Monday, August 12, 2013

Sea angling in Bíldudalur

Samuel Jónsson museum
Ernesto has always wanted to go sea angling in Iceland and growing up as a Wisconsin girl, I love to fish too. So we booked a sea angling tour in Bíldudalur today at 2pm. We have some time to kill first, so after breakfast we head out to the Samuel Jónsson museum. Long drive but real pretty with nice scenery. Back in town, we walk through the sea monster museum and then head to the harbor at 2pm.
The captain is an entire hour late. Seems he doubles as the cook in the sea monster museum. Actually captain Jón is the owner/operator of Eagle Fjord Tours, so he’s on his toes all summer. But this time we’re all alone on the boat, which is much to my liking. The three of us head out into the fjord for some serious cod fishing. I’ve never fished in the ocean before and I’ve never fished without using live bait, like minnows or worms. But today we’re fishing for cod and using 4-hook lures. Cod feeds on the ocean floor so we have to keep the boat in suitably shallow waters. The pole is a bit longer and heavier than I am used to, and the line and reel are thicker, but otherwise it’s just like fishing for panfish in Wisconsin.
Captain Jón

We keep most of our catch, the ones that aren’t too small. Captain Jón fillets them on the spot, throwing the guts overboard to the thrill of the seagulls. The boat is a wooden sailboat with a motor. It was built to look like an old Viking ship but it really isn’t old at all. In fact, I recall seeing this ship docked out in Þingeyri two years ago where it was used for Viking ship tours. Guess that didn’t go over too well, since Jón has now rented the boat for whale watching and fishing. Anyway no quotas are needed for fishing in this fjord as opposed to fishing in Bolungarvík where everything is more strictly regulated.

After about 2 ½ hours, we return to the harbor. Jón puts the fish in a Styrofoam crate and we grab some ice off the docks and load it into the trunk of the car. After a long drive back home to Ísafjörður, Ernesto packs the fish in one-portion freezer bags for me. Now I have a freezer full of fish to last me until next summer. The tour costed ISK 8500 per person (about €50) but for the amount of fish I have, it was worth it. Not to mention the fun and experience of it all.

(Last entry of the summer trip)