BY: RASMUS OVESEN
FACT FILE – LODGING
There are lots of attractive lodging services on Bornholm and during the winter months and early spring, when the fishing is at its best, booking a strategic place to stay is not an issue. There are plenty of hotels, vacation houses, hostels, bed and breakfasts, camp sites, and summerhouses. You’ll find a general guide to Bornholm’s many and varied lodging services at www.bornholm.info and here.
FACT FILE – THE FISHING GEAR
It’s possible to hook up with seriously big fish on Bornholm, and most locals therefore tend to favor 9,6’ 7 – 8-weight fly rods with a great deal of backbone. These rods are typically matched up with intermediate shooting heads, which – apart from having great wind-cutting abilities, also quickly find the right fishing depth and ensure that you have good contact with the fly no matter the wave action. Furthermore, the stout equipment assists in achieving good casting distances – something that is key in certain spots with subaqueous reefs and plateaus that extend into deep water. It also aids in casting in into headwinds and big crashing waves– not least when deep-wading.
The flies that are typically used aren’t dissimilar to the ones used in other seatrout locations across Northern Europe. The locals on Bornholm, however, seem to favorize smaller patterns, and – not least – minute pinkish patterns, which are strikingly visible – even in turbid water. Patterns that are popular among the locals include Skyggen, Polar Magnus, Kobberbassen, Glimmerrejen, Pattegrisen, Brenda and Cutthroat Kutling.
Apart from the fly fishing tackle and the usual clothing – which should be warm and weather resistant – there are two additional pieces of equipment that are recommended: A line tray and a wading staff. The latter is important when wading along Bornholm’s craggy cliff shorelines and where there are big, rounded and slick boulders. Additionally, the wading staff comes in handy when deep-wading in turbid water and big waves. In these conditions the wading staff is potentially the difference between staying dry and on two feet or getting soaked.
The line tray is not only advisable for those who fish with shooting heads and mono shooting lines or sinking lines, but also for those who fish regular WF lines. Regardless of whether you’re fishing from the cliffs or wading, there are tidal currents, waves, rocks and bladderwracks to take into account – and they are all capable of ruining an otherwise perfect cast by snagging the slack line. Line trays that are robust, self-draining and firmly fixed in a waist belt are to be favoured – especially if you’re wading deep along coastal stretches with headwinds and lots of wave action.
FACT FILE – THE FISHING
A national Danish fishing license is required to fish Bornholm. With the inexpensive license in your pocket you can fish all along Bornholm’s coastal line with the exception of the seasonal and year-round protected zones near Bornholm’s small estuaries. Furthermore, you need to be aware that there’s a conservation period in effect during the period of November 16th through January 15th for seatrout in spawning colours. This means that all coloured seatrout must be quickly and carefully released during this specific period. All the current rules and regulations can be found on the website of the Danish Fisheries Agency: www.fiskeristyrelsen.dk
The season stretches from October until the beginning of May, and the peak season is from March until the end of April. The winter months, periodically, provide great fishing – especially if the water temperatures aren’t too low, and the weather is mild.
The locals usually seek out coastal spots with headwinds – spots with turbulent and pushing water that has some turbidity to it. When these conditions are met, seatrout will often forage close to the shoreline and along the drop-offs where the waves crash and break. A lot of massive chromers have been caught under such conditions, but don’t be fooled. There are also good fish to be caught in calm weather or along coastal stretches that are sheltered from the wind.
The most important thing is to be on the move and continually relocate until you find fish. They often school together in certain areas; for instance, in small protected bays or along depth curves and reefs. As a result, you shouldn’t dwell too long at any given spot, unless you establish contact or there are fish to be seen. One quick sweep-through is usually enough to get a good indication of whether or not there are foraging fish around.
If you’re looking for a local fishing guide with lots of experience and high spirits, Bjarke Borup is highly recommended: www.bornholmfiskeguide.dk (english).
Here you can read Rasmus Ovesen’s 5 suggestions for great fishing spots on Bornholm for coastal anglers.