Angling in the cold, clear, and above all rich waters of Reykjavik harbour is something everyone must experience in Iceland. Fish are even on our coins! Without them, we wouldn’t be here today. Here are 5 fish to aim to catch when you come out with us! Don’t worry, all of them are delicious, and we can cook them on the BBQ straight from the water.
by Lucky Byfleet
1. Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua)
We literally fought a war over this fish! Read about the Cod Wars here. Truthfully it wasn’t just about cod, more of us claiming the oceans around us as our own, but the common name stuck and given how famous we are for this fish and how much we depend on it it is valid. They grow to large sizes in the bay and this is one of the most common fish we bring up for our lunch! When you visit Iceland be sure to try it when it has been salted and dried, served with fresh butter.
2. Atlantic Wolffish (Anarhichas lupus)
Named because of its fierce-looking teeth the Icelandic name for this species is steinbítur – literally stone biter! It doesn’t move much and can grow to a large size, up to 1.5metres. Its white meat is delicious and rich, and is very popular here. This incredible creature has a natural antifreeze in its blood, allowing it to survive easily in the frigid temperatures at the bottom of the bay. It is also known by the names seawolf, catfish, devil fish, and wolf eel, amongst other names, all referring to its teeth and eel-like shape.
3. Haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus)
Haddock is delicious to eat. It is similar to cod, and like cod, we love to dry it and salt it here in Iceland. Though of course, it is also delicious fresh. It is a very quick swimmer over short distances and can be easily recognized, despite its similarities to cod by a black blotch sometimes called the Devil’s thumbprint above its pectoral fins on both sides of its body. We know they are tasty because the dolphins here also love to eat them!
For a long time pollock was under-appreciated and mostly caught as by catch, and used to feed cats! Now it is more valued and found in shops all over the world. Its slightly grey meat has a stronger flavour than some white fish, but it makes obscenely good fish cakes that we will happily eat all day!
Ok. Not a fish. However they are delicious and plentiful here, and we can pull set and pull up our crab pots in the hope of getting a real treat. Be sure to taste the lobster soup too whilst you here in Iceland, served with fresh bread and grilled fish! They are mostly caught in the south and east but arrive here super fresh and delicious.