Danish inshore fishing
By Martin Joergensen
On colored fish
When the sea trout is in salt water it's normally 'uncolored' meaning shining silvery with a bluish black back. Also the scales are normally many, but loose, and will fall off when the fish is touched. The fish is in an excellent condition, as it is eating all the time.
When the autumn comes, the fish will start its spawning run. In this period it almost stops eating and changes it's physionomy. First of all it becomes colored. That is: the silver will first turn golden and eventuelly dark copper. Males will develop a hook on the lower jaw and the fish will start loosing weight. The fish are often called 'brown fish' in this stage, which is not the same as 'brown trout' the landlocked specimens of Salmo trutta.
In the spring, after having spawned in the winter, the trout will return to the sea. The fish will now be very thin and dark in the color, though not brown any more. Danes will often call them 'black fish' (sort fisk) or 'chimney tubes' (kakkelovnsrør) because of the dark cylindrical body.
If you want to bring home fish for eating, only take the silvery, well conditioned fish. Both brown and black fish are spawning fish on their way to or from spawning. It's unforgivable to kill the first one, whose role is to produce fish for the future and it's silly to take fish from the second category, whose meat is pale and undelicious. Also the black fish is a spawning fish, that will return a year later to repeat its act.