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Atlantic Halibut Fishing Holidays A True Cold Water Giant

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The Worlds Largest Flatfish

The Atlantic Halibut is the worlds largest flatfish, and its name is derived from haly (holy) and butte (flatfish) for its popularity on Catholic holy days. The Halibut is well known as both a food fish and sport fish in equal measure. Starting life as a round fish, these Jurassic looking creatures of the deep soon evolve into the fish that everybody knows. At around six months old, their eyes migrate around their head, and they start living life as a flatfish. They’re a cold water species and are found in the North Sea, inhabiting the waters around Greenland, Iceland and Norway.  

They’re mostly bottom-dwelling and found in depths ranging from a few metres to hundreds of metres; they do move up the water column when they feed, though. In most ecosystems, the Halibut is near the top of the marine food chain; they’re a well-equipped predator and feed on almost anything they can fit in their mouths; baitfish of all sizes, crabs, squid and octopus are all on the menu. For anglers targeting them, a large imitation shad or dead bait bumped along the bottom of the sea bed is most effective.

Amongst the sea fishing community, the Atlantic Halibut are renowned for their fighting qualities, using every inch of their sizeable flat frame. Fights can be long-lasting, and it’s not uncommon for fish to fool the angler that they’re ready to give up before exploding on the surface and running back down to the depths. The official IGFA Halibut record was broken off the waters of Norway in July 2004, with a monster of 418lb; however, fish of much bigger size have been caught.

Below are the top destinations in the world for Atlantic Halibut Fishing.

Luxury All-Inclusive Sea Fishing Norway

Our luxury, all-inclusive sea fishing holiday to the famous island of Soroya in Northern Norway is designed for those anglers looking for the very best. In conjunction with our partners Big Fish Adventure we're able to offer you some of the best fishing, most advanced boats, knowledgeable guides and luxurious accommodation.

Norway Halibut Competition

Everybody in the sea angling circle has heard of how good the Halibut fishing is at Å on the Lofoten islands and with this, in mind, we have decided to run an annual Halibut fishing competition at this amazing destination located in the North of Norway. This Halibut competition is Exclusive to Sportquest Holidays and in conjunction with Nordic Sea Angling.

Sea fishing Norway Å Lofoten Islands

This spectacular sea fishing destination is exclusive to Sportquest Holidays and includes everything you need for an action-packed weeks fishing. Å on the Lofoten Islands is famed for its giant Cod and Halibut fishing, as well as a range of other backup species like Coalfish, Plaice and Wolffish.

Halibut Fishing Havoysund Norway

They say the most remote fishing is the best! Well, they are not wrong. Havoysund is the most northerly part of Norway you can reach and is the go-to place for and sea anglers. The sea around Havoysund is teeming with Norway’s prime species, put this with an outstanding camp and guides and you have the best fishing in Norway.

Guided Halibut & Coalfish Å Norway

We are extremely delighted to be able to offer you a guided fishing trip to Å in Norway which is on the stunning Islands of Lofoten. This trip is guided by a Nordic Sea Angling Guide, that will be with you every step of the way helping you to get the most out of your sea fishing holiday.

Vesterålen Fishing Northern Norway

Welcome to Vesterålen located in the north of Norway surrounded by some of the most stunning landscapes the country has to offer. Known locally as the 'Kingdom of the Whales' it is home to a huge population of different species of Whales, as well as abundant numbers of Cod, Coalfish, Halibut and numerous other saltwater species.

Guided Halibut Havoysund Norway

A great fully guided trip to Havoysund Norway. Truly an outstanding place in Norway with it being the most northerly part of Norway you can get to, you will agree with us that the fishing is World class. It is mainly known for the outstanding Halibut fishing on offer and is ideal for single anglers wanting to experience Norway.

Shore Fishing Bodo Norway

Boat fishing is not for everyone and with that in mind, we have worked hard to bring you something different. This exclusive shore fishing destination will give you the opportunity to catch one of the many sizeable Halibut which frequent these waters well within casting distance, as well as a wide range of other species that Norway is famous for.

Sea Fishing Lofoten Islands Norway

If you have been looking for a fish packed holiday set amongst some stunning surroundings then look no further than the Lofoten Islands, dubbed as one of Norway's fishing jewels. The area around the camp is famous for large Halibut and Cod and one only needs to travel a short distance to find some of the best, most productive fishing grounds.

Soroya Big Fish Adventure Norway

Everybody in the sea fishing community has heard of the island of Sørøya in northern Norway, primarily famed for its incredible Skrei Cod fishing, for some of the most significant specimens on the planet, including the current world record. However, through the years, it has developed into a true ‘all-year-round’ destination, allowing anglers to enjoy some incredible mixed fishing.

