Updated: Sep 16, 2019
What an amazing camp this was! 4 independent spearfishers from different parts of the world joined us for this camp. Rolf from Denmark , Andre from Brasil, Kevin from New york and Romain from France. All different persons but with one thing in common. Mad enough to come visit us and go full metal Arctic hunting. Spend hours in cold water scanning desert bottom after the absolute top predator , the Queen of the ocean, the almighty Atlantic Halibut. The fish that gets into your head and heart. A landed fish heats your soul for days and fills your stomach with one of the best meat there is. A fish that gets away due to a missed opportunity, gear or personal fuck ups will leave your spirit cold,dark and the experience will haunt you for a long time . Only medicine is more scouting and swimming. You need to find another one. A rollercoaster ride with emotions and experience awaits anyone brave enough to come here. Something special happens when you get to know people in these surroundings. Friendships are shaped from all of this madness. Our halibut campers left with more hunting experience, memories and good quality fish and new friends . First time diving in the Arctic for these guys and they already booked same week next season. Here is overall trip report off our great days together.
The first day the wind was blowing hard in outside Tromsø so we just loaded up the car and a trailer and drove to an area inside the fjord system. We always have spots to dive during stormy weather. Good sheltered areas with cod,coalfish,halibut and wolffish. During the diving we noticed that the big sized cod was very shy and seemed to seek more deeper water but the crew managed to pull some good eating fish and get some good drifts after halibut. Good first day to get adjusted to the conditions.
The next day looked amazing for serious halibut hunting outside our camp area. Locked and loaded we went to some of our good halibut spots. Already on the first drift 5 halibut were spotted in sizes between 10-50 kg!!!The rest of the day we had a couple of encounters with some really big fishes +70 kg but they still swim around out there . The halibuts were swimming around and took off before a shot was possible and some were spooked. Frustrated spearos learned that the Queen can be very shy and hard to get even if you manage to find it laying on the bottom. Because if you see a very big fish you need to get really close to secure a good shot. That means that they can decide to take off before you are close enough.That is part off the game and very important to respect. Everybody got experience how to sneak up one a fish. We finished the day around the dinner table with a special fish soup, served with some good garlic bread and Calvados that Romain hade with him from France. Dangerous tasty stuff!
Third day we first went for some scallop picking. The scallops we got up here are super tasty. We managed to fill our bags and secure dinner and some for the freezer. The wind was picking up so we decided to finish up a bit earlier to save some powers for the last day. In the water drifting, Rolf looked extra focused. HAAAAAALIBUTTTTT. His scream probably reached all the way to Tromsø town. A great eating halibut in the boat! The viking in Rolf is awaken and hungry. He load his gun and continue the drift. HAAAALIBUTT nr 2 is shortly landed after that and Rolf smile is almost breaking his wetsuit hood. He gets sprayed with beer and we enter the harbour with 350 scallops and 2 good eating size halibuts. I cook up some "Ole special scallops pasta" for the boys and we talked shit for hours.
On the last day we went all in and pushed the hours. The guys were focused and now with 3 days experince in their bags, they were ready for the Queen. The fish to fill friends and families freezer back home. On the first drift I hear a scream coming from the backbones of one of the guys. Its Rolf!!! I see his float rushing over the water like a freakin jetski. The halibut is rushing hard. It stops after 100 meters and Rolf manage to get a very good second shot in and the happy rollercoaster starts.It looks like Rolf is on ecstasy. Big mama in the boat. Amazing 42 kg fish. We go to pick up Romain for a new drift. He looks like a ghost. He was in a very dark and cold space. The fish of his life is gone. He said it was about +50 kg. He did everything right, went close and took a good aim but somehow the spear didnt had the power to even reach the fish. After 2 hours he managed to get his shit together and get back on the drifts. BAAAAAM he is rewarded with a 8 kg fish and redemption is here! I also decide to join the party and jump in while Andre looks after the boat. First drift and a really nice 13 kg fish enters the boat. Dinner is handled. Kevin sees one massive 80 kg + fish swimming but he was to far away for a shot. This was the second big one he saw during the trip! You cant have tem all. Never easy hunting . We go for a beer run to the store with the boat and drink, clean fish all night. We fill up the freezer, vaccumpack and treat the meat like gold. We finish up with a monster dinner with whole baked halibut in the oven with, veggies potatoes and the secret sauce. We get a bit tipsy and the sky decides to put on a amazing northern light show. Great ending to a great camp.
Thank you Andre, Kevin , Rolf and Romain for an unforgetable time together and its gonna be good to see you guys again in September next year. KVEEEEEEITE, HAAAAAALIBUTTT. You are already legends to me!