Å Norway Destination Spotlight Q&A
Å on the Lofoten Islands is fast becoming the go-to place for Halibut and Coalfish. Each year see’s Halibut approaching the world record and it will not be long before this destination holds the Norwegian record Halibut. To date the biggest rod and reel caught Halibut from Å is 256cm estimated to be over 500 lb. The Coalfish fishing is also world-class, there is an area called the stream, it is where two currents meet and the fishing there for Coalfish is the best you will find in the whole of Norway. The stream holds some very large Coalfish and one can expect to catch Coalfish over 40 lb.
Where is the destination?
Å is located at the very bottom of the Lofoten islands in North Norway with its location only being a short boat ride to the open ocean, it is the perfect spot to reach some of the best grounds in the whole of Norway. On one side of the Lofoten islands you have sheltered fjords and on the other side is the open ocean, which is where all the best fishing grounds can be found.
Where do they fish?
There is a large area 20 minutes from the cabins called the Moskenesströmmen. It’s an area where two currents collide which creates huge boils as the tide clash making for some excellent fishing. When the two tides meet all the baitfish in the area get sucked into this and are thrown around. The Coalfish go crazy by smashing all of the bait as it is disorientated. This awesome spectacle lasts for around an hour. The main Halibut grounds are located on the edges of the stream as the Halibut hunt for any leftover baitfish being thrown from the currents meet.
How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds?
If you planning on fishing the mainstream then it will take approx. 20 – 40 minutes depending on where in the stream you want to fish. If you want to target the Cod you will have to go round the bottom of the Island and then head up the North side, this journey will take longer to reach and be anything from 50 – 80 minutes to reach the main Cod grounds where big shoals can be found.
What fish will I catch?
The main species will be the Halibut and Coalfish. Both can be caught in the same area and with a constant run of bait the Coalfish are always obliging to feed. There are some very good Plaice grounds in the many bays that cut into the Island. The Cod grounds are on the north side of the island and they hold some big Cod. You never know when you are going to get a bite from the Wolfish.
How many fish will I catch?
You should set yourself a target of a Halibut a day as it is very similar to big game hunting. Halibut do not swim in shoals so one very large Halibut would normally be on its own and have its own little area. However, on the perfect days, you could catch any amount of Halibut. Double figure amounts of Halibut have been caught in one day.
If you choose to fish the Coalfish then the simple answer would be, how many can you cope with catching? There are lots of big Coalfish there and normally you will only get a rest when you put the rod down as your back will ache. The same with the Cod, the shoals are very large and when they are feeding you should be catching regularly.
How do they fish?
When the day is spent Halibut fishing there are several main methods. The first is fishing with bait attached to a piece of terminal tackle called a Halibut anti-twist lead. This along with the bait of your choice is then lowered to the bottom and then reeled up a couple of metres from the bottom.
It is important to keep in touch with the bottom either by watching the fish finder or lowering it to the bottom every 5 minutes then wind up a couple of metres. The same technique is applied to shad fishing but without the need for the Halibut anti-twist lead. You need to be a little more active with the shad and give the shad some life by sweeping your rod backwards and forwards (not up and down). The bite can be very subtle so concentration is needed for this style
Do the guides speak English?
The guides speak perfect English along with lots of other languages.
Who is best suited to this destination?
This destination is a little more demanding than most of the other destinations in Norway. This is because most of the fishing takes place in and around the stream. It does normally only take a couple of days getting used to. There are lots of other areas to fish around Å on the Lofoten Islands so if this area is too much for you then drop out of the stream and fish different marks.
What skill level is required?
The fishing is just like any where else in Norway and as long as you have a little bit of sea fishing knowledge then the rest will come naturally. If you find yourself struggling you have your guides on hand to help.
How physically demanding is this trip?
This depends on where you are fishing. If you choose to spend the majority of your time fishing the stream then it is fairly demanding on your leg muscles as the water is very choppy and keeping your balance is very important. All the other marks are fairly straightforward and as long as you can stand in a boat you will be fine.
When to go?
The season at Å is from April to October with the early season dates being better for the Cod and then once June comes the stream tends to start to fill with lots of big Coalfish. Once June turns to July and the Mackerel turn up the Halibut are not far behind them. Once the Mackerel turn up the Halibut and Coalfish go crazy and the mainstream fishes very well. We recommend looking at weeks where the moon is half so the tides are too big.
How to get there?
Depending on whereabouts you are travelling from in the UK, we would normally fly people to Oslo with SAS then from Oslo you would take a flight again with SAS to an airport called Bodo. We will have a transfer vehicle waiting to take you to the ferry terminal where you will board the fast ferry to Moskenese which is around about 5 minutes from the destination. Once you have enjoyed your mini cruise and docked there will be yet another vehicle waiting to transfer you and your luggage to your cabin.
What is the accommodation like?
The cabins at Å are kept in a traditional Norwegian way. These cabins have been standing there for many years and use to be used by Norwegian fishermen who use to fish the waters from rowing boats. There is evidence of this in the stylish décor in all the cabins. In the cabins there is a full working modern oven with 2 hot plates, a large fridge and the entire normal cutlery range is available in each cabin.
What is the food like?
At Å there is a very nice restaurant available 7 days a week during the summer months. Also attached to the restaurant is a nice lively bar serving lovely wine and beer. The food at the restaurant is very modern and you will find something that meets everyone’s taste.
Does the hotel provide fishing tackle?
You can hire all your rods and reels and they are top of the range equipment. Most rods are Westin boat coupled with Shimano Talica reels. These need to be pre-booked to ensure that they are reserved. You can also hire top quality flotation suits but again we would recommend hiring these in advance. At most of our destinations in Norway, there is an onsite tackle shop selling everything you will need at very good prices.
Is the internet and phone signal available?
In most of the cabins, you will get free Wi-Fi and is very fast, but if you are in the outer cabins then it may be a little slower, however, if you need the Wi-Fi just walk down to the bar area where it is very quick. Phone signal around the whole of Norway is excellent and there are not many areas where you will not full bars and also 3G or 4G.
Are there other activities available?
Yes, there is a local museum only a few minutes walk from the cabins. This museum shows local artefacts from the olden fishing days and local fish factories. You can also organise a couple of hours on the rib boat that will take you out on the stream at high speeds. The area you are staying in is stunning and the guides will advise you on some walking nature trails and of course, there is the restaurant that serves lovely food.
How much does it cost?
Sportquest Holidays offers you the complete package including all flights and transfers, to view all available weeks and prices click on the Dates & Prices tab on our A Norway tour page.
Alternatively, if you wish to arrange all your own travel arrangements Sportquest Holidays can book just the lodge and fishing for you. If you wish to book or have any questions please feel free to call our offices on 01603 407596.