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Norway Spearing..here is my experience

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Pekka

neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
790
60
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Me and my Brother Tuomo. who hopefully will post some pictures for you, decided to put the rumours to the test. Norway being not too far from Finland and supposedly had awesome fishing.. with visibility to match. We had been diving before up north at Barents sea, that is the very furthest eastern Fjord at Russian border. There the temperatures had been around +6C in water which for my Esclapez 5mm suit would allow me to dive only little past 30min before getting too cold to do any reasonable diving.
This time we were on our way bit south from Lofoten, which is a island group off Norwegian coast around the polar circle.. Cold yes, but apparently good fishing.. Our first dive was to a quite wide fjord that was right next to our camp. Water being about 10C and clear we swam out to see the fishing grounds from where our food was to come from for this week. I had my flasher (improved with few squids) I headed out.
After swimming about 100m away from the shore, I let my flasher sink, and I waited. Holding my T20 110cm Omer ready for some action. I didn’t have to wait for too long, there was flashes of fish trying to bite my weight! Why not the squid or bits of CD..I don’t know, I guess the fish went for Gold as the weight was my last years Gold medal for local league volleyball! Anyhow, I swam down really slowly, watched as about 8 fishes took some distance but not too fast. I followed the biggest one of them. Bringing my gun to a shooting position. Tracking slowly I looked at the fish, about 3pound (Kolja- Melanogrammus aeglifinus ) I am not sure if that is exactly correct. I followed the fish for a while, all the time following with my spear, but the fish presented no target, keeping its tail pointed at me and heading away. I decided to give it a try although. But should have left it alone, as I reloaded my gun at the surface. Darn, first good-sized fish and I had missed it!
Rest of the dive followed pretty much the same routine, I found the fish circling my flasher, or should I say the weight and then swam away annoyingly not turning to take better look at me. I changed my tactic, and did few longish aspettos at rocky patch I found, but the only fish I saw were yellow little cods that came to me after a while. Nothing of the size worth of my spear and I was getting cold. I waved at my brother who seemed to have swam further out, that I was ready to go and was heading to the shore. On the way I saw few smallish (2-3pound) cods swimming along the bottom, very slowly, I dove towards them and as they did not react to me at all, I shot one of them. Straight through the back and out the soft belly. Was no trouble at all, or could have been so, but I was ready to burst, and this fish was just about the delay I could not handle. I ran towards our camp and jumped out of my suit. I was freezing! Feet all numb..
 

Pekka

neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
790
60
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The second dive was to a place where we both did aspetto at about 15m and wondered what we were after, as we had not seen any fish and the current was dragging us away. Was like diving in a desert! Needles to say we abandoned that place.
The next day we ventured to a place which my brother had noticed whilst driving by. It was a little island just off the shore, looked like deep water. I noticed at the first sight that the water was perfectly clear! I could see the seaweed in the distance of 30m away along the surface!! It was like swimming in liquid crystal! I headed towards the point of the island, that was sticking further into the fjord. The bottom seemed to be barren, nothing but odd seaweed growing here and there. I was thinking that we are going to be eating Spam today!!
Tuomo shouted at me to come see the place where he was diving, right next to the island, at the place where the rocky shore dropped to the bottom –10m to –15m. I dove down, but found no fish, what I ended up looking was the coral growing at the wall! There were creatures of all kind and colours on the wall! Reminded me of the Red Sea, not quite as full of life, but enough to be compared to the diversity!
We dove there for a while admiring the beauty of the ocean, but slowly heading towards the tip of the island, where I spotted fish from the surface! I told my brother that there were fish at the bottom! He had the first dive, I saw him dive down, with his brand new Rabitech 110cm Stealth, rail gun. And like from a book, he came up with the first fish from the spot. Smallish 1,5pound Pollack, and a wide smile on his face. First fish with his new gun, no more shooting over the fish he said with a grin.
I’ll be damned if my brother will beat me in this fishing business, I dove to the bottom, found kelp growing at the edge of the drop-off at –15m. I held on to the stem of the kelp and waited. Slowly the fish started to appear from the blue. Not huge, but enough for my taste. I waited for a while as I couldn’t bring myself to shoot a Pollack, having avoided them for two years in UK. I took my time and took aim at sizeable cod that swam from my left, presenting me with beautiful opportunity! And after a little tracking I gave the fish its last steel dinner, straight through one eye and out the other. After that it gave me no trouble at all.
I surfaced to meet my brother with my fish 4pound cod! The race was on! And us both smiling, finally hunting at decent depth and clear water! Tuomo took an other cod the same size as mine.. I dove down to the same place, where the fish had been before, but it seemed that our hunting had spooked some of the fishes away. I had to wait for quite a time before I spotted some Pollack, coming from behind me. I fought against my habit and started to swing my gun towards the slow swimming fish. Painfully slowly I got my target in the line of fire. The familiar Twang, from my T20 was the last sound that particular Pollack heard. I came up with about 2pound Pollack. An other head shot, this time bit behind the eyes. My aim was getting better.
We agreed not to shoot more fish this dive as we had no way to store our fish, but to eat it! This time the menu was Cod stew and grilled Pollack.. very good for the first couple of days, but a whole week…
 

