The Queen Louise Bridge is a well-known meeting place where Copenhageners hang out and party on the weekends. And five years ago, you could easily have met Johnni Frederiksen with his colorful graffiti-painted cargo bike on the bridge in the evening. But today, the bridge has a new meaning for Johnni.
“I’m 40 and I no longer wish to spend my weekends partying and having a hangover. So now I visit the Queen Louise Bridge at night, but only when I’m on my way to a fishing trip and want to be ready at sunrise. Sometimes I meet some friends on the bridge, and then we have a chat, but I move on quickly so I can go fishing.”
2021 fish in 2021
Over the last few years, Johnni has become a well-known figure in streetfishing in Copenhagen. Many have met him on their trips in the harbor, where he is always ready for a chat and openly shares catches, tips and tricks. In 2020, he had 221 fishing days, and a large part of them were spent in the harbor. Here in 2021, he expects to fish even more, and the goal is to catch at least 2021 fish.
“When I do something, it’s always 100%. Otherwise I do not bother. I have Aspergers and it makes me very systematic. In addition, I have ADHD, and it helps me get up before the sun, and go fishing. Something has to happen, and now that I can no longer skateboard due to osteoarthritis, fishing just makes so much sense to me.”
Cutlets, gilthead seabream and grouse
Johnni also fished a lot in the Lillebælt as a boy, but the fishing was fairly quiet until 2017, when he caught a cod at Kalvebod Bølge, and was immediately “thrilled that you can catch fish in the same place you go bathing in the summer”. Like most other harbor fishermen in the town, it has since then been primarily the cod that Johnni has gone after, and on his birthday they gave him a gift he will not just forget.
“I worked at Restaurant Toldboden, which is ny the water, and before I showed up, I could fish a bit. There were fish close to shore that day, and in the second cast I got a 2.8 kg cod, which broke my rod at the top. But I broke the tip off at the next top eye, and took one more throw. Bang!… And then there was one at 3.0 kg. It was 15 minutes of action.”
Cod is far from the the only species Johnni has caught in the harbor, and when he lists his catches, you understand how much different life there is in the city’s waters.
“I have caught cod, saithe, garfish, mackerel, herring, flounder, icing and plaice. And then I caught eel, whiting, red grouse, gilthead seabream, cuttlefish and perch. It’s great that there are so many species to catch here. ”
The cod do not stay at the same spot. Why should I?
You have always shared openly about where you fish. Why?
“Yes, it has never been something I think about. I happily share spots with anglers who show interest and enthusiasm. If there is a beginner who is going out fishing, I love to help. I have also been a beginner myself once, and I really appreciate being able to help people with the tricks I have learned myself. TI gladly share the best spots. The fish rarely stay in the same place for a long time, so why should I ”
Thanks for a good and honest talk Johnni! Always nice to hear from you.
(The article is part of the series Havnens Helte, which was created in collaboration with the tackle shop Sport Dres.)