Part 2 : Spots and technique
A general rule here is: the further north, the better. The higher up you go, the more and the bigger the pollock.
It all starts from Alesund upwards, and once you get above Trondheim, the chances of catching big pollock go up progressively.
Are you looking for the big fish, choose your spots as close as possible to the Atlantic Ocean. Further inland, the average number and size of pollock gets smaller.
Choice of fishing spots
You can focus on the typical known spots for pollock, like the many ferry piers.
These are easy to find, using Google Maps.
Or you can fish other places in the fjord, as long as there is a good current or turbulence present.
Preferably with some seaweed or kelp and where the bottom goes from shallow to deep rather quickly. It’s in spots like these that the use of a float tube brings a lot of extra perspective.
Be careful about where and when you go into the water, because ferry piers are designed for, you already guessed it, ferries!
During our last trip we mainly focused on fishing around those spots where the fjords gets narrow. This places have stronger tidal currents. Often there are also large bridges to be found there with corresponding bridge pillars. These support structures are often real fish magnets…
The right depth to fish depends from spot to spot. Potential hotspots are small “underwater mountains” or other very steep slopes. A stronger current is often present there and the present baitfish invite the bigger fighters of the fjord to linger around.
We caught well in places reaching depths between 5 and 20m. That’s also the depth most suited to fly fishing.
Explore these spots in advance using online depth maps of the immediate surroundings of the selected area. It can save you a lot of on-site searching.
The shallow areas near ship sailing routes are often marked with metal poles, for the safety of the boats. On certain spots it may take you some time to locate the fish, but with a basic fish finder, you can soon find the potential hotspots, more on this in the next chapter.
Once you have found a potential hot spot, the aim is to systematically search all the depths found at this spot. That’s where the fish finder comes in, not so much to “find” the fish, but to discover the depth and often-erratic bottom structure. Sometimes the depth goes from 5m to 45m, just by letting yourself drift a bit with the currents.
The sonar helps you to stay above a certain hotspot. It was our experience that once you had more than 20m of water under your float tube, catches were significantly lower.
Often you don’t catch the larger pollock right away, normally you’re likely to catch some small coalfish in the beginning. Generally we can say that the fish is often present in layers. By this I mean coalfish and mackerel are highest in the water, pollock in the middle and cod at the bottom, or closer to the bottom.
It is therefore important to get the line and fly to fish at different depths. Counting the seconds the line is sinking is a good tactic here. If a nice pollock takes your fly, you will know the next cast around how deep down your fly was fishing.
The line should be stripped back fairly quickly, pollock often follow the fly for a very long time, to then take the fly just in front of your float tube. Pure adrenaline!
Stripping the line back really fast aka “rolly polly” style using both hands with the rod placed under your armpit, delivered quite some nice fish during our recent trips.
If the number of takes decreases after a while, it’s best to experiment with the fly size. This often proved to be a more determining factor, rather than the pattern or color of the fly.