts from behind me, and Jeppe raises his left arm in joy. “Relax.... Both of you.” I think to myself. This fish hasn’t been landed yet and it has all the odds on its side, as it pulls down the coast in a short but no-nonsense run. “Wow, it’s a good one!” I hear Martin say again, before he after a short but tough fight gently puts his hand under the fish and pushes the sea trout the final meter up onto shore. It wasn’t elegant, but it was still amazing. Things are quiet for a brief second that feels like an eternity as the experience sinks in, but then the silence is broken by spontaneous cheering. From a distance, it must have looked very strange, two grown men bear-hugging and cheering while a third one films it all. But these three grown men don’t care. The joy they are feeling is authentic, not staged, not part of a manuscript, this is pure joy and happiness. Like when a soccer player scores an important goal and gets piled on by his teammates in a moment of rapture. This is not
just my fish. This is everyone’s fish. This is the team’s and the project’s fish, and this very sea trout is in every way the culmination of hard work. The sea trout I’m now holding in my arms is truly beautiful. A trout that skipped the spawning process and weighs just over 3 kg. As if by magic, the sun breaks through the clouds and shines down on this big beautiful silvery work of art. Were I a man of faith, I probably would have interpreted many of the signals quite differently at this very moment. We film the final scene on the point and briefly describe the other attractive fishing spots nearby. Because we’re providing information about fishing spots. That is what is driving this project. The joy of helping others to go out to the coast where the exciting adventures await them. A shortcut to exclude all the problems and thoughts making a troubled trip to a joyful day where expectations are higher than doubt of not doing it right. The anticipated rain arrives and Jeppe packs his gear. We’re done and I feel a sense of calm flow through me. The day’s impressions flow past my eyes as in a movie. I summarise them and store them for future reference. It was another good day on the coast...... No..... It was a perfect day at the coast. I admit that I’m pleased to be part of this big project which is simply about showing the way for another angler to someday be standing right here where I’m standing and enjoying a similar unforgettable experience. Perhaps after having been inspired by Gone Fishing Fyn – well, at least that’s our hope.
Chris Halling with a reward during shooting in cold weather
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OPPORTUNISTIC AS A
SEA TROUT – SOFT BAITS THE SEA TROUT IS AN OPPORTUNISTIC CREATURE THAT HAS TO BE CONSTANTLY BY NICKLAS ENGELBRECHT SØRENSEN WILLING TO CHANGE TO SURVIVE. WITH HIGH SPEED IN ITS FINS AND NEEDLESHARP TEETH, IT IS READY TO CLAMP ITS JAWS ON ALMOST ANY PREY THAT PASSES BY. OVER THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF EVOLVING, THE TROUT ALONG OUR COASTS HAVE BECOME SPECIALISTS IN DIFFERENT HUNTING PATTERNS. AS COASTAL ANGLERS, WE MUST HUMBLY OBSERVE THEM, AND OURSELVES BE WILLING TO CHANGE TO KEEP PACE WITH THEM. THIS MEANS YOU HAVE TO BE AS OPPORTUNISTIC AS THE SEA TROUT, AND EXPERIMENT WITH NEW METHODS AND TYPES OF LURES. SOFT BAITS HAVE TRADITIONALLY BEEN POPULAR FOR DECADES, BUT NOT FOR SEA TROUT FISHING. DURING THE FOLLOWING SECTIONS, NUMEROUS TYPES OF SOFT BAITS ARE SHOWN, WHICH IF USED CORRECTLY, CAN BE INCREDIBLY EFFECTIVE! EXPERIMENT! I wander through the woods, and my eyes follow the falling leaves. Yellows, browns and reds indicating the advent of autumn. I’m aware of the sound of my heavy boots eagerly wading through the dry leaves. The coast is not far off. The characteristic smell of salt water spreads first in my nose and later to the rest of my body. Right now, I can already sense the presence of sea trout, and I can’t wait. The weight of my old, worn-out backpack arouses excitement, both because I’ve brought along hot coffee, but also because I have new untried lures with me. My tackle box is packed with jig heads and rubber sand eel imitations in a wide variety of pastels. I reach the coast, survey the frothy sea and sit down on a large piece of driftwood. “Click.” My tackle box opens and my gaze falls on the new soft baits. I’m reminded of a passage from an age-old book I inherited. One quote is crystal clear in my recollection, and it has inspired many anglers around the world. “… If I was in possession of the ‘universal lure’ I have always dreamed of, ﬁshing would lose its charm. I would grow tired of it and miss out on my great biggest pleasure and my best recreation. We should bear in mind that the greatest pleasure of ﬁshing lies in continuously new, steadily repeated experimentation.” Juhani Aho And with that, I rig a turquoise rubber slug to imitate a big sand eel. Because you have to experiment, right? I cast away, and it doesn’t take long before there are nibbles on the lure. A handsome half-metre-long fish writhes on the surface, all the way out in the cast. A few 34 · SEATROUT.DK
seconds later, I’m cursing and swearing. The jig headhook may have twisted out of its grip and the fish’s jaw, which forces me back on the large piece of driftwood. What went wrong? The jig head’s not so agile hookhold may have made it easier for the fish to get off the hook. A stinger made from a short wisp of fluorocarbon-leader and a small Owner treble-hook should do the job. Sure enough, a few minutes later the rod arches and a big fish is thrashing around out on the horizon. This time the hookhold doesn’t fail. This is why you should always re-evaluate such a scenario: what went wrong and how can it be fixed? A seasoned angler would say that constantly experimenting will always lead to more fish.
