Insight into Paul’s Sea Fishing Tackle Box
Now that you have booked your dream fishing holiday to North Norway, its time to get yourself prepared. Preparation is the key to success and someone who does their homework always comes out on top and fishing is no different. Its the same with any fishing holiday destination, you should try to do as much homework as possible, watch lots of Youtube Videos, speak to other people that have travelled there before, speak to a member of the Sea fishing Sportquest team who is always there to help, basically do as much as you can before you depart.
Your main focus should be on the equipment you take with you. Now, not everyone has a bottomless pit of money to spend on top of the range equipment but I have always lived by, buy the best you can afford, if you buy cheap then it will not last anywhere as long as it should. Why would you spend your hard-earned money on a fishing holiday to then scrimp on let’s say your braid or inferrer hooks, it just doesn’t make sense.
We deal with lots of Norway anglers each year, from seasoned pros to first-timers so we are very used to answer all manner of questions that arise. Some questions are easy to answer and some more difficult but the most common questions, I will try to answer below to best knowledge I can. My answer is only my personal opinion and I am sure there may be people out there that know so much more than I do and may have different opinions, but I have tried to answer them honestly and unbiasedly. He is three of the most common questions we get asked regarding Sea fishing tackle to take to Norway:
“What rods and reels to take to Norway?”
“Should I use Braid or Mono?”
“what tackle should I take to Norway”
There are lots of different places you can purchase your tackle from and hope you do shop about as lots of shops have some good deals on, but never go in the shops and say “I am going to Norway what do I need” as you will find that you come out with things that simply are no good. I am not being rude about the people that work in tackle shops, but the majority of them may have never been to Norway and thinking about what you need to actually knowing are two very different things.
I have learnt after hosting many trips to Norway that guys always bring far to much tackle with them, as fishing in Norway in general is not the same as in the UK in the way that you hardly lose anything. I was guilty of it on my first few trips and with weight being limited on the flights I find it is important to actually pack the correct things and not pack “just in case” tackle. I could actually go to Norway with two shads, a dead baiting rig and a pirk and would probably have enough tackle to keep me going.
Below I have given some information on the items I take with me and hopefully it will be of some use to help you along the way on deciding the correct items to take with you.
Rod and Reels
I have looked long and hard for a decent travel rod that fits in my case and I have found after using many different makes that the Fox Trek 6ft 300 – 400g travel rod to be one of the best all-rounders. Comes with a superb hard case that fits in most suitcases, excellent through action and no flat spots. Works heavy shads well whilst still having a good fish playing tip. I tend to use this rod and reel combo for most of my Cod and Coalfishing as you can work heavy lures really well with this rod. The other rod I pack is a Westin W6 Travel Rod. Both these rods are fairly expensive, but as I have said previously, I like to buy the best I can afford. Another Rod I have used and are much cheaper is the Daiwa Kenzaki Braid Special. Basically, you need a rod capable of landing large fish from deep water a 20-30lb class rod will pretty much cover you for all eventualities.
The reel I use is expensive but it is built to last and with me taking 4 – 5 trips a year to Norway I need one to last in extreme conditions. Again after years of using cheaper reels and becoming frustrated when they go wrong, I treated myself to a Shimano Talica 10, this reel is a workhorse and is one of lightest reels I have used. It holds a good amount of braid and the lever drag on it is so smooth. You really do not need to spend as much on a reel as this but try and get the best your budget will allow as I have seen many reels break in Norway leaving the angler very unhappy.
The mainline to me is very important, as this is what attaches you to the fish and needs to be top quality. I read many articles saying that they got some great braid from China, 1000mtrs for as little as £4…. I find it hard to believe that this braid is any good. I like my braid to be a darkish colour and fairly thin cutting down on the drag it creates when fishing deep. Power Pro is my chosen braid and use it in all my fishing and has never let me down, I tend to use 60lb breaking strain as this covers most fishing in Norway. Never buy yellow/white braid as I am a strong believer that the fish can see this. Another Braid you should consider is the multi-coloured braid, this is not just for looks and serves a very important purpose. When you fish for both Skrei Cod and Coalfish it is so very important to know exactly where your shad is in the water column.
Now the minefield, tackle. Please remember that this is just my personally thoughts and is here to hopefully help someone.
Rigs and Tackle for Norway
Cod Fishing In Norway
I see many people with all sorts of rigs for Cod fishing and I always find myself thinking why to make it so complicated. I like to keep all my rigs simple and Cod fishing is no different. The most basic method is to use Chrome Pirks, there are many different styles of these on the market but I find the Banana shaped Chrome pirks work the best. The hooks these come with, need to be removed and replaced with a higher standard treble and also replace the split ring they come fitted with. These pirks will catch most Cod in Norway from small to the biggest of Cod. Some people like to attach a muppet or Norwegian eel to the leader but honestly, I think it is unnecessary, as I have seen people struggle when they have two very large Cod on the line. Now on to shad fishing for Cod and something that I find myself doing more and more as I believe that it picks out the bigger Cod. Now there are thousands of shads on the market and I would not like to start to tell you what to buy as most of them work. At certain times of the year when the spawning Cod is about I use a shad called the BigBob. These are 40cm and come in a couple of different weights and drive the spawning Cod mad.