Pekka

neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
790
60
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The next day was our deepest day, I nailed down to about –25m to look at some beautiful life on the sea floor. I tried to shoot one weird looking fish, but missed and then on had no target to shoot.. Very few fishes and cold water, I got so cold that my arms ached!! My socks had holes in them and the +8C water made my hands shake so bad that I could hardly hold my fins on the way back to the car from the shore! Not to mention me feet that had no feeling in them at all.
I was very uncertain that I would do an other dive that day, but as it was every day our unspoken agreement to dive at least twice a day, turned my doubt into enthusiasm. We struggled down to the shore where the mountain seemed to drop straight into the sea! And I hoped to dive along a very steep rocky wall. My wish was granted as the wall continued underwater into about –15m where there was a little ledge and then deeper into, well as deep as necessary I am sure.. Never checked how deep.
We dove letting the current take us to the left of our entry point. There was very little kelp, which I think is vital part of good Fishing ground.. and I finally ended up playing with the flasher and little fish that followed it close to the shore. I dove down with the foam, I used as a float for the flasher, and watched it shrink into little cardboard paper, at –18m.. It made funny noise too. My brother kept diving at the edge, working his aspetto.
We headed against the gentle current towards the spot where we entered the water and past it to the spot where the sloped wall was almost straight, and the little self was very small. Very difficult to hang on to even for a short aspetto as you ended up falling from the ledge into the darkness that had no bottom for us..J

**** I’ll leave here a empty spot.. you can read this bit of the dive from Tuomos Post.. his fish.. his story I think… ***


The last dive of our trip was in the evening to the same fjord we did our first dive. We entered the water about 21:00, our mutual agreement was that we would only shoot fish that were big. Only fish that would qualify as record, so more than 16pound… not likely event, but we had our guns with for the occasion..just in case you know. We swam like we had done before, out from the bay towards the middle of the fjord. Stopped on the way to look at lonely cod, who seemed to follow the pattern of the one I shot here. Did not swim away even when approached. Tuomo tried to grab the fish and teach it some tricks about flying, but eventually it swam away. But to me at the surface it looked like this fish is going to get the most intense flying lesson in his little life.. it was close. We proceeded to dive here and there, using the flasher, and attracting some fish to it, but nothing of size..

After some swimming still out towards the open ocean, I waited at the surface, doing my breathe-up, trying to figure out if there were any reason to dive here. The bottom was made of mud or something very closely related to that ambiguous substance. It was yellowish brown soft stuff, spotted with starfish. But I did dive down after shortish breathe-up. As I hit the bottom at –9m I saw a big bugger of a fish slowly swimming along the bottom. It was a cod, I recognized it right away, no questions about that. I hesitated, as we had agreed only shoot record fish and underwater it is so difficult to estimate what is the real size of the fish. As I hesitated I wasted some time, but not too much, I tracked the fish swimming away from me. I had floated up from the bottom and the fish was swimming directly away from me, like the fish that I had seen here before. But this one had head bi enough to shoot from any angle, and I nailed it through its head to the sediment.
After the first shock I saw the fish struggling on the bottom, nailed to the bottom by my spear. I could only see that the spear had gone through the head, but had no idea how well the fish was going to stay on.. I swam to it and tried to grab it with my free hand. I could not get a hold of this thing with one hand! It was too big! I slid the fish between my knees and started to fin slowly towards the surface, squeezing the fish as hard as I could. The surface seemed to be very far as my fining was little less than effective.. But I made it to the surface with this monster, I was glad and could not hide my grin as I stabbed the fish. My brother came closer to take a look at my catch and started laughing. Quite the cod, and we both knew we were not going to eat this thing.. having eaten fish almost the whole week.. so we packed it into a cooler and took it home..
 

Pekka

neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
790
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What I learned during this trip… well that T20 is one mean ass gun, with power to penetrate almost any fish I am going to encounter on my dives. And it is accurate too, makes me feel good. I loaded the thing on my stomach as I could not get it to my chest…without considerable pain.. I need a reel for my gun for big fish. I thought about shooting the big cod at –20m and how would I feel like swimming up with the fish between my knees on the way up… I don’t think that would be a good idea..

Thank you all for your tips for fishing and happy fishing to you all in where ever you fish..

Tuomo will post some pictures and his story about shooting his record fish. Wont you?

Pekka
 

tuomo

Soon in water
Sep 3, 2001
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I'll post some photos tonight from home.
At the work at the moment.. :duh

Tuomo
 

Baur

Spearomania Desperata
Apr 10, 2004
201
16
18
Great experience and story. Credit for persevering in the 6 c water.Waiting also to see the fotos. Btw what was the temperature outside the water at the time?

Baur
 

tuomo

Soon in water
Sep 3, 2001
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The air temperature during our trip never rose abowe 12 c.
So not only the water was cold but also the air.
Because of the conditions we had to became with wheather proof diving method. This meant that we covered the car seats with towels, put the suits on in the warmth of our cabin and drove to the diving site.

