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Saithe show up off Westfjords

‘Fishing here on the Westfjords grounds was getting off to a slow start, and then we hit a patch of saithe just east of Djúpkrókur. There were three boats here on the Kögurgrunn Shallows, but when the saithe appeared, the number increased quickly. There have been seven trawlers fishing today, and it’s only now that the saithe fishing appears to be slowing down again,’ said Heimir Guðbjörnsson, skipper of Helga María, when we spoke to him last night.

Helga María sailed from Reykjavík last Thursday and its trip started off the south-west of Iceland.

‘There was some good redfish fishing on the Mountains and a little saithe with it, but by Monday morning we had shifted northwards and we’ve been on the Kögurgrunn grounds since then. To start with there wasn’t much to be had, and then there were saithe everywhere and we must have had fifty tonnes. There hasn’t been much cod, although there’s some cod and haddock by-catch with the saithe. There doesn’t seen to be any redfish to be seen anywhere off the Westfjords at the moment, although there was some redfish in the Víkuráll Gully the other day but I’m not sure if there was any fishing there,’ he said, adding that Helga María was 15 tonnes, or 50 tubs, short of a full trip.

Helga María has recently returned to fishing after a month-long refit on the slipway. The exhaust gas boiler was replaced, the propeller was overhauled and the shaft was checked as part of the ship’s routine maintenance.