Rigs and Tackle for Norway
Coalfish in Norway
I tend to use slimmer bodied shads for these. The Coalfish have much smaller mouths than the Cod and find that they feed on smaller baitfish. I like bright colours for them and tend to fish them by sending the shad to the bottom then slowly but steadily retrieve it back. Normally the Coalfish are feeding mid-water and once you have found them be prepared to have your arms aching. Another very popular way of fishing for them is on or just below the surface by casting lures away from the boat and then fast retrieve, lures like the below are deadly for this style of fishing.
Rigs and Tackle for Norway
Halibut fishing in Norway
There are many different ways to target Halibut and people sometimes find themselves using something that they uncomfortable using. The main two methods I use is Shad fishing and dead baiting both work just as well as each other and again keep things simple. The dead baiting rig needs to be kept simple and I use a Halibut anti-twist rig, which is a ready-tied rig from Kinetics. In each pack, you get the lead, hooks and leader material. This is attached to the mainline and is then ready to fish. There are two ways of fishing your bait, the first is a single circle hook through the nose of the fish then the other way is by using two trebles. This is then lowered under control to the bottom, and then as soon as it hits the bottom I tend to wind it up 1-2 metres off the bottom. It is important that if you fish this method that you keep an eye on the fish finder for any depth changes so you can adjust your bait accordingly. When you get a strike I count to 7 then I set the hooks then prepare your self. Shad fishing for Halibut is sometimes a little slow but I am a strong believer that the more active you are the more bites you get.
Another method that is fast becoming very popular is float fishing for Halibut. Now this is extremely exciting and brings the kid out in everyone, as you sit there watching a large float bobbing around waiting for that plop noise as a huge Halibut takes your bait. They are fairly easy to rig up and the components you will need are a large float capable of holding up a 300g weight and a Halibut anti twist rig as shown above. The float needs a clip on the bottom and a sliding clip on the top. Once you have the rig all ready with bait on, clip the top sliding clip onto the mainline and lower the lead and bait over the edge of the boat and while holding the float, let the line go through your fingers until the desired depth is reached. Then use a quick release clip on the bottom of the float to secure the line to the float. This will hold your lead and bait at your chosen depth. I then tend to let the float drift away from the boat to about 50 yards or so then put the rod in the holder and loosen the drag until you can freely pull line. A little TIP: How I gauge on what depth to use – Look to see what depth you stop the boat in, then look at the direction you are drifting in and look on the depth finder the depth you will end up at. I always set it slightly shallower than the depth you will end up at that way you can leave it way behind the boat and not worry about it catching the bottom and believe me I have caught Halibut fishing my bait down just 15m in over 50m of water…… It’s a great way of fishing!! Here is what you will need:
The other method for Halibut is using many different shads. Most shads come fitted with a large single hook moulded into the body I always like to add a stinger hook, which nicks into the wrist of the tail. I like using strong leader material for this stinger say around 150-200lb mono. The best way I have found to fish the shads is to lower it to the bottom then wind it up a meter or two then slowly sweep the rod back and forth to give the shad some movement, but always make sure you are near the bottom by simply lowering until you feel the bottom. Try different depths and when you start to feel little knocks this may well be a sign of some interest from the Halibut. People seem to think that a big fish like the Halibut just comes up and engulfs the shad, sometimes this is the case but from experience, I find that the bite progresses over a short period of time and if you concentrate you will feel the Halibut grabbing and letting go of the shad before deciding that he wants it. I always say to the guys tease the fish and make him want it by reeling in slowly then dropping it back slowly that way it tends to make them grab it, then hold on.
All of the above information is personal thoughts on tackle and equipment and I am sure that everyone will think differently but I have tried to break each element down a little to try and help people who have either never been or are looking to brush up on some information with regards to equipment and tackle needed. This is a brief description as I could of gone on for ages about what hooks, split rings etc etc to take but that is very technical and maybe for another blog.
My last piece of advice would be, if you are new to Norway fishing or would like to learn from a guides knowledge then you should look at joining one of our fully hosted trips to Norway. We run on average 14 hosted trips to Norway each year. The areas and times of the year have been carefully picked to target certain species, these trips are a great way of learning how to set up correctly, how to control the boat and how to fish correctly for certain species. If you would like to speak to one of the Sea Fishing specialists at Sportquest then call the office on 01603 407596
Lots more information on other useful tips and tricks can be found on our sea fishing blog main page HERE and also all the information on ALL our hosted sea fishing holidays can be found HERE
Until next time, tight lines
Sportquest Norway Guide