Monday, December 1, 2014

Season summary 2014

Hi there all you fishing enthusiasts!

Christmas is less than a month away and we've been busy lately with pulling up our boats for winter storage. We've now closed down the fishing business for this year and boats are one by one coming up from the water for winter storage. By this post I want to sum up the season with some great pictures, thoughts and experiences. It's gonna be a long one, so go make yourself a cup of coffee or why not grab one of those excellent Belgium beers (Sorry Dutchies :).

Our season started early this year since ice disappeared in mid February already. Most boats were in the water in the beginning of March and our first guests of the season got here in mid March. With 4 new engines, Yamaha 40hp four stroke, all the old 25hp engines were replaced on our Master500 boats.

First couple of weeks this season in March started with average results. A few boats caught up to 40 pikes/day but mostly small sized pikes came up for our guests. Local anglers in town did better and several pikes above the magic +10kg barrier was caught in the middle to late part of March.

Since we had a warm early spring this year pikes started to spawn early. A few anglers actually reported about pikes that already were done in first week of April. Not normal, but not strange either since water temps were up to 9 degrees already by then. This fact gave us some struggle with finding pikes willing to bite. There was a few weeks when fishing didn't deliver to good results but in mid April even big and good numbers started to drop in by our guests.

In mid April the pikes started to move out from the bays to eat eelpouts and other yummy small preys. This period started a bonzana of activity and most boats reported about good numbers and a some nice samples just over the +1m margin. Returning guest Jacob managed to catch a 102cm buety just after spawning and his catch was in my opinion the start of a trend for our guests. After his catch the meter plus samples started to drop in frequently with most of them being caught in the bays or in the very near of the bays.

May didn't disappoint us this year either. Many guests on the camp and many nice pikes was caught in the mostly beutiful spring weather. A couple of +10kg pikes was caught by our guests and many meter pikes as well. Most weekends in May we hosted about 40 anglers at the same time on our camp and lots of new and returning guests made our work here so fun. Kislina and his friends from Latvia caught a beuty of 114cm in mid May and as always came up with really good numbers. These guys are coming here several times every year and knows our waters well by now. Even by using mostly classic lures like spoons, they still outfish many others who use modern soft plastics or expensive hand made jerkbaits.

In the end of May we also hosted French returning group in Krolik company. They're also skilled and do catch good numbers every year. This time the 9 lads ended up with 831 pikes caught in 6,5 fishing days. It should also be mentioned that they were a bit unlucky with weather conditions this year since the weather god gave us mostly sunny days with very low winds. Out of those 831 pikes, no fish measured above the meter+ margin, which really tells how hard it is to find those big ones some times.

In the beginning of June spring season was going to its end but still we had several groups here for fishing in the first weeks of the month. This was also the time when we got our brand new Jackson Cuda 14 fishing kayaks. Of course these didn't stay dry for long. Me and trainee Willy went out for a try and had some great fun out by all rocky islands. Since I've been working with kayak guiding previous winter in Costa Rica, I felt really good sitting in those kayaks again fishing for pike in our archipelago. Why not rent one of these combined with your boat next year? They are easy to transport out to areas where the boat is hard to use and actually more stable than you think. A guaranteed exciting experience!

In the summer time both mine and our guests activity of serious fishing went down as always but still we runned the very popular pike safaris. This year the interest was greater than ever and 231 guests went out with us during 7 pike safaris. For the first year ever the average winner pike measured above 80cm which of course also is great fun!

Mid August we begun autumn fishing season and several groups went here directly. Season started out good both for me personally and for our guests. With 20 degrees in the water pikes was widely spread out. Best results in the outer part of archipelago. Fishing continued on with great fishing in August even though we wasn't fully booked any weeks.

September is our most busy month for autumn fishing and what a month we had! Very good numbers for the majority of our guests. I wasn't surprised if some guests told me that they had over 50 pikes in the boat during only one day. Luc and his friends came to us again this autumn for some September action. During one week of fishing, the 3 lads set a new camp record when they ended up with a total of remarkable 483 pikes! No, I didn't slip with my fingers. 483 pikes on 3 guys!!

In mid September we also received the third and last Master410 boat that we have invested in. We can now offer 12 Master500, 3 Master410 plus 2 Linder440. In total 17 rental boats and all of them high quality aluminium boats, all with four stroke engines of course.

With many guests coming for fishing holidays and guided trips, September was literally over as fast as it begun. I just know that this was the best September month that I've experienced so far in Karlskrona, and this is my fourth season here.

October was knocking on the door and we contiued to have good fishing. Blekinge Pike Festival was arranged once again in the first weekend of October. As usual we comepted and in my boat I had company of my boss Andreas, former Dragsö Sportfishing guide Patrick and lastly our friend Patrik. Our results wasn't to be written in the history books but we had some great fun out there. Winner pike of the festival measured impressive 126 centimeters, the biggest pike in the competition ever I believe. Since Roy won both the individual length, day 1+2 length and starting point length he ended up winning prices of a value of more than 3200 Euros. Well deserved!!

This year we decided to stay open until last weekend of November. Bookings continued to drop in for some late autumn fishing. Numbers continued to be very good and 30-50 pikes in one boat/day wasn't to unusual. Several meter+ pikes was caught in mid October by our guests even though water level by now had started to variate a lot. One day water level showed +45cm, just to decrease all the way down to -55cm below normal in a couple of days. In a shallow archipelago like ours, this affects fishing a lot. Pikes are moving and becoming hard to find. Even with bad conditions, pikes up to 115cm was reported.

November also tempted fishing enthusiasts to come to Karlskrona for some pike fishing. Both guided trips and fishing package holidays. The 8th of November I caught my first +10kg pike in Karlskrona area during a nice guided trip with some Swedish lads. Almost every weekend in late October to end of November at least one pike above that magic margin was reported. Overall fishing gave very variating results in November. Some days you really needed to fight for every bite out there, while other days could deliver both numbers spiced with one or a couple of well sized pikes.

During the last week of November the water temp was already down to just a couple degrees in the most shallow bays. Temperature is decreasing fast when air temperature stays around the zero margin. Personally I really like November fishing since you're more or less alone on the water. Great nature feeling!

Every year we are hosts to a good number of anglers from all the world. This year we had fishing companys at Dragsö from following countries: Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Finland, Poland, USA, Germany, Latvia, Hungary, Netherlands, France, Czech Republic, Belgium and Australia. In total 14 different nationalities!

Lastly, I want to thank all our guests, my fellow workmates and all other concerned readers for this season and for your support. From now on the activity on the blog, Facebook and Instagram will be low for a couple of months since I'm going on a 7 week long vacation to load my batteries for next season. I'm already looking forward to next year and to hopefully see many of you guys back at Camp Dragsö Sportfishing.

Thank you, tight lines and have a nice winter!

// Daniel Wickman