Off the coast of Northern Norway, where the tepid Gulf Stream meets cold, Arctic waters, the ocean teems with life. There is hardly a richer sea anywhere in the world, and the deeply indented coast provides shelter under most weather conditions.
Thousands of lakes, rivers and streams dot the Northern Norwegian landscape. Enthusiasts of all ages, including families, bring their tents and fishing rods, go hiking and find their own lake full of trout or char. Numerous camp grounds sell licenses and provide accommodation in cabins.
Some of Europe’s best salmon rivers are found in Northern Norway, and in late summer some locations have an air of jet-set and exclusivity. Services like river boat transport, guides and accommodation are provided.
You can fish in the sea all year, although it is in the middle of winter that the fish bites best. Most freshwater fishermen come in summer, but ice-fishing is also an option in winter, particularly in the mild, sunny late winter.
Cod, halibut, saithe (pollock), monkfish, wolf fish and redfish are easy to catch all along the Northern coast. You will also find salmon, trout and char in local rivers and lakes.
Halibut, 223 kg, Nordvågen (Senja), May 2011
Cod, 41 kg, Olderfjord, April 2010
Grey Wolf fish, 17.6 kg, Saltstraumen, May 2000
Hardcore fishermen (individuals) and smaller groups.
The dedicated deep sea fisherman will find resorts catering for all his needs: comfortable bungalows, boats and fishing gear available along with freezers and gutting facilities. These are found in scenic locations near the best fishing grounds, closely connected with the local fishing community, and often include traditional elements like rorbuer (fishermen’s cabins), warehouses or salting factories.
Here are a few fishing festivals taking place in Northern Norway every year.
World Cod Fishing Championship (Svolvær): International fishing competition in honour of that fine fish – cod (23-24 March 2012)
Millionfisken (Salangen): Fishing festival with big prizes (late June)
Sørøydagene (Sørøya): Local family festival with various activities, also fishing competitions for children and adults (early July)
World Crab Fishing Championship (Sandnessjøen): Word crab fishing championships, seminar, “knowledge tent”, go-cart race, auction, entertainment and banquet (mid-September)
King Crab Festival (East Finnmark): Food festival with entertainment and more (end of October).