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Go cod fishing in Northern Norway - Photo: Innovation Norway
Go cod fishing in Northern Norway Photo: Innovation Norway

Expert tips: Sea angling in Northern Norway

Local expert Marcus Åhlund on which appropriate tackle to choose and what you can expect to catch on a boat fishing trip to Northern Norway.

We are incredibly lucky in Lauklines to enjoy sea angling that seems to be getting better and better each year. What’s more, there is something exciting too about being able to fish year round.

Cod bonanza

We call Northern Norway "The Cod Capital of the World" and it's for a good reason. In May last year huge shoals of cod averaging around 3-10 kg (6-22 lb) were feeding on sand eels over the shallow sandy areas outside the fjord. On the fish finder, we could see cod stacked from the surface all the way to the bottom.

These cod remain in coastal waters all year round, but the star of the show is the big spawning cod from the Barents Sea (we call them skrei) that reach our area in winter. Last year we started fishing for them in March. As the season progressed they seemed to get bigger and bigger. By late March we were averaging 200-300 fish per trip with an average of 10 fish over 20 kg (44 lb) and up to 33.3 kg (73 lb).

This area also offers good fishing for wolf fish, haddock, tusk and redfish, as well as for some enormous flatfish. In the autumn we enjoy light tackle fishing for plaice that weigh on average nearly 2 kg (4.4 lb). The biggest that we have caught so far is 3.26 kg (7 lb).

Coalfish and halibut

Another highlight of our year is the arrival of the coalfish, usually during May and June. The big ones are great fighters – we catch them on soft shads at about 50 metres. Most of the coalfish are 3-10 kg (6-22 lb). Summer is also the time to catch halibut, although the biggest often turn up in the autumn. However, last year July produced some exceptional specimens with the best of the month pulling the scales down to 162.5 kg (357 lb). As always, soft bait shads and small coalfish were the most effective baits.

Fishing tackle

If you are thinking of coming to Norway, you probably already own most of the tackle that you will need. A good all-round set up consists of a 6-8 ft 20-30 lb class boat rod coupled with a conventional multiplier reel holding at least 300 metres of 0.30 mm braid. Depending on brand this will be rated around 50 lb. Sometimes we use heavy spinning rods matched to 6,000 size fixed spool reels when we are fishing soft bait shads. For mackerel, plaice, dab etc we go lighter again.

In your tackle box you'll need 200-500 g pirks, 100-400 g soft bait shads, gummimakks, single hooks size 1-10/0, treble hooks size 3/0-8/0, 50-400 g leads, 0.50 mm – 1.2 mm leader material and good quality swivels, split rings and other terminal tackle. We have strong fighting fish that will wreck poor quality tackle.

Marcus Åhlund is an experienced guide/skipper based in Lauklines near Tromsø and  has an intimate knowledge of the angling opportunities in this part of Northern Norway. Marcus Åhlund can be contacted at post@articfishingadventures.no. See more information about Arctic Fishing Adventures.

Last updated:  26 October 2012
Fishing for cod in the Lofoten Islands, Norway - Photo: CH/www.visitnorway.com
Fishing for cod in the Lofoten Islands, Norway
Coalfish caught near Røst, Norway - Photo: Yngve Ask/www.visitnorway.com
Coalfish caught near Røst, Norway
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Go cod fishing in Northern Norway - Photo: Innovation Norway

Expert tips: Sea angling in Northern Norway

Local expert Marcus Åhlund on which appropriate tackle to choose and what you can expect to catch on a boat fishing trip to Northern Norway.

Expert tips: Sea angling in Northern Norway

Source: Visitnorway

Fishing in Norway

Big fish, magnificent scenery and superb facilities. Outstanding freshwater and deep sea fishing make Norway a special destination for anglers.

Fishing in Northern Norway

The world's richest ocean can be found off Northern Norway, teeming with cod and halibut. Inland lie some of Europe’s best salmon rivers.

What to do

The best place for fishing along Kystriksveien is Saltstraumen. Hiking and biking are other popular activities.

Fishing in Troms

There are fish to be caught all year around. Cod fishing is at its best in winter time. Try Senja for a special fishing experience.

About Northern Norway

Key facts about Helgeland

Helgeland is a large and majestic region covering 18,000 square kilometres in the southern part of the county of Nordland.

Tourist information for Helgeland

Four tourist information centres can help you to plan your trip to the Helgeland Region.


The Lakselv River

The Lakselv River has been known as a ‘big salmon river’ for generations.

Fishing in Kjøllefjord

Join a fishing boat crew or rent your own vessel and catch cod, wolffish, halibut or king crab at Cape Nordkinn.

Join a nature adventure with M/S Ylajali

Go whale watching, join an adventure of skiing and sailing in the Lofoten islands, or hunt for the northern lights on board a sailing yacht.

The Beiar River

The Beiar River runs through some very scenic areas in the Arctic, surrounded by snow-covered mountain peaks and some of Norway’s largest glaciers.

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