Saithe / Coalfish

(Pollachius virens)

Size: Reaching sizes up to 120 cm .



The saithe has a powerful body and it is an excellent swimmer. It is found on all depths (down to 300 meters), both pelagic and on the bottom. The saithe is most common in shoals chasing fry, herring and crustaceous animal. It has a white line running from its neck along each side of the fish. The back is dark (almost black).


The saithe spawns in February - April. The spawning grounds are found outside the Norwegian coast and in The North Sea (see red color on the map to the right on this page). Small saithe (less than one year old) are found in large numbers along the Norwegian coast during the autumn. To determine the saithes age, the scientists "read" the saithe`s ear stones (otolitts). This method has revealed that the saithe can be more than 20 years old.



The saithe is an important fish, not only for Norwegian fishermen. Most of the saithe are caught with trawl and seine. If you use a fishing rod, remember that the saithe likes red colored bait. This fish is found along the Norwegian coast in every season of the year.


Fishing in Norway


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Saithe caught with seine outside Karmøy (north of Stavanger).


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26 Coalfish and cod (all over 10 kg) from Røst (Lofoten). The lucky fishermen are Mauno and Jouko (RP-team) from Finland:: Photo: Jouko Alanko


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Red indicates spawning areas.


fishing in Norway tackle angler sea fishing

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