Yesterday while fishing briefly down at the local harbour just before dusk, we saw at least 15 risers in front of us with no takers. Frustrated, I was lured back to the water once again this afternoon. The overnight wind storm has changed the water condition completely. Wind has brought a large volume of water into the narrow channel between the two islands around Copenhagen, causing a sudden surge of strong current. Water visibility was also reduced to about two feet, making fishing even more challenging than what it already has been. The tidal difference in the Baltic Sea is only around 0.5m. Amazingly, current in fjords and narrows are primarily caused by the wind.

As I walked from the bus stop to the harbour, Stig raced by me on his bicycle, he was quite energetic as usual. My fishing companions Lars and Alan were also there. This is a typical hangout for many anglers, who enjoy either doing a bit of fishing, practicing casting after work or simply socializing with friends. Having a viable fishery in this urbanized region benefits the community tremendously. Young anglers can access it with their bikes after school and improve their skills and knowledge on fishing under adult anglers guidance. The facility is set up so older anglers can access it without jeopardizing their own safety. Fish species commonly caught include sea trout, garfish, mackerel, cod and herring. Such productivity did not exist once when the harbour was void of life due to pollution, but cleanups done in recent years have finally drawn both fish and anglers back.

The work of course does not end here. While conversing with the locals the other day, Stig and Ryan informed me that the group has proposed to the City for a permanent floating dock and club house where it can be used as both a fishing platform and a casting pool by everyone. Urban projects such as this are truly inspiring, which make me wonder if the same can be done in the Tidal Fraser River where public access for fishing is becoming more limited due to the surge of development in Metro Vancouver.

Seeing how milky the water was, I decided to make some casts anyway. I made my way to the other side of the channel where Stig has had success last week, so I could cast into this pocket of slower water. Perhaps, just perhaps, a large sea trout would be avoiding the fast main channel and resting here. I detected a light bump on the first retrieve but came up empty when I set the hook. It was possibly a patch of seaweed. The rest of the guys continue socializing back at the usual spot on the other side of the channel. I spent the next twenty minutes or so casting and retrieving with some optimism.

Finally I felt another light tug. I yanked the rod back reluctantly, thinking that it was yet another clump of weed. It was definitely not a clump of weed, because the weight on the other end had sped away into the current! My brain immediately turned off from sleep to fighting mode. I pointed the rod back to keep it from entering the fast flow. The 9ft long light spinning rod was bent to the cork, indicating that it was a rather large fish. Thinking that it was yet another coloured sea trout that we have been catching, I was in shock when this massive silver body made its first of three leaps in front of me. By this point, the hands were already shaking from both the cold and excitement. I began screaming as loud as possible at the gang across from me, hoping someone would come over to lend a hand. Of course, being such a light talker, no one heard a word. Finally one person spotted the second leap, Ryan and Alan started running over. Stig was also on his way from the other side of the bridge after hearing the commotion. I held on carefully and kept the line tight as the fish surfaced and approached shoreline. Once Stig arrived, he proceeded to reach down to the rocks and found a good landing spot. With one firm grab, my first solid silver sea trout was beached. At last, after hours of trips across Denmark and Sweden, I managed to catch what I have been seeking for just ten minutes bus ride from our apartment.

The boys wanted me to keep my fine catch. There are many large spawning trout to produce the next generation after all, so the odd harvest is well appreciated. At first I was not so sure, because hauling this beast during the bus ride on the way home would not make me so popular. I was then convinced when Alan was kind enough to offer me a car ride back. The cameras came out to capture the moment. Ryan informed me that they only connect with a fish in this size several times each year. We estimated it to be between 8 and 10lb.

This fish exhibited all the classic physical features found on a sea trout – The longer lower jaw, the extended jaw to the back of its eyes, the square tail and of course black spots on its gill plates and silvery body.

While cleaning the fish, I opened up its stomach and found three partially digested sculpins in the four inch range, two sticklebacks, two shrimps and two sandworms that were still wiggling. Sea trout are such greedy predators, it’s no wonder that the hook is often swallowed when they are caught.

The big silver finally showed itself with only one more week of my stay left in Denmark. Persistence, or obsession, has once again been rewarded. Maybe there will be one more for me next week? I better not ask for more…

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