Saltstraumen Brygge Bodø Norway

Saltstraumen Brygge in Bodø offers some of the best sea fishing in Norway. From the world-famous Strait with its huge tide and shallow water which attracts many Halibut to feed to its deeper water marks famous for holding huge shoals of Cod and Coalfish. Plaice fishing is also very good due to the sheer amount of shallow bays.

Mefjord Brygge Sea Fishing Norway

If you are looking for a family fishing holiday then Mefjord is the destination for you. Not only is this an anglers paradise with super-sized specimen Cod, Halibut and Coalfish coming out of the waters at various times of the year but there are also a huge variety of activities on offer to keep the whole family entertained.

Guided Vesterålen Fishing Norway

We are extremely pleased to be able to offer you yet another fantastic opportunity to fish this part of the world as a single angler or small group and would like to welcome you to Vesterålen. Located in the north of Norway surrounded by some of the most stunning landscape Norway has to offer. This destination is an excellent area for a mixed species trip.

Guided Sea Fishing Lofoten Norway

Ever fancied going to Norway to do battle with some of the hard fighting fish that this part of the world is known for and struggled to get your friends to join, well now is your chance to come on your own and fish with like minded anglers. The waters around Lofoten Islands are a magnet to the mighty Halibut plus all the usual species.

Aa-gård Lavangen Norway

Aa-gård fishing camp is situated in Lavangen, in Troms og Finnmark county, in northern Norway. Thanks to the protection from the surrounding mountains and topography, the destination is almost one hundred percent' weatherproof' - whatever the weather, it's possible to fish nearly every day of the year.

Seiland House Rognsund Norway

Rognsund, located in Rognsundet in the southwestern part of Seiland, is Norway's eighth most significant island and the second-largest in Finnmark, behind only Sørøya. A beautiful island destination, the sheltered waters are home to abundant numbers of Cod, Halibut, Wolffish, Ling, Redfish, and some of the very best fishing spots get found within a stone's throw of the camp.

Mikkelvik Brygge Norway

Mikkelvik Brygge is protected by the large islands of Rebbenesøya and its smaller neighbour Hersoya. As a result, the coastal waters close to the camp are generally calm, whatever the weather and very few fishing days get lost throughout the season. It's famed for its Skrei Cod fishing, as well as its fantastic Halibut and Plaice fishing.

Båtsfjord Brygge Norway

When staying and fishing at Båtsfjord Brygge, you will soon get immersed in the full beauty and experience of Norway’s Finnmark coast. Situated at the end of the sheltered Båtsfjord inlet, the accommodation is just a stone’s throw away from some of the best fishing spots, which have a deep history of producing some giant Cod, Halibut and Coalfish.

Torsvåg Sea Fishing Norway

Welcome to Torsvåg, this stunning location in Norway, offers sea anglers the best of both worlds. First, its location is minutes away from the fish-filled open ocean, where you will find some excellent banks that rise from the sea bed offering the perfect grounds to target Halibut. Second, this part of Norway is known worldwide for being the 'Halibut Capital'

Sandbakken Lodge Northern Norway

Exclusive to Sportquest Holidays, this lovely little nest of cabins in Sandbakken, northern Norway are set on the edge of a stunning fjord that offers anglers the chance to do battle with some of Norway’s largest species. Sandbakken is renowned as a fantastic mixed fishery and produces good numbers of Cod, Coalfish and Halibut.

Halibut Fishing In Iceland

Ever fancied targeting huge Halibut and Cod in Iceland? Well we are pleased to offer you this fantastic opportunity to do battle with such fish in the comfort of your very own boat. Either choose to be fully guided or DIY, the option is yours. We provide the very best boats that come fully equipped with all the electronics to make your stay perfect.

Cod Fishing In Iceland

Suðureyri is on the west coast of Iceland and perfectly situated for sea fishing, just inside on of the western fjords, this town has everything the travelling angler can look for. Whether you choose to target the huge Cod or the massive Halibut, we are sure that you will find Iceland to be a real treasure.

Mortimer and whitehouse gone fishing Norway Christmas special

Mortimer And Whitehouse Norway Christmas Special

We were exceptionally proud to be involved with the Mortimer and Whitehouse Gone Fishing Christmas Special to Norway in 2022. Being the first time the programme had ventured outside the UK, it took a tremendous amount of work to produce the itinerary and cater for the thirteen-strong production team, but it was a fantastic couple of weeks away. If you enjoyed the programme, here is more information on Paul and Bob's trip and the itinerary it followed.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Atlantic Halibut Species Spotlight

Name: Atlantic Halibut

Also known as: Butte, Flounder, Hälleflundra

Scientific name: Hippoglossus hippoglossus

Halibut Characteristics

Halibut start life as a round fish, with their eyes on each side of their body, but as they grow, generally to around one inch in size, both start to migrate to the right side of their heads. At the same time, the colouring on the left side begins to fade to white, while the upper side of the fish is a uniformly dark brown, olive or slate colour and can even almost be black. This camouflage aids them in their life as an ambush predator.

