Fishing Contest in Lake Femund
My first trolling contest is officially a wrap!
I teamed up with Christian Juel and we headed to the contest with the obvious
goal in mind: To win the entire thing! Anticipatively spending the days leading
up to the competition psyching ourselves up and preparing for big waves, heavy
winds and having to endure the cold out on the stern of the boat, "Team Viken" headed
to the contest feeling ready and well prepared.
We got to Femunden, specifically a place called Sorken, and signed up for the competition before we started the tasks of launching the boat and rigging the equipment. The organizers read the rules out loud and explained them thoroughly. In this contest we were to take all trout in to shore to get weighed, but also to ensure that samples be taken of the scales for research purposes. The competition was divided into two categories: the largest single trout, and the total weight of trout.
The start signal sounded and we took off at 8pm. The competition was to be completed at 2pm the next day. We had done a lot of careful research and planning on where we should fish, and steadily went ahead, following our planned route. As soon as we got out of the bay, heading north, we were met by high winds and big waves and the only thing we could do was to slow right down. We were in no particular rush, after all we had 18 hours to spend out there in potentially rough weather. We spent an hour and twenty minutes from Sorken to Solleroya, a distance that can be covered in twenty minutes in calm water.
Once settled into the sheltered waters behind the island Solleroya, we started putting out the equipment. We were sitting there, excited and full of anticipation for what was to come, as we slowly trolled at 2 knots. Barely an hour went by before the first hit on the reels. There was a fish on one of the lines! Christian rushed and took a hold of the rod. A minor fight ensued and we reeled in our first trout of the competition. An entire 45cm, 1kg. It was a great feeling, and an important one for what's to come. Christian always has a goal of getting at least one fish in order to place in the contest. Our team's first goal was accomplished! Now on to the next.
We kept trolling around the island, back and forth, up and down. Our eyelids were getting heavy, but the next hit came. This time it was my turn to reel it in. Half a kilo is added to our fish box. Another two hits immediately after, but they're too small to keep, so we release them right away. We figured 250g would not make a difference in the competition anyways. I'd just went under the deck for a nap when I hear another one hitting the reel, and Christian sneaks out on deck. I got up and got the camera ready. Could this be the game changing, contest winning fish? Nope. Just another half a kilo. As soon as we got back into the cabin, it hit again, and another half a kilo fish was reeled in. By 3 am we had four fish in the box, and we concluded it was a slow fishing venture.
The wind died down a bit, and so we made the decision to cross the Femund directly eastward to try to catch any big trout on the other side. We took turns resting, while the other person steered and stayed awake with the good help of coffee and Cola. The hours passed and we kept trolling. The eyelids kept closing but I desperately forced them open and slapped my cheeks. No fish. No movement on the weights. Where were all the fish? The night went by extremely slowly. And when the time finally was 1pm we hadn't had a single hit since 3am. We decided to take down the equipment, boil some sausages and just enjoy the last hour. The sun had appeared behind the clouds and the wind had finally died down completely. We returned to Sorken and got ready for weighing our catch without even considering our results in the competition.
Our catch weighed in at exactly 3 kilos total. As we mingled with the other competitors we started to realize that we actually might do a lot better than what we intitially had thought! Multiple teams came back without any luck, and our excitement started growing with each empty boat that returned. Could it really be enough? Soon, everybody's catch had been weighed, and it was time for the winners to be announced. We decided to enter into the second category, for the total weight of trout. The organizers got up and started reading out the results, "The winner had four trouts total", he said. "Is it us?" we thought, looking at each other. "The total weight is around 3 kilos", he kept going. "It has to be us", I'm thinking. Unfortunately I was wrong. The winner was Frank Mellemstuen, and the second place went to Erlend Ryen. We came in on third. Team Viken got a solid third place and Christian went up there to receive the trophy.
I'd like to thank Christian so much for taking me with him. It was a fantastic trip, a great learning experience and a lot of fun. This is only the beginning of a new fishing adventure!
// Christer Nannestad
Translated by Bergljot Sindredottir Støer
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