Tips On Plaice Fishing From A Boat In Norway
When you think of Norway and the fishing you find out there, thoughts normally drift to images of big Cod being caught in the depths of winter. Pictures of these huge Cod frequent many social media outlets throughout the year. Pictures of anglers wearing layers of thermals keeping out the snow from the biting arctic weather are all good but there is something else that Norway offers the travelling angler.
As the weather warms up the anglers head over to target the monster flatfish that inhabit these waters. The Halibut frequent the bottom and are the king of the seabed but they share their lair with another flatfish species… the Plaice. These spotty stunners do not grow anywhere near the colossal size of the Halibut but they reach superb specimen sizes over 10lb which to any UK angler is a monster Plaice. Below we will take you through ways and means of targeting these fish from a boat.
The most important thing when fishing for Plaice from the boat is to find a nice clean bottom which can sometimes be between kelp beds but normally has to be clean bottom to fish over. Light rods with a very soft tip and braid will make the Plaice fishing experience all the 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 type of rigs are the most simple rigs, keep 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 is, of course, 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 there are many other baits that work including black lug slithers of Mackerel and other fish baits, but like I said Prawns seem to work in most cases.
Another big question is to bling or not to 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 actually works so it really is 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 riding up the line.
If the fishing is on fire you could bag up on a lot of fish and these Norwegian Plaice can be spectacular in their colourings, all having the distinctive red 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 just hold fish ranging from 2-5lb then you will stumble across the honey hole and fish will all of sudden be bigger and start to range between 5 and the magical 8lb bracket a true giant by anybody’s standards. Please be aware though that Plaice take a fairly long time to grow and it is very easy 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
Most destinations in Norway, you will find areas that are more productive than others but areas you should look for are close to land and obvious areas are where you can see sandy beaches. You should always look on your chart plotters first before heading in to shallower waters to make sure there are 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 really good Plaice fishing grounds but please remember that all destinations in Norway offer Plaice fishing, its just putting the time and effort in to find 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. There are many small sheltered bays that offer great opportunities to land yourself one of these Plaice. Simply 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 of 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 produce great catches of Plaice throughout the year but September is normally when they weigh their biggest.
Hope you have found some of the information useful and really hope that it helps put more fish on your boat. If you would like to speak to me about any of the destinations we offer in Norway then simply call me on 01603 407596 as I have been to all our Norway destinations and know some really good marks to target these awesome little flatfish.