IFD: Erik Axner is a fishing guide for Nordic Sea Angling, and is an expert on fishing the North Norway coast. Erik has just caught what is probably the biggest halibut ever caught on float tactics, and when not fishing and guiding in Norway he also enjoys fishing in sunnier climates. So over to Erik now…
Where did you grow up and what was your introduction to fishing?
I grew up until 10 years of age in Umeå in the north of Sweden. I started my fishing after rainbow trout and pike. My grandfather was the person who got my interest up for fishing and in an early age I got his tackle box full of equipment and after that it became a bigger and bigger interest. When I was 10 years old, we move to a town called Örebro where I continued to fish in the river called “Svartån” that ran through the city. There I made new fishing buddies and developed my fishing to an higher level. After the 9th grade I started to study Sportfishing Tourism and Fish Biology and during these 5 years my interest for fishing became more of an addiction and now I am fishing all over the world.
How did Nordic Sea angling begin?
Nordic Sea Angling is a company that was started by Jimmy Andersson from Klippan, Sweden 2004. The buisness idea is to arrange full package trips with flight, transfer, accommodation and boat rental. It began on Söröya with one camp and now 2015, the company has 4 desitinations in Norway which are: Söröya, Havöysund, Nappstraumen and Å(Lofoten). We have 36 boats for rent on these 4 camps and each camp has a fishing guide. Nordic Sea Angling also arrange trips down to Panama. I have been working for Nordic Sea Angling since 2012 as a guide and now it’s a fulltime job for me. The website is www.nordic-sea-angling.se
What areas do you operate from?
I am working as a fishing guide on a company called Nordic Sea Angling that offers fishing trips to North Norway and Panama. During the season 2105 I am located at Lofoten on either Nappstraumen or Å where we have fishing camps. North Norway. In april 2016 I will operate as a guide in Panama during one of our trips down there.
Can you tell us about your recent huge halibut catch?
You mean the big halibut on float fishing? Well, I went out for a fishing trips together with my friend in Nappstraumen and just a few minutes away from the camp, in the second drift my float went under the surface. I set the hook and the fish took 50 meters of line in the first run. We followed the fish with the boat and the battle was on.
After about 20 minutes of heavy struggle we got it up to the boat, secured it on the outside of the boat and measured it to 196 cm long with an estimated weight of 100,4 kg or 222 lbs. After this I jumped in to the water with my Ursuit and took some pictures together with the fish. This fish is probably the biggest halibut ever caught on a float and as bait I was using a dead coalfish rigged on a circle hook.
Thanks to great help from my friends and also a great rod, strong line and powerful reel it was possible to play this fish hard. I was using my favourite rod Westin W8 Boat together with a Maxel Sealion.
You had an excellent trip to the Maldives, can you tell us about it?
My trip to the Maldives was amazing! It was my first time fishing for GT and my expectations was really not that high, I was happy just to be there. I had invested in great fishing tackle and was ready for four days of hard fishing without rest. My friends call me the “Popper-machine” after a few sessions in Panama when I have been casting and casting like a machine.. I caught my first small GT during the first hour and at the end of the first day I lost a bigger fish that totally surprised me and just went straight down to the reef. During the second fishing day I had an amazing experience with a 15 kg fish at first followed by a fish exceeding the 30 kg mark on a huge popper and just an hour later I was lucky enough to catch a fish with a weight of approximately 45 kg.
It was hard for me to realize what just happened but I guess that a portion of luck combined with hard work, the right equipment and a good technique was the trick for it. The Maldives was a true paradise and I can’t wait to get back there again.
You have also fished in Panama, what was that experience like?
I have been fishing in Panama six times now, actually about 32 days over there. I love the fishing in Panama because of the variation and all the different species. It’s hard to explain everything as one experience since I have so many fabulous memories from Panama during these days down there. I have caught huge cubera snapper over 70 lbs on livebait and a 50 lbs on popper, massive roosterfish weighing 60 lbs on popper, sailfish on 100 lbs on a spinning rod, yellowfin tunas exceeding 100 lbs on popper but also other experiences that not include any huge fish, just a lot of action, beautiful scenery and loads of fun together with friend and customers. Panama is a really a destination that everybody that loves fishing should pay a visit.
What would you consider your favourite catch over the years?
If you asked me this question a week ago I would say my GT on 45 kg from the Maldives but after the halibut of 196 cm on the float a couple of days ago, that one takes the first place.
If you could relive any days fishing, what would it be?
Wow, that’s a hard one. I know which days I would like to go back to and make things in another way, especially days when big fish has been lost. But of course I would love to travel back in time to the Maldives, to Panama and also to some days up here in Norway aswell.
Where else in the world would you most like to fish?
I want to fish at New Caledonia for GT, Papua New Guinea for GT and Dog Tooth-tuna and also for Bluefin Tuna outside the east coast of USA. I am still looking for a fish that’s “too strong” for me so I need to use all my strength to bring it up. Maybe one day it will happend!
What are your fishing hopes for 2015?
If would probably be too much to ask for a halibut over 2 meters but it’s still a fish for me that I want to check of the list.
Well Erik thanks for talking to us and hope you have a great year.
You too guys hope you have some good fish this year…