Cod, mackerel, lobster and oysters: enjoy goodies from the sea on Hönö, and catch them yourself.
People stream into Hönö’s harbour whenever Lasse Englund docks in his wooden boat, Kastor. The Pötter family – Nizia, Julian and little Leopold (4) – from Germany are beaming at the end of their trip.
“It’s excellent fishing out there,” says Julian.
They present an impressive catch: a box of mackerel. The fish lie freshly filleted and glistening in the box. It’s a typical day on Hönö– one of the many islands in Gothenburg’s beautiful archipelago.
Mackerel and lobster
The people of Hönö have fished and collected shellfish for thousands of years. The region’s fisheries have also played an important role nationally, making a significant contribution to Sweden’s exports at times. There is history in Hönö harbour, where the fishing boats sit in rows and sail in and out all day long. You can learn all about it at the Fishing Museum located in the harbour. Skipper Lasse sails into the archipelago on a daily basis with curious guests on board.
“We fish with trolling lines and tend to get between five and ten kilos of mackerel per trip,” he says.
Skipper Lasse Englund with today's catch on his boat Kastor, in the archipelago of Gothenburg. Photo: Anna Hållams
The mackerel along this coastline grow anywhere from 30 to 60 centimetres in length, which makes a good meal. Skipper Lasse also takes guests with him on crab expeditions, and from September to November, Kastor and its captain head out for lobsters.
“We’ll spend three hours out there collecting lobsters, and once you’ve got your fancy lobster, you simply have to eat it. We’ll take them to Tullhuset restaurant, which is the finest restaurant on the island, and cook them there.”
The chefs serve the lobster in the form of soup or quiche for starters and two varieties of boiled lobster for the main course. This all comes with prosecco or champagne, before the lobster trip is rounded off with a berry dessert. The restaurant also serves every other kind of fish and shellfish from the area.
Fresh seafood at Tullhuset, on the island of Hönö in Gothenburg archipelago. Photo: Anna Hållams
“We change our menu six times a year and offer a tasting menu that includes everything our fishermen catch from their own waters, Kattegat and Skagerrak. We aim for the trimmings to be as seasonal as possible, so for example, we’ll serve halibut with red wine sauce and mushrooms in August, and cod – including skrei – during the winter. Then ahead of Christmas we offer a smorgasbord of fish and shellfish,” says Preben Pedersen, proprietor of Tullhuset.
Lasse isn’t the only one around here offering fishing expeditions: Äventyr & Tång also offer several types of trips. In addition to mackerel, crayfish, crab and lobster fishing, they also offer cod-fishing tours.
“During spring and summer we sail to Denmark and fish off shipwrecks. The fish like to hide inside the wrecks, which support entire ecosystems. There’s plenty of fish to catch here,” says owner Jhermy Olausson.
His boat trips will likely include stories about the lives and times of various sea creatures and, more than likely, one or more fish tales. Guests onboard will enjoy the spectacle of nature’s own show and since the archipelago is also home to seals and porpoises, Olausson also offers separate seal safaris.
With such bounty from the sea, the locals can feast on with super-fresh fish and shellfish. The shelves at Klåva Fish are loaded with goodies: oysters, crayfish, shrimp, cod, salmon, monkfish, haddock and witch. The shop has been there for more than 30 years, but more recently it’s been run by Karin Carlsson and sister Kicki.
“The fish is mainly from this coast,” says Karin.
If you need advice on preparation and cooking, you’ve come to the right place. The two will happily share recipes and tips to make sure you get the best possible results from their fare. If you want ready-made food, the pair can conjure up the most delicious dishes. “We make fish gratin, fish cakes, crab cakes and soups.”
While it’s great to sample the food that the Hönö locals have prepared, what could be better than eating food you’ve caught yourself? The Pötter family are ready to enjoy the mackerel they caught on the archipelago trip on the Kastor.
“Now we’re going to prepare a proper feast,” Julian Pötter says.