Posts Tagged ‘ice fishing’

Fifth time lucky

We’ve been very unlucky with catching fish this winter – four times in a row we didn’t catch anything. But today we caught three in ten minutes! We went to our usual fishing spot on Ramfjorden. Paul had lost his faith in fish to such an extent that he took a kite with him for entertainment while I was fishing. At some point I was helping to untangle the lines of his kite, so I gave the fishing line to Paul. Within five minutes he had a bite! A reasonably big cod… I immediately put the line back in the hole, and before I even started fishing I caught one as well, and then another one, though the last one was quite small.

Here’s today’s catch, 2.5 kg in total!

But the fish weren’t the only excitement today… While Paul was fishing, he thought he could hear something squeaking. Initially he thought it was just his hat rubbing on his jacket collar. A bit later he felt something like pins and needles in his leg but concluded that it might be his leg hairs getting caught in his thermals. Then we got a static shock from touching each other, but we blamed my new down jacket which is extremely static. We didn’t really see a pattern here, and we spent some time untangling the kite.

When the kite was ready to be launched, Paul pulled it just half a metre into the air and felt something odd in his arms. Getting a bit worried he came to ask me if I felt okay – which I thought was a strange question. Then we noticed both our hair was a bit static but that’s not uncommon up here. We discussed whether a snow storm could be dangerous for flying a kite, but since we know that lightning in snow storms is very rare up here, we thought it would be alright.

Paul concluded the pins and needles might be caused by some small muscle injury, and had another go at launching the kite. This time it came about 1.5 metres up in the air and he immediately felt something again. This time there was no doubt that it was an electric current – the strongest one he ever felt! We started packing everything as fast as possible as we didn’t feel very safe out there. We didn’t really know what the risk of being struck by lightning was, but as we were the only object on a flat plane, we thought we should move. I also started hearing the buzzing sound, it was quite bizarre and impossible to ignore! Here is a picture of Paul’s hair just before we left…

It’s weird how at first you find excuses for all the strange things happening because you just don’t think about the possibility – until it becomes really obvious and then it all makes sense. A little research on the internet revealed that the buzzing sound and static hair are often experienced by people in the mountains just before thunder storms, some have even reported St Elmo’s fire coming from their ice axes! We vaguely knew about this, but we didn’t think it would happen at sea level in conditions that didn’t seem very extreme.

Anyway, as the worst of the snow storm passed, our hair calmed down and the buzzing sound subsided. Feeling a bit more relaxed, we took some more photos 🙂

Oh and just to show you what Ramfjorden can be like in much nicer weather, here are some pictures we took at the same place, but last weekend. It was nice and sunny, but much colder – and we didn’t catch anything that time! But at least no risk of being struck by lightning then 😉

More Ice Fishing!

Last Friday the weather was really nice, and we decided to go ice fishing after work. After our last fishing trip, more people were keen to come with us 🙂 We went to Ramfjorden again, but closer to the sea ice edge this time. We were hoping we would be in the sun for a while, but unfortunately there are some mountains in the way there and the sun quickly disappeared, making it VERY cold. 

On one side we could still see the sun on the mountain tops, and on the other side the sunset…

We didn’t catch anything for about an hour. Paul and Qin decided to drill some more holes a bit further away. And they got lucky there indeed, Qin caught this cod! It’s quite small and she didn’t even realize she had caught something until the hook came out of the water with the fish attached to it 😉

I was FREEZING, it was really cold and we all went for a run every now and then to keep warm. I was very happy with the tea that Marcel and Anja brought 🙂 We also had a very young fisher, Emma, 4 months old!

Here’s Anja fishing with Emma, and quite soon after Qin’s catch, they caught a fish too! A large one this time…

Paul seems to be checking if the fish has healthy teeth 😉 It was a cod again, and of course we had to get the classic posing picture. Thanks to Marcel for these photos! (Do you notice how Paul is always posing with the fish that he didn’t actually catch himself?? hehehe)

We stayed for a while longer, but we didn’t catch anything – though there was some excitement when Paul and Stephen thought they had a bite at the same time! It turned out they probably caught each other 😉 haha. 

Not catching anything ourselves does have its advantages actually – we got invited for dinner two days later, to eat the big cod. Unfortunately this photo is a bit blurry, but it shows the really nice dinner 🙂 The cod weighed more than 3 kg, and after gutting etc, there was about 800 gr of fillets left – enough for a very tasty meal!

Ice Fishing

Yesterday we went ice fishing in Ramfjorden with Steve and my sister. We gathered as much advice as we could from people who had done it before, and went to try our luck. The weather was not ideal – a complete blizzard! It took us a while to drive there, and to find somewhere to park where the snow wasn’t too deep.  We found a place outside somebody’s house, who was kind enough to let us go through his “garden” (/snowfield) and gave us some advice too. He said he hoped we would provide him with some entertainment… thanks 😉

The first challenge was getting across the broken ice at the edge of the fjord, where the tide goes up and down. We used ski poles to check the ice, and made it across safely. We went to about the middle of the fjord and started drilling holes with an old auger we borrowed from NPI – quite hard work! The ice was very hard and about half a metre thick. 

We had three sets of fishing equipment – one weedy set that was actually meant for fishing on a frozen lake (which I bought without asking for advice), and two hand lines (extra strong) with a 200 gr (20 cm long!) stainless steel lure (the bait). Steve and Paul went to a specialist fishing shop to ask for advice and were shocked to be recommended such a huge lure. It doesn’t look much like a fish, just a large piece of shiny metal – I don’t know why a fish would ever try to eat that! 

Below is my sister with the weedy lake fishing equipment, and the snow woman she built after she got bored…

 

We fished for about an hour, and didn’t catch anything, though Paul kept saying he ALMOST caught one (it got away though). We were a bit clueless about what kind of strategy to use, so we tried all kinds of things but nothing seemed to work. We almost gave up, but decided to move to a different location, to drill some new holes to keep warm and see if we had more luck over there. We let my sister try the proper equipment, even though she said she had no idea what to do and wasn’t that keen. After a few minutes she started screaming that she had caught something!! She was too scared to hold the line, in the picture below you can see her frightened look while Paul and Steve reeled in the fish…

 

When the fish got to the hole, Paul and Steve started screaming too, as it was HUGE. It was hard to get it through the hole! It had a huge gaping mouth. We were pretty sure it was a cod, though we had to check on Wikipedia when we got home ;). So here are the classic posing pictures…

 

We tried our luck for a bit longer, but soon got bored and cold and decided to go home. That fish looked big enough for dinner anyway. We bought some vegetables on the way back, and went home to gut and fillet the beast. None of us had ever done anything like this before! So with a little help from the BBC and a funny New Zealander on YouTube, we worked out how to do it. My sister was terrified and didn’t want to watch or listen. I also wasn’t that comfortable, so I just read out the instructions to Steve and Paul and let them do the dirty work ;). We were pretty clueless and it took a while, but the end results were two huge and tasty looking fillets! One was big enough to feed the four of us for dinner, so we still have a lot left.

It was a fun experience, and now that we have the equipment, I think we might do it again!