Tuomo
 

tuomo

Soon in water
Sep 3, 2001
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The dive that I got my so far biggest fish was oddly the dive that we both were quite sure after a few dives that we would not get any fish from this place. This was due to the lack of kelp and the fact that the water got very deep very quickly, thus it was very difficult to do any aspetto.
Anyhow, my brother had pretty much already given up on fishing and played around with his little styrofoam float that he had for the flasher. I tried in vain to find any decent place to lay on the bottom, but the wall was way too steep and you would start falling down to the depths very easily. I did my best trying stay on the wall withouth moving much. I was doing crappy one minute dives to about 12 meters where I would grab the wall or a lucky lonely kelp growing on the wall. The current would always push me to the direction that it was flowing.
After doing this diving for a while and swimming against the fairly strong current I saw the first ( and the only ) nice fish I saw on that particular dive. I was doing aspetto at about 13 meters, the current had already pushed me to position that the wall was on my right side and the depths on my left. Suddenly a fish appears from the darkness of the depths to my left side. I try to track it and make a desperate shot at the already fleeing fish. Miss darn. "The only fish that I see on the dive and I miss the bugger" I thought. Well I have to try again, I do a breath up and decend back to my poor aspetto place. Sure enough the fish appears again. Because of the current I have to track it a bit and make a shot at it just when it starts to retreat back to the darkness it came from. This time I do not miss and the spear hits the fish. As I have allready been doing aspetto for a while and dont have that much oxygen left, I start swimming to the surface pulling the fish up. This was the first fish that I have ever shot that actually tried to fight back, even though i was able to pull it quite easily up to me. Made me wonder that how deep would I dare to shoot a big fish without a reel or floatline.

The fish that I had shot was a pollack of nice size. In fact it was the biggest fish I had ever shot, around 6-7kg. Made me happy.
 

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tuomo

Soon in water
Sep 3, 2001
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Nad another one of my nice fish.
( my brother said I mutilated the fish to a condition that it was no longer fit for pictures while trying to kill it.. ;) )
 

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tuomo

Soon in water
Sep 3, 2001
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Both air and water were very cold
 

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tuomo

Soon in water
Sep 3, 2001
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Me ready to go to the water.
 

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tuomo

Soon in water
Sep 3, 2001
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My brother Pekka was able to withstand the pressure and shot even bigger fish than what I did..
This fish was shot on our last diving day. Luckily for us, the fish was all head :D .
 

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tuomo

Soon in water
Sep 3, 2001
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Overall it was a great trip. We both were quite new to our guns and got to play around with them. I had just bought a rabitech stealth 110 aluminium model and Pekka had not used his T20 much, so the first dive was a big missing contest : duh.
The stock slings on the T20 were very wicked compared to the rabitech ones. This felt weird since the rabitech came with 7mm spear and the T20 with the 6.5 shaft. I would have thought that the thicker the spear the more powerfull the slings.
That however didnt seem to affect accuracy on neither of the guns.
Pekka was deadly accurate with his shots ( shot every fish to the head ) and I was hitting the fishes quite easily with the rabi.

What we learned about such long spearing trips is that you need to have either lots of people to eat the fish and a creative cook, freezer or a way to give fish away to someone. We had to call for help to eat my big pollack and we brought Pekkas big cod to our parents. Both of us were quite sick of eating cod related fish by the time we headed back. Thanks for the help with eating the fish and for company swiss guys!

Norway is a very beautyfull country.
 

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Pekka

neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
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Thanks Tuomo for posting the pictures..... I am an actor have to watch for my public image...:cool:


Pekka
 
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Murat

Promethian
Jun 21, 2002
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Just one thing that i noticed increases accuracy of my 75cm T20 especially in wavy conditions...LOCK your wrist as tight as you can.T20 mech is not the most sensitive one;)
 

Pekka

neoprene dreamer
Aug 22, 2001
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True, I had that problem shooting Bass here in England... but in Norway I was doing some deeper hunting and bigger fish so little bit off the original target didnt hurt..:)

Pekka
 

Oldsarge

Deeper Blue Budget Bwana
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 13, 2004
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I am awed. Diving Norway in 5mm suits? Animals, the both of you! Hmmm, need creative recipes for cod-related fish? Try marinating the fillets in Tabasco sauce for 20 minutes (it isn't as unholy as it sounds, but it is spicy) then broil them over hardwood with some green wood or leaves for smoke. I suspect you'll head back to the water for more cod. ;)
 
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Mikko

Gear nut
Jul 10, 2003
146
10
0
Tuomo,

If you weigh your spears, you will notice why the bands seem less powerful.
That Rabitech has 7mm spring steel shaft that prolly weights quite a bit more than that OMER spear.
Result is naturally slightly slower spear with much better penetration.
If you need more power, give me a shout and we shorten the bands a tad.

Cheers,
Mikko
 

tuomo

Soon in water
Sep 3, 2001
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Hi Mikko,

I wasn't complaining about the bands being too weak or anything. I just found it curious that gun with stronger bands had lighter spear.
I'm very happy with the gun as it is.

br,
Tuomo
 
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