THE SEA TROUT – AN OPPORTUNIST As seasons change, the prey available along Danish coastlines does too. From inner fjords to outer coastlines, the hunting grounds of the sea trout are many and diverse. In step with these variations, the sea trout’s hunting patterns also change. Sand eels, and to some extent sprat, are numerous along open coasts. As well are the wide variety of bristle worms, which particularly thrive in sediment-covered fjords. Some sea trout are even caught with squid and crab in their stomachs. These few weird examples doesn’t mean that you should go out and try to imitate a squid, but instead mimic the basic concepts of the various types of prey. With traditional spin fishing and the types of lures on the market, it may be close to impossible to mimic certain types of prey. An example of this could be the bristle worm, which is somewhat easier for a fly fisherman to imitate. But it doesn’t have to be impossible for a spin fisherman. Therefore, experiment with unconventional lures, which if used correctly, can be extremely effective. TRADITIONAL SOFT BAITS A traditional soft bait consists of a rubber shad, possibly with a paddle-tail, combined with a traditional jig head. For years, soft baits have been the preferred bait for perch, but also to a large extent for pike. With a rubber shad, it is possible to imitate herring, sprat, sand eel, stickleback and other similarly shaped fish. The advantage of using a jig is that it is possible to adjust the weight of the jig head. If a lighter jig head is used, the bait can be reeled in very slowly and/or closer to the surface. By increasing the weight, the lure can be retrieved through deep patches and/or heavy currents. The drawback of a traditional jig head is, that the hookhold is often not that agile, and you may lose a few more fish as a result. Another reason is that sea trout, in contrast to perch, do not inhale their prey to the same extent. This is why a stinger is usually used. Also, it is important to set the weight on the jig correctly to avoid constantly hooking the seabed. The sand eel slugs pictured have proven extremely effective. This is partly because this type of lure is very lifelike, but also because its tail makes far smaller movements than traditional lures or spoons for instance. The tiny rapid side-to-side movements mimic the sand eel to perfection.
TEXAS AND CAROLINA RIGS Texas and Carolina rigs – together with drop shot – are probably the most untested methods when fishing for sea trout. Despite this, several Danish coastal anglers have experimented with these methods, which in some situations have turned out to be decisive. Texas and Carolina rigs come from the US and have been used for bass fishing over the past century. It wasn’t until the last decade that these methods were adopted in earnest by Europeans. Their popularity has risen in recent years, and with good reason. Texas and Carolina rigs make it possible to retrieve lures slowly near the bottom and/ or through heavily weeded areas. An off-set hook is mounted in the soft bait, so it is not exposed, which makes it agile in many situations. A bullet weight, which is a lump of lead or tungsten, is attached at the front to add weight. This bullet weight can slide freely along the leader, making the set-up more agile. The difference between the Texas and Carolina rigs is quite simple. On a Texas rig, the bullet weight is freely attached all the way down by the lure. In contrast, the bullet weight on a Carolina rig is attached with float stops further up the leader. An ordinary spinning rod can be used for this type of angling. However, it is recommended to use a lighter
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rod, if light soft baits are used. The most important thing is to adjust your tackle to your angling method and techniques.
have good top action, i.e. soft spigot and strong butt section. Agile top action enables indications of light strikes that wouldn’t have been detected otherwise.
TACKLE FOR TEXAS AND CAROLINA RIGS:
TACKLE FOR DROP SHOT RIGS:
• FLUOROCARBON LEADER • SOFT BAIT • OFFSET HOOK • BULLET WEIGHT (4–15 G) • BEADS • FLOAT STOPS
• FLUOROCARBON LEADER • HOOK WITH WIDE HOOK GAPE • DROP SHOT SOFT BAIT • DROP SHOT WEIGHT
DROP SHOT As mentioned, a drop shot is probably one of the least tested methods of angling for sea trout. But as untested as it is, it can still be very effective. This refined technique can be decisive, particularly in fjords or backwaters. The method makes it possible to fish with small, light soft baits. These soft baits may imitate spry or – especially drop shot fishing – make it possible to imitate bristle worms, which is not possible when fishing with traditional spinning lures or spoons. The small tugs on the rod which reverberate in the tiny soft bait can entice even the laziest sea trout. The most important thing is to experiment and find out what works best in any given situation. The drop shot set-up consists of a fluorocarbon leader, where a “drop shot knot” is tied to a small hook halfway up the leader. There is a plethora of various knots that work well for drop shot fishing. They can be found, among other places, on YouTube by searching for “drop shot knot”. A drop shot weight is attached to the bottom of the fluorocarbon leader. The purpose of this tungsten sinker is to keep the lure down along the seabed, so you can slowly explore the backwater or bottom of the fjord. It is important to point out that these techniques are based on the notion that the fish inhales the soft bait, which sea trout don’t do to the same extent as bass. This is why you have to experiment your way to a higher hooking rate. Nevertheless, drop shot fishing is an incredibly exciting method and is definitely highly recommended to try. Refined gear, such as a light rod, should be used for drop shot fishing. The rod should preferably
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