What does a Coalfish look like?
Coalfish is a codfish that can be found both near the surface and on the seabed down to a depth of 300 metres. They have a very dark to black top half then a very strong white lateral line running along their body to a much paler almost white belly and are sometimes also referred to as Black Jacks. It is a shoaling fish that may gather in large numbers where there is plenty of food. Lots of travelling anglers have now started to target these supercharged fish from the surface as the takes are explosive and can last a long time with the average size being much larger off the surface. Coalfish in Norway are a great target species for any angler as they normally are fairly obliging to take a lure either off the surface popper fishing for Coalfish or jig fishing for Coalfish.
How big do Coalfish Get?
The average size of the Coalfish ranges from 4lb to over 50lb but on average you should expect them to be around 15lb. They tend to be much bigger where you find faster water like such places as the Lofoten Islands. From Coalfish Norway experience the bigger Coalfish tend to be near the surface and popper fishing for Coalfish is a great way of catching the big ones. If you are not bothered about the size of Coalfish then drop into the shoal. Å on the Lofoten Islands and Saltstraumen Brygge offers the best chances of catching a near world record.
Where to catch Coalfish?
Norwegian Coalfish become sexually mature at the age of 5-6 years and spawn in winter along the Norwegian coast, from Lofoten to the North Sea. The spawning period peaks in February, after which the young drift passively northwards with the currents. Small Coalfish appear in southern and western Norway in spring, and by the coast of Finnmark as late as August. A lot of the shoals migrate to fast-flowing waters to feed up in July to late September, waters such as the very powerful Moskenesströmmen located at the very end of the Lofoten Islands is the perfect area and habitat for these very active and hungry fish. Coalfish show up all over Norway and can be caught in very unusual places but normal fishing grounds are where you have a sharp increase in depth. They tend to like sitting on the top of the shelves waiting for baitfish.
How to catch Coalfish?
Early on in the year, the bigger specimens will be found in the middle layers of the water feeding on krill and other crustaceans. When the water temperature rises the Coalfish appetite increases greatly and these micro food items aren’t enough anymore so they switch over to Herring, Sprat, Blue Whiting, juvenile Haddock and Mackerel. The methods of fishing for them will differ given the season you are fishing. Later in the year, the Coalfish tend to push baitfish to the surface so fishing poppers, stick baits and slow sinking small shads work very well and always pick up the bigger specimens. We have written many blogs that will help you pick the right tackle to target Coalfish. Blogs such as Tips for a successful Norway fishing holiday, Recommended Shads for fishing in Norway, Tackle ideas for Norway and the Ultimate Guide to Sea fishing
Over the years our dedicated sea fishing team have built a vast amount of knowledge and have visited all our Norway Sea Fishing destinations so they can build first-hand knowledge. We have written many articles to help you along your way. If you still have any questions or would simply like to chat with any of the team then please give them a call on 01603 407596 alternatively you can email them.
We also offer a fee to download a full-colour brochure where you will find all of our Norway sea fishing destinations