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Fishing, Kattfjorden Fishing, Kattfjorden Fishing, Kattfjorden
Fishing, Kattfjorden Fishing, Kattfjorden
Fishing, Kattfjorden.
Photo: Yngve Ask - Visitnorway.com
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Facts about fish

Let an expert give you an introduction to current fishing trends and common species in Norwegian waters, and find the facts you need about sea fishing rules and regulations.

Some of the first tourists in Norway came here to enjoy fishing along the wild, rugged and utterly unspoilt coastline, several centuries ago. Øyvind Fjeldseth, a special sea angling adviser at the Norwegian association of Hunters and Anglers explains why this classic sport is still going strong:

Norway has unusually productive sea areas. Visitors benefit from a willingness among professional fishermen and other locals to share knowledge. Many destinations provide all that is needed for most kinds of fishing, and it is possible to go angling almost everywhere. Sea angling in Norway — from shore or boat — is definitely a sport on the rise,” Øyvind concludes.

Here Øyvind provides an overview of the species you can hope to find when you go fishing in Norway, as well as an update on the latest fishing trends.

Before you set off on a Norwegian fishing trip, we hope that you will also have a look at the information about rules and codes of conduct.

Øyvind Fjeldseth

Øyvind Fjeldseth.
Photo: Vegard Veberg


Cod (torsk)

The most common of the Norwegian fish species. You can find the biggest cod swim off the coast of Finnmark and Troms during winter. Nordland also has important spawn areas and there are well-known hot spots in Møre and Romsdal.

Flounder (skrubbe) and other flatfish

Mostly found in Southern Norway but also all along the rest of the coast.

Haddock (hyse/kolje)

Found in Fjord Norway (Sogn and Fjordane, Møre and Romsdal) and Central Norway (Trøndelag).

Mackerel (makrell)

A popular catch in the Oslofjord and other areas of Southern Norway where cod is less present than it used to be. Can be found all over the coast, but not plentiful in the north.

Halibut (kveite)

The season is at the end of May and in June. Mostly present in Troms.

Wolffish (steinbit)

West and northwards.

Sea trout (sjøørret)

A popular catch in the Oslofjord and other areas.

Coalfish, saithe (sei)

May and June. Catching on soft shads at about 50 metres. Exists all along the coast. The best fishing spots are the west coast and northwards.

Tusk (brosme)

Especially present in central and Fjord Norway. Found in deep water.

Hake (lysing)

This species lives deep down in the fjords and is therefore especially rewarding to catch..

Plaice (rødspette)

Light tackle fishing in the autumn. The plaice can be up to 95 cm and 8 kilo.

Guest species

The Norwegian coast receives numerous visiting species. The total number varies; however, a number of around 150 is often mentioned and adds to the native 200. Among the many interesting species are bonito (stripet pelamide), grey mullet (tykkleppet multe), and less frequently tuna (tunfisk).


Trends in angling

Specimen fishing
Hunting for the biggest specimen of different species.

Fishing from your own pier 
Rent a rorbu (a traditional fisherman's cabin) in the Lofoten islands or other places and practice angling right outside your bedroom.

Species fishing
An increasing number of visitors discover the joy of fishing different species. Norway is especially suitable for species fishing thanks to the unusually large variety in the sea.

Surf casting 
Rent special equipment employed from the shore, which enables you to make longer castings and catch fish further out.

Catch and release
Live and let live: There is an increasing awareness about the importance of the life in the sea. When the catch is alive and kicking and you don’t need it for your dinner, the best option is to release it. This method enables enthusiasts to perform their favourite sport to a bigger extent.

Size matters

In order to preserve Norwegian fish stocks we encourage everyone to avoid catching fish that are under the minimum size specified.

If you do catch a fish that is smaller than the minimum size, free it carefully from the hook and release it into the sea. If the fish is dead or is clearly not capable of surviving, you can keep it to eat.

You can read more about Norway's fishing regulations at the Directorate of Fisheries' website.

Download the app

An app called Fritidsfiske (language versions include English and Russian) gives you everything you need to know about fishing in Norway, with tips on rules and regulations, equipment and minimum sizes.

Download in iTunes 
Download in Google Play

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Cod(e)s of conduct

The Norwegian Association of Hunters and Anglers have compiled a set of guidelines for anyone who wishes to try their luck in the Norwegian seas. These are:

  1. Always think about safety
  2. Treat the fish with respect
  3. Show moderation
  4. Leave as little as possible behind
  5. Show consideration to others enjoying nature
  6. Learn first aid
  7. Come home safely
  8. Be proud of angling

The codes of conduct are available at the Norwegian Association of Hunters and Anglers website (Norwegian only).


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Safety on the water

Safety tips to leave you high and dry

Keep these rules of thumb in mind whenever you are on or by the water:

  1. Think safety at all times. Planning reduces risk.
  2. Bring necessary equipment, make sure it is in good condition and easily accessible.
  3. Respect the sea and the weather. Only go out in a boat when it is safe.
  4. Know the rules of the sea, and make sure to follow them.
  5. Wear life jackets or other flotation devices.
  6. Be rested and sober. Do not operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  7. Be considerate, and remember that safety, the environment, and the well-being of everybody is a common responsibility.

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