These Jurassic-looking creatures of the deep are among the largest bony fish in the world. In the right conditions, they can grow to epic proportions. However, they have a relatively slow growth rate and a late onset of breeding maturity, so protecting their stocks is essential. Maturity occurs in males at around seven to eight years old, while in females, it’s more like ten to eleven years old.

Where To Catch Halibut?

Atlantic Halibut are native to the temperate and arctic waters of the Northern Atlantic, inhabiting the waters around Greenland, Iceland, and Norway. Occasionally, they venture further south, and commercial and recreational anglers land the odd specimen each year in the UK.

For travelling rods looking to catch Halibut, Norway offers the best chance, especially in the northern portion of the country. The Lofoten Islands, particularly the destinations of Nappstraumen, Vesteralen and Å, offer incredible fishing. The latter is home to some of the biggest Halibut in the world, and its famous ‘stream’ (the Moskenesströmmen) is responsible for more two-metre fish than any other location in the country. 

Heading north, the famous island of Soroya, usually associated with Skrei Cod fishing, enjoys an excellent spring and summer Halibut fishery. Right at the northern tip of the country, our Nordic Sea Angling camp of Havoysund offers some of the best fishing in terms of the number of fish. 

Our top five Halibut fishing holidays:
Soroya Big Fish Adventures Norway
Sea Fishing Norway Å Lofoten Islands
Halibut Fishing Havoysund Norway
Sea Fishing Lofoten Islands Norway
Vesteralen Fishing Northern Norway

How To Catch Halibut?

Boat Fishing For Halibut

Two main techniques are most effective when fishing for Halibut from a boat: drift fishing with lures or bait. When using lures, large shads tend to be the most popular, fished on or very close to the sea bed. Something like the Savage Gear Cutbait Herring is a good choice. 

However, as the fish have become increasingly popular, methods have evolved slightly, and now spin fishing has become a go-to method for many anglers. This method involves casting a lure away from the boat and slowly drawing it back across the bottom before repeating the process over and over. It allows you to cover lots of water and can be an excellent technique, especially when fishing for a number of smaller fish. Two popular lures, well worth a try, include the Westin Sandy Andy and Westin Crazy Daisy. 

Finally, fly fishing for Halibut is an up-and-coming method for those willing to try it. Several fish have fallen each season to the fly at our Nordic Sea Angling camps. While at our Big Fish Adventures destination on Soroya, owner Bilal Saab is a keen fly angler who wants to explore and push the boundaries of fly fishing for these magical fish. You can read our blog here: Fly Fishing For Halibut. 

When bait fishing for Halibut, a dead bait Coalfish or Mackerel, mounted on a long trace and fished in conjunction with an anti-twist lead and large circle hook, is a deadly method and probably accounts for the majority of big fish. Deadbaits are generally fished just off the bottom; however, it’s common for a fish to come up through the water column to inspect and snaffle your bait. The Halibut will often lie in wait, waiting for their prey to pass over their heads, where they will then rise and engulf the food in one mouthful, so don’t be afraid to experiment with various depths, anywhere between one to ten metres off the bottom. 

An increasingly popular method, which allows you to explore depths easily, is, believe it or not, float fishing for them. We have a blog dedicated to this: Catching Halibut On The Float. 

Shore Fishing For Halibut

As Halibut fishing has become increasingly popular over the past decade, and with these giant flatfish overtaking Cod as many anglers’ primary target, the shore fishing scene has boomed. Lure fishing for them from the shore is possible and accounts for several fish each season; however, the most popular is bait fishing. A lovely fresh fillet of Coalfish, Mackerel or Herring cast into the depths while you sit and wait for the ratchet to scream is a fantastic way to target them. 

Note: Your tackle must be up to the job when targeting Halibut. They grow to epic proportions and are incredibly hard-fighting. They will find any weakness in your tackle, whether a blunt hook, a weak knot or an abrasion in your line. Don’t lose a fish of a lifetime for any of these reasons. 

If you’re travelling to fish for Halibut and would like to learn more about the tackle and techniques used, we have a blog you may find helpful: Halibut Fishing Techniques Norway. 

How Big Do Halibut Grow?

Halibut are the largest flatfish in the world and one of the largest bony fish, but they can vary significantly in size. At our camps in Norway, a small fish would weigh around 10lb, while fish over twenty times that size, pushing 200, 300, and even 400lb, is possible. As a rough guide, an average-sized fish would be around 40lb to 50lb.

Our destination manager, Paul Stevens, caught the largest ever landed by a British angler at Å on the Lofoten Islands in Norway in 2022. The fish measured 224cm and was estimated to weigh over 400lb. You can watch the video on our YouTube channel here: Fishing Guide Battles HUGE 400lb Norwegian Halibut.

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