Fishing and Spearfishing – Norway – a Travelogue
When my friends and I got the idea in the summer of 2017 to go to Norway for Fishing and Spearfishing, we were first in front of a huge pile of questions. Where to live? How to get there? Fishing holidays in Norway are expensive or not? We researched a lot, decided to go back and forth to tackle the endeavor. I as an avid spearfisher and the guys were also avid anglers. With this travelogue I want to make things a lot easier for you.
Norway – Important Information – Instructions for newcomers
After some back and forth, we found a grandiose house near Vikedal Norway via Airbnb. The house made a promising impression in the photos: huge garden, not far from the fjord, right next to a freshwater lake where trout and char were to be found. Even a small rowing boat was part of the equipment. We wrote the landlady, which confirmed us the booking soon uncomplicated and with few words (the norwegiean way). The price was terrific 1100 € for 14 days and 4 people, per person under 300 €, actually a bargain (ironic). Fortunately, we were able to get rid of problems with a credit card with enough credit limits (seriously, who has something like that as a student) that the whole sum was previously blocked by Airbnb.
We thought, thought, until our heads smoked. In my little VW Lupo with 4 guys to Norway? Impossible. With Lenny’s Mazda 3 Sport? Fuel would be more expensive than flying. Rental car? 500 € on top, not fun. From previous holidays, we knew that we are traveling with rather more than less luggage, which proved to be true on the descent, to more later.
Fortunately, the parents of our good friend Charly agreed to lend their BMW station wagon to us pack Angelidiots. When we found out a week before the departure that the roof box we had included in our luggage planning, did not fit on the roof rack, was quickly hand made a small aluminum rail from the hardware store, always with the uneasy feeling that the whole scrap at 140 kmh would rip from the Roof. Flux added up for the trip (1390 km journey, 1390 km departure, 800 km in Norway itself) with various calculations of different diesel prices in Denmark and Norway a total price of about 318 € with an exact consumption of 6 liters (Yes we wanted to know it exactly: D).
Now we needed only a suitable vehicle to get from Denmark to Norway. We fought our way through the jungle of Fjordline and Colorline‘s. On www.aferry.de we found a good cheap ferry search engine, over which we had to lie down for us 4 and the car a total of 250 € for the way there and back. It was booked from the northernmost tip of Denmark: Hirtshals to Kristiansand.
Thus, the last real hurdles were cleared out of the way and the anticipation could begin. But now the reasoning started. Norway should be expensive? Crap! We googled us dead, what does beer cost, what does a tomato cost. The biggest shock we got when we read that 0.5l cheap Plörre in Norway in the supermarket cost € 3.5 (and it has come true). The fear of food prices was truly exaggerated.
The last 3 weeks before we left we checked the webcams in our area and the weather reports EVERY day. How would the weather be? Is there rain? In hindsight, I can say that believing in Norway in the weather report is just as useful as saying that the earth is a disk. The best way to compare summer weather in Norway is with one of our April days, sunshine, downpours, fog and hail in one day.
What do you call the phase in Norway between two rainy phases? Second!
The Joke blew up rather moderately at the German emigrants Volker and Eva, whom we got to know.
We tucked ourselves in the Cologne Metro neat, we had made a list, which is expensive in Norway and cleverly got exactly these things.
We bought in Germany:
- 1kg of good cheese (which was the best idea of the whole trip, the cheese was enough until the last day)
- A huge dry salami
- plenty of black bread
- pasta sauces
Alcohol, Toll and custom duty
First of all: everything you read about alcohol prices in Norway is true. We downloaded the app from the Norwegian customs on our cell phones about which we could find out the maximum amount of alcohol and that’s exactly what we bought:
For 4 people:
- 4l liquor
- 14 bottles of 0.75l of wine
16 cans of 0.5l beer
And now I would like to clean up with a few rumors, which one reads again and again, if one investigates these topics:
Beer may have over 4.5% alcohol
To declare a beer costs about 1 € per can.
If you want to take more, customs clears! 3 cars in front of us was waved a car out to check.
The customs clearance is very simple: if you drive from the ferry, you drive through the red gate you pass a ticket booth, there you give how much you have more, the customs officer grins, cashed (in our case 50 €) and I wish you a nice holiday. Easy and uncomplicated. Calculated purely: 1 beer in Norway Tuborg: 3,60 €. A beer yummy Becks in the Cologne Metro: 0.85 € plus 1 € inch. You do not have to think about that much anymore.
