King crab and halibut

King crab and halibut

Mika Lappalainen | Friday, 6 December 2019

Two years ago we took part on king crab safari. It was our annual meeting with other reindeer herders. We always have somekind activity after meeting and not just hanging around and drinking beer. That time we had fishing trip on Arctic ocean. But before getting there it was almost 3 hours bus drive from Finland to Norway, so we had time to have a sleep after long night.

Our group was too big to have every on board at same time, so it was splitted on two. Other half went to safari and our half took bus and went to visit city nearby. On the way there was some nice looking rivers, which afterwards I regonize to be good salmon rivers. We should return on that area hopefully someday.

Afternoon it was our turn to take part on safari. First we drove to king crab area where captain had fykes and we lifted few to have some king crab so captain could make lunch for us. At same time he told us about business which is going around king crab. Pretty expensive food if you go to have one in fancy restaurant in Japan or London. if I remember right fisherman get about 20e/kg and in restaurant it will cost about 1000e/kg when it is fresh one. Of course there is transportation and those things. There is no wonder why they have limited amount what to fish those and why they don’t ”clean” ocean from crab even it is not oringinal species on that area. After checking fykes and we had enough for lunch it was time to move fishing area. We would be jigging from boat and we would have good change to get cod and coalfish, and with some luck even halibut.

It is funny how your mind works. I have small change to get something big and mysterious, your brains start to wait that you will get one even you know that change is small and you need to have luck also. We came on first spot and started to jig. There was 60 meters deep. We got few coalfish and those where quite small ones, so captain decided to change place. (good call). Another spot, this time captain started to also make lunch from king crab while we were fishing. This was better place, now we got some coalfish but also cod and some where okay size so we could get them up and captain would be able to sell them. Lunch time, bread with king crab and some sauce. Everyone builted their own bread and there was plenty to eat. It was one of my favourite lunches in the world. Sitting on the boat on Arctic ocean with good friends, good lunch, beautiful scenery, some beer….. what more you can wish from your lunch.

After lunch we went on third spot, this time it was about 100m deep. We got again some cod and coalfish when Satu said that she has fish also. I told her to get it up and answer little bit angry one, it won’t come. Her rod was kinked and I asked if it was on the bottom. She got little bit more angry, ”no, I have a fish but it won’t come up”. To be honest it started to look like that Satu could go over board at any second. I was taking to my line in that I could go to help her when captain came to hold Satu. On boat there was railing which was more 1 meter high. At sametime weight was loosing on Satu’s line, She got line in and there was coalfish which was about 2 kg. Captain took fish and his first comment was, ” halibut”. On Satu’s fish had teeth marks from big fish. No wonder that she couldn’t get fish up. It was probably bigger than Satu and it was not hooked but just tasting Satu’s originall catch.

This reminds me that we need to return Edgar’s boat and have another try to catch halibut.

The Finns have a nice indepence day today and others

Have a nice weekend

Mika from Finland