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Winter fishing in Norway

Winter fishing in Austnesfjorden, Lofoten .
Photo: media-army.de / www.visitnorway.com
Winter fishing in Austnesfjorden, Lofoten .
Photo: media-army.de / www.visitnorway.com

The colder the water, the bigger the fish!

Winter fishing in Nusfjord, Lofoten .
Photo: media-army.de/www.visitnorway.com
Winter fishing in Nusfjord, Lofoten .
Photo: media-army.de / www.visitnorway.com

Join a guided fishing trip and maximize your chances of a good catch...

Winter fishing in Nusfjord .
Photo: Kent Miklenda
Winter fishing in Nusfjord .
Photo: Kent Miklenda

...or find a frozen lake and go ice fishing with the whole family!

Winter joy in Namdalen .
Photo: Marius Rua/Buckethaus
Winter joy in Namdalen .
Photo: Marius Rua/Buckethaus

Fresh winter air and waters teeming with fish make Norway a dream destination for ice fishing, fjord fishing, and deep sea fishing.

Although most people flock on holiday in summer, if you want the biggest fish, you should visit Norway in the winter. You will have more space and less competition for the best fishing spots.

For a fishing adventure like no other, go to Northern Norway between January and April, when you can take part in the famous skrei (migrating cod) fishing in picture-postcard scenery. About 40% of the fish come to Lofoten to spawn, but the skrei spawn for hundreds of kilometres along the coast, from Haugesund in the south to Sørøya in Finnmark in the north.

Thanks to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream and warm air currents, the coastal areas and fjords remain virtually ice-free in winter, and the waters are brimming with big fish.

Ice fishing is also one of Norway’s most popular winter activities, as the country is dotted with thousands of lakes. Every year, enthusiasts of all ages grab their fishing rods and set off to find their own lake full of trout or char. At the end of a cold but eventful day outdoors, it is common to wind down in a steaming sauna or snuggle up in front of an open fire.

To increase your chances of a good catch, join a guided fishing trip or hire an experienced local guide or professional fisherman. It's also safer, especially if you want to go sea fishing.

Winters in Norway also offer a good chance of spotting whales and experiencing spectacular natural phenomena like the northern lights.

Go skiing, snowmobiling, and dog sledging – and come face to face with the red king crab on a king crab fishing expedition. These carbs are huge – tasty king crab can measure up to two metres from claw to claw and weigh up to 15 kilograms!

Fishing in different seasons

Even though winter is a great season for fishing, it's not the only time of year when fishing can be very rewarding!

Spring awakening

Fans of Norway know that there are many fishing and outdoor adventures on offer in March and April, both in the fjords and on the coast.

In Norway's central and northern parts, you can experience true fishing magic, as the coast fills up with spawning cod. If you dream about catching a real whopper of a fish, this is the time to try.

Southern Norway also has excellent fishing in the spring – especially for everyone who enjoys fishing for ling and sea trout in the fjords or the sea. You rarely return from a fishing excursion empty-handed.

The Norwegian spring weather is usually fairly mild, stable and dry. In many regions, March, April and May can be the driest months of the year. Since the direct distance between the southernmost and northernmost point of Norway is almost 1,700 kilometres, the weather varies a great deal in different parts of the country.

Golden autumn

The autumn months of September and October are also great for a fishing holiday in Norway, as the water is teeming with all the saltwater fish species you could ever want.

Even summer fish like mackerel and hake hang around in some places well into October. In Central Norway (Trøndelag) and Northern Norway, autumn offers a good chance of catching giant saithe and halibut. In the middle of Norway and down south, you have ample opportunities to catch some handsome ling.

Quiet, sunny autumn weather with double-digit temperatures is common – and you can sometimes experience an Indian summer, both in the south and in the north.

The first snow usually falls sometime in October in Northern Norway and at high altitudes. However, in many parts of the country, winter does not start until November. The change from autumn to winter lasts for a few weeks in the south and the middle of the country, whereas this transition often takes only a few days in the north.

The transformation from the warm and sparkling colours in the autumn to a magic winter wonderland is a memorable sight.

Safety on the water

Follow the rules of the sea, and make sure you know what they are. Think safety at all times. Respect the sea and the weather. Always wear a life jacket or other flotation device. 

Make sure you are rested and sober. Be considerate, and remember that safety, the environment, and the well-being of everybody is a shared responsibility.

Read about how to stay safe

Discover skrei — the Arctic cod

Explore fishing in Norway

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