From the beginning it was clear that we are going to fish a lot, but since all four of us have been fishing for a few years we have been trying to get the most out of it. What else do we need for equipment? In the end, everyone took a freshwater fishing tackle with them and one for the saltwater (right here it is important that the fishing rod has a line capacity of 300 meters at 0.5mm line thickness). We bought everything that got in our way: paternoster, trout hook, spirolinos, rubber fish and whirls. However, we did not buy the most important thing: Pilker, Pilker and again Pilker. Pilkers are more expensive in Norway than in Germany (10-15 € for a 300 gr pilk).
Fishing from the shore, without a boat
Since we had no boat was planned to fish from the shore and the question was, if this is even possible? The answer is a definite yes: we caught from the shore: pollack, rockfish, massive mackerels, squid and many more species. Luckily we got to know a great German who lent us his boat for fabulous 10 € a day. This lucky move allowed us to fish in the fjord (which was up to 400 meters deep), our reels with cord capacities of 200 meters, found no reason even at a bank distance of 60m therefore: Bigger is better !!! With a 150 gr pilk it takes 5-6 minutes until the pirk first came down and we climbed very fast to 500gr pirk, which also brought us big fish.
Fasten your Seatbelt, off we go
Now I want to share some of our experiences we have gained on our journey:
We had planned to go through the 1390 km journey from Cologne to our house in a tour, in retrospect, it was a real ordeal! We met in the evening in my parents’ house and filled our bellies again with Mama’s best spaghetti bolognese. The departure was scheduled for 19:00. When we looked at all the stuff we wanted to stuff in our station wagon, we got a little fainting fit. Thanks to our childlike Tetris knowledge, we managed to take all the essentials with us. First of all: the most pointless things we took with us was a Frisby and a mosquito lamp (Norway is not a country with beach and mosquitoes we have not seen).
Full of enthusiasm we started, Fabian our 1.90 man squeezed in the back right between bananas, Red Bull and Lenny’s obligatory milk rolls, after the first 10 km came the first complaints about back pain. Around 22:00, the oil lamp of the BMW jumped suddenly, fortunately, this machine also provided the right answer: Fill 500 ml of XYZ509898 oil. This break at the gas station we used for coffee and back training. Around 24:00 we drove through Hamburg’s harbor and the Elbtunnel, totally ecstatic we enjoyed driving into the night. I took the wheel and drove in to Denmark. Dark night, no one on the road and thanks to our cruise control I had to! 300 km! do not even press on the gas or the brake. In the meantime completely destroyed we arrived at 5:00 in the morning in Hirtshals, due to the sunrise. When should the ferry go? Exactly 10:00, who wants to arrive on time, if he can come 5h too early? We, of course. We enjoyed the sunrise with our Reiseproviant and put us another 2 hours in the car to sleep (if that is with 4x 1.8-1.95 m men).
The ferry ride and the “last” 400 kilometres
went smoothly, except that some passengers had to puke then due to the strong ship movement.
In Norway, we quickly paid our customs and went to this incredibly green country. Soon we were out of Kristiansand and only 350km ahead of us. No problem, we thought, there comes at some point the highway. Far from it, there was no highway. Every 500 meters, the speed limit changed from 100 to 80 to 50 km / h, although all around us, everything was beautiful, green, one lake lined up to the next, but the question is whether this is really true after you have 28 hours on the legs, which was squeezed into a car for 16 hours. Bravely, we fought miles ahead. Two hundred kilometers from the finish we were suddenly on a plateau and there was actually still snow. I tell you it’s a weird feeling totally fogged in August to drive through a mix of the Himalayas, Mordor and the Shire. I am not surprised that the Norwegians believe in goblins.
The worst of the trip was the last 120 kilometers. Completely weggebeamt we gave another break, it was now 16:00, it started to rain and we drove through a high mountains. A one-lane road separated us from our destination. On the right, 500 meters down a slope. We cheered each other with cries of “Welcome to Miami” each other while we could see through the discs not 10 meters more. It was time for our last wild card: Brummi rider Charly drove us through this final debacle with an kind of indifference to the finish, which I admire until today.
