Sea fishing in Norway offers anglers lots of different opportunities and a wide range of species, from fishing for Large Cod in deep water to shallow water fishing for Coalfish off the surface. One species that you really should set aside some time to target is the Plaice fishing from a boat. Not one of the biggest species in Norway but one of the most rewarding and great fun on the right gear.
There are many shallow sandy bays dotted along the coastline, all with the potential of holding many Plaice. It is not until you actual fish these bays that you will find out if they hold them. You should look out certain things that will give you the edge, things such as a beach on the shore. Where you find a beach, you will normally need gradual shallow water with no deep drop-offs. These areas are well worth searching out, and waters from 4m – 15m will be a good starting point. Below we have given you our personal advice on some helpful tips that may just put that extra caught Plaice on the boat. There are many different ways to catch Plaice, and these are just tips from our guides; and we hope they help you on your next adventure.
When fishing for Plaice from the boat, the most important thing is to find a nice clean bottom which can sometimes be between kelp beds, but in general, the bottom needs to be clear of weed. Light rods with a soft tip and fixed spool full of braid will make the Plaice fishing experience more enjoyable, enabling the angler to enjoy the fight a lot more as Plaice on the right setup fight really well. A plain lead or small silver pirk with the hook removed is all that is needed as you will be drifting for these fish, and a lead with grips will catch the bottom and snag up. The drift in the boat has to be very slow, and even if you think you are drifting slowly, it probably isn’t slow enough. We have some great footage of some underwater Plaice fishing where we thought we had the boat drifting as slow as possible but we were amazed at how fast the Plaice were swimming to keep up with us.
The best rigs are the most simple rigs, keeping everything tidy with sharp hooks and good quality components. A two-hook flapper rig is all that is needed; we recommend the Tronix Pro Flattie Flapper ready-tied rig. It has the right amount of bling on and seems to work very well for the Plaice. We prefer to use a small 100g silver chrome pirk for the weight with the treble removed, of course.
When it comes to bait, there are lots of options, and everyone will always have their own opinions, but all we are trying to do within this blog is give you our own personal recommendations on what has worked for us in the past. The favourite bait of choice for many anglers in Norway, including the guides, are cooked frozen prawns from the local supermarkets. You can purchase these from most local supermarkets at reasonable prices; literally place the frozen prawns in a bucket of seawater to let them defrost, then pull their heads off and thread them down a long shank hook, so they sit like a swimming prawn. As mentioned, many other baits work, including black lug slithers of Mackerel and other fish baits, but as I said, Prawns seem to work in most cases due to the Plaice having a wide range of food sources.
Another big question is bling or not bling; many anglers swear by adding beads and blades above their baits. With the Plaice being visual feeders, this is still a grey area as to whether it works, so it is really down to personal preference. I personally cannot see the problem with adding a couple of beads or sequins above the hook, as it also stops the bait from riding up the line.
If the fishing is on fire, you could bag up on many fish, and these Norwegian Plaice can be spectacular in their colourings, all having the distinctive red and orange spots that make Plaice so recognisable. The Plaice fishing from a boat is a great way to cover a lot of ground as you may find some areas that hold fish ranging from 2-5lb, then you will stumble across the honey hole. Fish will all of a sudden be bigger and start to range between 5 and the magical 8lb bracket, a true giant by any sea angling standards. Please be aware, though, that Plaice take a fairly long time to grow, and it is straightforward to wipe out fishing areas, so please, if you are planning on taking fish, then limit your boat to only taking a few and remember that other people love catching Plaice.
Top Plaice Fishing Destinations
In most destinations in Norway, you will find areas that are more productive than others, but areas you should look for are close to land as opposed to offshore waters, and obvious areas are where you can see sandy beaches. You should always look at your chart plotters first before heading into shallower waters to ensure no underwater hazards. Once you have checked out the area, drive around in the shallow water, depths between 15m and 4m are prime, have a look on the sounder to locate the more sandy areas and try. The best times are when the tide is hardly moving. If you have wind pushing you along, you will need to try and slow the boat down as much as you can, either by reversing or with a sea anchor. Below are some destinations where we have found some perfect Plaice fishing grounds, but please remember that all destinations in Norway offer Plaice fishing; it’s just putting the time and effort into finding the areas.
The destination of Å is a well-known destination that throws out some monster fish each year. The Plaice fishing here can be phenomenal, with 5lb plus fish a being a common catch. Many small sheltered bays offer great opportunities to land yourself one of these Plaice. Ask the onsite guides who will point you in the right direction. Please remember not to take all the fish so that other people can enjoy the sport.
This destination needs no introduction, along with its astounding record for producing giant Halibut; the waters surrounding Havoysund are also home to some very big Plaice with reports filtering through 12lb plus fish in recent times. There are areas close to the cabins that are very productive but never rule out further away areas. I have had my biggest Plaice when playing around scratching for bites with a silver chrome 300g pirk in 70m of water.
This fishing camp situated on the Lofoten Islands is another well known big Plaice destination. Giant spotty flatfish are in abundance here at certain times of the year, and you could well catch that fish of a lifetime at Nappstraumen. The fjord right in front of the cabins produces great Plaice catches throughout the year near shallow mussel beds, but September is normally when they weigh their biggest.
I hope you have found some of the information useful and really hope it helps put more fish on your boat.
If you would like to speak to our sea fishing manager about any of the destinations we offer in Norway, then simply call 01603 407596 or email firstname.lastname@example.org as he has been to all our Norway destinations and know some excellent marks to target these awesome little flatfish. You can find more of our amazing Plaice fishing here on our Youtube channel. Alternatively, you can find our full list of Plaice fishing destinations here.