Fish species along the coast

Game fish

Sea trout (Salmo trutta trutta)

Sea trout or searun brown trout are the main target of most fishermen casting their lures and flies from the beautiful shorelines of East-Jutland. You may find it everywhere food is found. Come early spring fish migrate from brackish water bays where they have spent the winter and out into the open ocean. The combination of salty and cold water does not appeal to sea trout - in fact it might be deadly to them.

The months of March, April and May are traditionally the best time for saltwater sea trout but it may be caught all year round. Most fish caught weigh in at 2-4 lbs. with fish over 10 lbs. being regarded as big.

Summer is spent in the open ocean where herring, sprat, sand eels, lug worms and shrimps are eaten eagerly. During the night hunting sea trout may well be encountered but a few feet from the shoreline - in water only inches deep. So tread lightly!

Come autumn and the return of cold weather sea trout begin migrating back into the brackish bays. Sexually mature fish will ascend the rivers to spawn while smaller and immature trout will stay and feed all winter long in brackish water.

Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

On a regular basis the sea trout fisherman will catch silvery trout that are not sea trout. Instead he has hooked a "steelhead" - a rainbow trout that has migrated out into the ocean or has escaped from a fish farm. Known localities for steelheads are Bay of Mariager in the north and Bay of Horsens in the south.

Whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus)

Whitefish are salmonids like grayling but since they tolerate brackish water they often migrate into the salty bays where they grow bigger than is possible in freshwater. A large population like this exists in the River Guden and the Bay of Randers. Here they are often caught during early spring while fishing worms on the bottom. Fish larger than 2 lbs. are considered big.

Cod and garfish

Cod (Gadus morhua)

Cod is a very popular and sought after fish along the eastcoast of Jutland. It can be caught from the shore, from piers and from boats on flies, lures and bait. What produces the most fish varies with time of year and locality.

Summer and winther cod should be sought in deeper waters where temperatures are suitable for this cold water loving fish. Spring and autumn see a lot of cod moving into shallow water that now offers the perfect temperature. Here they feed voraciously on their favourite diet - crunchy crabs. And under such circumstances they are an easy prey for anglers fishing the shoreline. Best time is the hour just after sunset.

Garfish (Belone belone)

A very popular fish with anglers, the garfish migrates into Danish waters to spawn in April-May. The first ones to arrive are always the biggest - often yard-long and wrist-thick. They are fat and strong and thus put up a great fight when hooked.

After spawning in shallow water garfish move away from the shoreline and into deeper water where summer is pent. Migration back to the North Sea typically takes place in September-October.

Flatfish and eel

Flounder (Platichtys flesus)

Flounders that thrive equally well in saltwater and freshwater make up the main part of any bottom anglers catch in East-Jutland. Especially so in brackish waters like the Bay of Mariager and the Bay of Randers. Here you will normally find plenty of flounders lying on or near the slopes of the ship channels.

Flounders breed in spring after which they are lean and not very tasty. In the autumn the same fish are again fat and healthy and now provide very good eating. Flounders typically are most active early in the morning and late in the evening.

Dab (Limanda limanda)

The small and translucent but very tasty dab has saved the day for many an angler in East-Jutland. It is a numerous fish that thrives in waters rich in nutrients - like the Bay of Aarhus. Bottom fishing with lug worms usually produces well.

Eel (Anguilla anguilla)

Especially when fishing from piers you stand a good chance of catching eels if you are bottom fishing with bait. Eels love to hide in all the rock crevices found here. It is also possibe to experience good eel fishing in brackish waters like Bay of Mariager and Bay of Randers where eels will be found feeding in the eel grass beds. True saltwater is not liked by eels.


- Are you planning to visit East-Jutland, and are you uncertain as to how to approach the local fishing?

Then feel free to contact Steen Ulnits, fisheries biologist, 20+ book author, keen fisherman, TV producer, photographer and webmaster of this website, and book him for guiding. You can do this on an hourly or daily basis.

Apart from travelling the Globe and guiding trips to exotic parts of this Earth, Steen Ulnits has been fishing the waters of East Jutland for more than 30 years.

Thus you are in good hands - be it in freshwater or saltwater, flyfishing or spinning, walking, wading or boating!

© 2000 Steen Ulnits
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