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Westfjords shallows full of fish

‘The last few trips have been like an adventure. There’s been a change on the Westfjords grounds in that, compared to previous summers, there’s a lot of large, good-quality fish on shallow grounds and there appears to be plenty of feed. First the fish were feeding on sandeel and now it’s small herring,’ said Akurey’s skipper Eiríkur Jónsson, after docking in Reykjavík on Wednesday – a day and a half ahead of schedule.

‘We’re filled up and that’s 180 to 190 tonnes, mostly cod. Most of the time we were on the shallow grounds off Látrabjarg, but we went out onto the bank as well for a few tows and finished up taking our redfish allocation in the Víkurál Gully. There were a few boats fishing on the Greenland halibut grounds out in the deep water, but I reckon those were just the most powerful trawlers and a few netting boats,’ Eiríkur Jónsson said, adding that he has hardly needed to use both trawls this trip.

‘We used the twin-rig gear out on the bank, but on the shallow grounds fishing was so good that one trawl was enough. In fact, we were struggling not to catch too much at a time, and taking care to get the right species each time,’ he said.

He commented that there are areas off the Westfjords that are challenging to fish at the moment. There is a large volume of redfish on the Hali grounds, and it can be a problem to fish for cod there when there is redfish everywhere.

He added that conditions have been good over the past few weeks – with no heavy weather other than occasional squalls, apart from which the weather conditions have been ideal.