By Joe Christiansen
The harbour in the heart of Odense is worth a try if you don’t have much time available for fishing or you are seeking shelter from the elements. As the harbour is exempt from the Odense Inderfjord (inner inlet) conservation measures, you can indulge in street fishing all year round. A lightweight spinning rod, a telescopic net and a handful of lures is all you need. However, fly fishing will not work, as you are positioned high above the water. Don’t forget a bombarda float and flies as well as a slider float and a few fishing hooks for fishing with worms or sandeels. A lightweight spinning rod, a telescopic net and a handful of lures is all you need. However, fly fishing will not work, as you are positioned high above the water. Don’t forget a bombarda float and flies as well as a slider float and a few fishing hooks for fishing with worms or sandeels. Fishing for sea trout is possi
ble all year round, but winter and autumn are the best times. During cold periods, schools of finnocks are attracted by the fresh water from the river Stavisåen, which has its estuary a few kilometres from the inner harbour in the channel that connects the harbour with the inlet. The herring appear in March. There is a certain charm about fishing for herring using a herring rig with little shiny hooks. Herring taste fantastic – and the sea trout think so too: each year, a number of truly magnificent ‘herring predators’ are landed among the schools of herring. During the summer months, the sea trout are particularly active in the mornings and evenings. They can be tricky to catch, but try with a bombarda float and small flies – or an earthworm! From August, the fish begin to migrate towards the river Stavisåen. The autumn fish often leap, and you can sometimes observe sea trout of considerable size cruising around in the harbour for several days in a row before they disappear up the river. The right medicine can be a little fly fished using a bombarda. However, a coloured sea trout might also lose its head at the sight of a gaudycoloured fluttering lure. Or try casting out a sinking Rapala wobbler, and spinning it seductively past the fish. Within the harbour, there are two peninsulas with old industrial sites currently being redeveloped as a vibrant hub of culture. The most westerly of the two is known as ‘Byens Ø’ the city’s island. It is accessed via Finlandkaj. Drive out to the end of Ruslandkaj; from there, you can fish all round the ‘island’ – and don’t forget the channel separating the island from the ‘mainland’. The other peninsula does not have a name, but you can get to it along Tværkajen or Gamle Havnekaj. Either drive all the way out to Skotlandkaj, or try fishing in the channels that divide the peninsula in two. Grey mullet can also be found in the harbour. They are very much a fair weather fish, and the more summery the weather, the more active they will be in their pursuit of yummy algae, which they glean from rocks and the edges of breakwaters. A small float and a strong carp hook baited with bread is the surest way to deceive a grey mullet. On the east side of the harbour, you can fish all the way along Østre Kaj. On the west side of the harbour, along Tysklandkaj, it can be a little more difficult to fish. However, if you continue to Kanalvej, a wooden marina runs parallel to the wharf for a few hundred metres. During the cold period, fishing for finnocks can be fantastic. They are drawn to the fresh water from a drain outlet. It is certainly possible to fish from dry land, but access is better from the water – some successful anglers operate from kayaks and float tubes here. Further out along Kanalvej at the corner outside Restaurant Næsbyhoved Skov, the sea trout pass close to land and you can fish for them wherever there are gaps between the reeds. In fact, the harbour offers a great deal of opportunities to catch sea trout, grey mullet, cod, herring, mackerel and garfish. In the late summer, the whole family can indulge in fishing for flounder using a flatfish rig and hooks baited with lugworm, but remember a life jacket for the children, because not every part of the harbour has guardrails. A long telescopic net can make all the difference as to whether or not you’ll get to take a fish home with you, as it is not easy to get down to the water level everywhere when it is time to land the sea trout. The net should not be too small: quite a few large sea trout are caught in the harbour every year. The record is 8 kilos, and salmon of the same calibre have also been caught!