When we enter a new year here at Sportquest we start to get very excited as we know the season for Skrei Cod Fishing, Norway, is coming. Anglers will be heading to Norway’s fishing villages in numbers to target one species in particular and that fish is the Skrei Cod. Now, these Skrei Cod are not like normal cod that you will find around the UK coastline. These move down from the Barents Sea off the Russian coastline around February time like they have for thousands of years, where they then make their way onto their spawning grounds along the Norwegian coast in numbers. You do not get long to target these fantastic fish though as they only hang around for a short time until towards the end of April before they head back into the much deeper waters off Russia. So if you fancy targeting the Skrei Cod, then there are a few things you should know before you travel and get stuck into the vast shoals you could find.
Clothing for Skrei Cod Fishing, Norway
The first thing that we should be talking about is clothing, if you are dressed wrongly when out on the water then your session will be over before it has even started, there is nothing worse than being cold and wet when out on the water in the fishing boats trying to catch a big Norwegian Cod, you will just want to be back at the cabins warming up and you will not enjoy yourself. Layering up is the key here, start with thermal base layers and move on to t-shirts and hoodies. Merino wool base layers are always good as these have renowned insulation properties. On top of these, I would always suggest a high-quality flotation suit that will keep the wind and damp out but will also act as a safety device if anything was to happen. On your feet layer up with socks, I always wear a thin pair followed by a thicker pair and then a thermal pair on top, nobody wants cold feet as this will yet again put a dampener on your day. For your feet you will need a good set of waterproof sturdy footwear and ensure they do not have studs on the bottom as the boats are all aluminium and studs are a definite no-no on aluminium boats.
Tackle for Skrei Cod Fishing, Norway
Next, we need to chat about all things tackle, when fishing for the Skrei nearly all your fishing will be done using Shads or pirks, Skrei will hit baits on hooks but the most efficient way to target them is with a large shad lowered in front of their faces. Rods need to be around 20-30lb class, lighter can be used and these prove to be great fun but to get the most out of your fishing the slightly heavier gear is needed. Go too heavy though and you will lose the responsiveness through the rod and the fishing will not be as fun and you may start to find you get hook pulls. For your reels a good multiplier or fixed spool is needed with at least 15kg of drag, I would suggest loading these reels with depth Marked braid of between 60-80lb, having depth Marked braid is one of the most important items of tackle you will take with you. The reason we use depth-marked braid is to know exactly where your shad is sitting as 99% of your fishing will be done just above the shoals as this is where the bigger Cod will be sitting.
Heavy-duty terminal tackle is also required, your split rings need to be strong along with very heavy-duty swivels. You may think you don’t need them but I have seen 200lb Owner split rings, open up. I would suggest split rings and swivels in the 500lb bracket. When it comes to shads there is one that we would suggest every angler takes with him to Norway for the Skrei Cod, and that is the Westin big bob shad in 730g, these huge shads are bigger than most of the fish you would catch on the UK shores but these lures will definitely pick out the bigger specimens and are a must-have in every tackle box that heads out in Skrei season. Along with these, I would also suggest the Savagegear cut-bait shads along with Spro Halibandits as well as a couple of pirks for that time during the tide when the fishing may quieten down for a short while.
If you are practising catch and release you must, as soon as you see the fish rising through the water, stop reeling. By doing this you will allow the bladder of the fish to equalise and you will know once this has happened as the fish will expel a shed load of bubbles and will start to kick again meaning that you are then ready to bring your fish aboard. If however, you are taking fish for the table then may I recommend the fish of between 10-20lb in weight, you will find the flesh on these fish to be of much higher quality over that of a 40-50lber with a firm texture. You will have fish boxes onboard your boat so once you have enough landed Cod for the table you can return back to shore and fillet these fish in one of the many well-equipped filleting rooms you will find at our camps. Once you have your fillets find a space in the freezer room and lay the bags of your fillets down ready to freeze, a good idea may be to take a marker pen with you to mark your bags of fish so you can tell yours in amongst the many others that are there.
Top destinations for Skrei Cod Fishing, Norway
When it comes to targeting Skrei Cod in Northern Norway, there is a huge array of destinations you can target them at, below we have listed three fantastic destinations that we offer that are perfect for adding Skrei Cod to your species lists.
In conjunction with Big Fish Adventures, we would like to introduce you to the world’s best Skrei Cod Fishing Norway location, Soroya. There are more Cod over 60lb caught here each year than anywhere in the world. In 2013, a German angler smashed the world record for 44 years with a whopping 103lb Skrei Cod caught from a boat on rod and reel from this magical island of Sørøya.
If you would like to find out more about Soroya, you can visit the full tour page here
Our hosted Skrei Cod fishing in Norway trips to Mefjord is a great way to experience this fishing style without the confusion of knowing where and when to fish. Our hosts have been fishing for Skrei Cod in the Norwegian waters for many years now and will put you on fish each day. They will teach you the rigs that work, how to tie them and when to use them.
The hosted Skrei fishing in Mefjord is building an excellent reputation now for providing anglers with some enormous catches of Cod, and along with other like-minded anglers, this is a great holiday to smash your Cod Pb. These trips are ideal for single anglers or small groups as there are no supplements for a group smaller than 4 anglers.
If you would like to find out more about Mefjord, you can visit the full tour page here
Exclusive to Sportquest Holidays and in conjunction with Nordic Sea Angling, we would like to introduce Nappstraumen. This destination is set amongst some prime fishing grounds halfway down the Lofoten Islands; with the vast array of fjords on your doorstep and the open ocean only a short drive away, it is a fisherman paradise.
Having direct access to the open ocean and fjords on the fishing trip to Lofoten offers some of the best-sheltered fishing around. Springtime is also a very well-known time of the year for producing some outstanding Halibut fishing around the Lofoten islands.
If you would like to find out more about Nappstraumen, you can visit the full tour page here
Hopefully, this blog has been of some help to you if you are heading out during the next Skrei season or if this is just something that you are contemplating doing in the future, one thing is for sure, if you love to fish the open seas then this is most definitely one type of holiday you have to experience at least once in your lifetime.
If you would like to take a closer look at all of our Cod fishing tours, you can visit the full list of tour pages here. You can also find all of our Cod fishing videos in our handy Youtube playlist found here. If you would like to speak to our sea fishing expert, Paul Stevens, in the office regarding any of the tours above, you can contact him on 01603 407596 or by email at email@example.com