Fishing in Northern Norway

© Ernst Furuhatt

Whether you enjoy deep sea fishing, freshwater fishing, like to fish for big species, or simply just want to relax by a small lake. Northern Norway is the place for you.

The sea outside Northern Norway is the most abundant in the world. It is here that the Gulf Stream meets the cold, nutrient-rich water of the Arctic Ocean. Each winter the North-Arctic cod migrate to Lofoten to spawn giving rise to the largest cod fisheries in the world. Coley arrives at the coast in the summer. Coastal cod, Atlantic halibut, wolffish, monkfish, haddock, red bream, and many other types of fish can be found throughout the year.

Some of the best salmon rivers in the world

Northern Norway has some of the best salmon rivers in Europe, and trout and Arctic char are found in countless lakes and rivers. In some waterways, there are also Eastern species such as pike, European whitefish, grayling, and perch. Anglers are free to fish in the sea and it is easy to find accommodation or hire boats and equipment for deep-sea fishing. Freshwater fishermen can easily have a lake or river to themselves. Northern Norway is a vast area that has loads of fish.

Freshwater fishing

Fishing resorts in Northern Norway

A number of fishing resorts specialising in deep-sea fishing are located along the North Norwegian coast. Fishing tourists normally stay in cabins, older rorbu (fishermen’s cottages) or more modern seaside apartments, generally sleeping a large number. You can expect friendly hosts who are knowledgeable about fishing, close contact with the local community and a fantastic landscape.

Weather and seasons

In spite of our northerly location, we have good weather, at least for fishing. If you find fishing in the open sea too tough, there are often calmer waters between the islands or in the fjords. Most anglers avoid the darkest months of winter (even though the sea is fullest with fish at this time), but you will discover wonderful conditions from March to October.

Fishing rules and regulations

As long as you fish with normal angling gear, there are no limits for how much you can catch. If you want to take the fish overseas, a limit of 15 kilogram fillet applies. In addition, you can take one large trophy fish. No fishing licences are required for saltwater fishing.

Where in Northern Norway do you get the biggest fish?

The serious deep-sea anglers head out to the Lopphavet Sea or, more specifically, to the island of Sørøya between Tromsø and Hammerfest. The Lopphavet Sea requires a steady hand at the helm, but the reward is fantastic. Here, well off the beaten track, some of the biggest cod along the entire coast are landed. Experienced deep-sea anglers can head out on their own, but beginners and semi-experienced anglers should join a guided trip. Basic and medium range accommodation is available in several of the small fishing villages along the west coast of the island of Sørøya.

Do you have Halibut fishing in Norway?

The halibut, a flatfish easily recognisable by the bewildering shape of its head, may be found on shallow sandy bottoms in Northern Norway. It can be extremely large, well over 100 kg. In the north, faith, superstition, myths and legends are associated with this fish and the two Norwegian names, kveite (of “white”) and hellefisk (“holy fish”), explain something about this North Norwegian Christmas favourite. At Skrolsvik on the island of Senja, where halibut records are often broken, you can study the popular belief associated with the halibut and the halibut fishery. However, it is essential to combine your visit with halibut fishing and a solid dinner of halibut.

Fishing close to Finland

Fishing in Saltstraumen

If you want to experience something truly unique you should go to Saltstraumen, just south of Bodø – the world’s strongest tidal current. It is like a 150 m wide river that suddenly calms down, turns, and rushes back just as forcefully in the opposite direction. That in itself is a remarkable experience, matched if not bettered only by the enormous amount of fish that follow it. Here, you can catch cod and wolffish, not to mention the oversized coalfish that appear in large schools.

Information about fishing in Northern Norway

No, not a fishing license, but you need to buy a permit for that specific in order to go freshwater fishing.

People from outside of Norway may only use handheld tackle when fishing in the sea. Tourists are not permitted to make use of nets, pots, traps, lines etc.

If you are not Norwegian, you are permitted to take up to 15 kilograms of fish fillets.

Yes, besides the maximum of 15 kilograms of fish (per person). You are allowed to bring one whole trophy fish out of the country.

No, that is forbidden.