The house – arrived happy
Exactly 24 hours after we left, 1390 kilometers later and a few brain cells less (Yes, Welcome to Miami) we arrived at the house. This turned out to be a jewel. The key was handed over to us through a number code box. It can not be easier. Quickly unpacked the cart and threw a lentil soup on the stove. We were there less than half an hour, Lenny flipped out the telescopic rod and bathed a worm from our garden in the wonderful lake. Totally wasted it tore his rod apart after a few minutes and he actually had a nice trout on the hook. This left the last tension of the ride and we enjoyed the simple dinner like kings.
The next two days we spent, like the mentally ill, pulling trout out of the lake. We sat wrapped in blankets in the house and watched with a pair of binoculars the poses. You can not fish relaxed. With every bite we rushed outside. Barefoot through the rain through the swampy grass, something only men can enjoy.
The evenings we spent with Doppelkopf, board games and good fish food, with many drinks and beer. We never got bored.
Our view from the terrace over our favorable realm turned out this way:
Fishing inside the Fjords
On the third day of the holiday we went for the first time to the fjord. We had met two Germans, Volker and Eva, who emigrated to Norway a few years ago. They gave us some tips and allowed us to fish on a wooden platform at the fjord. The problem is that most of the waterfront sites are either built-up or impossible to access, as the coast is mostly rocky.
As a rule, one can say that the coast from the corner underwater runs exactly the same. If you fish on a steep slope, it may well be that after a few meters from the shore it is already 60 m deep. I jumped into the water with my harpoon and caught a nice brown crab and shot two clipperfish. Meanwhile, the boys with paternoster and rubber fish pulled one mackerel after the other ashore. We arrived at the fishing paradise.
While we were fishing, a man came by boat. He must have smelt that Germans are nearby, because he introduced himself as “Tyske Hans”, which means something like “German Hans”. Tyske Hans is a German multi talent who spends the summer with his wife in a battery run-down house ála Peter Lustig’s caravan, not like us on a typical fishing holiday. Tyske Hans is reluctant to listen, but prefers to talk. A few nice sentences later he also offered to rent his boat. For the first trip he demanded the usurious price (irony) of 20 €, the second trip 10 € and on the last trip he wanted nothing more and we paid him instead with fish.
The boat was perhaps a bit small for 4 people, but the 4-stroke was to supply with cheap super gasoline. We fished along the fjord edges and caught lots of pollack, ling, tusk, gurnard and everything else there was to catch. As already mentioned, the rod and reel should not be too small: a reel with 300 meters, 0.5mm line and 500gr pilk proved to be optimal.
The biggest catch was in front of the harbor of Kvaløyna (Kvaloyna). On 60 meters bite within 5 minutes
4,7 kg pollack and a 78cm ling, after a drill, where the brake shrieked, we brought these great fish proudly like Harry to the surface.
Spearfishing in Norway
Of course, there were also 2 spearguns, Neopren suits and everything else in the luggage. To put it in a nutshell: Spearfishing in the fjords is difficult. From the surface you have first 5 meters algae layer, in which one has a visibility of a few decimeters. In spite of this, we were several times with the harpoon in the water, unfortunately without the huge success. Several Knieper, Klippbarsche we started anyway. One day we were on the open sea in Haugesund, there it was something else, better visibility, there were beautiful Pollack herrum, large sea trout shot like torpedoes with open mouth through the water, great plaice lay on the sand. Norway is definitely not an area for beginners, which my friends miss a bit. The difficult conditions made it difficult for me to persuade the boys into the water and for safety reasons I did not want to go alone. After all, fishing has more than made up for it.
Finally, I have a few recommendations from which I would like to have in retrospect before:
Good Spearfishing Spots
Luckily i m now in the position to help you out, i wrote a long long Guide about Spearfishing and Spearfishing Spots. You can buy this Tutorial together with all my secret Spearfishing Spots in South Norway on my Side. More then 30 good Spots are waiting for you!
A Boat Fishing Rod – Pilkrod
A good Pennroll for, cheap but good quality, available here:
Norway fishing rod + Penn multiroll with counter + cord sea set*
A Set of Pilker
Behr is a name that I have learned to love in Norway. He brought me the 4,7kg pollack with exactly the pirk which is included in the following set. With 40 € the set is great, I have paid in Norway for the big pirk from the set 15 €, beautiful is also the various catcher and vortex are still included in this set, otherwise you have to buy everything individually. Cheaply available here:
We have certainly caught on the 200 mackerels. With a paternoster it often happens that you catch two, three or even four fish at once. These fish bite on everything:
Pilkset, Paternoster – Angel Berger – various colors*