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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I am an englishman living in Bergen, Norway. I am intersted in hearing opinions as to whether or not there is interest from the British sea angling community in sea angling in southern Norway. Yes I am aware of the adverts in the magazines etc etc etc but I am coming from a slightly different "angle" to potential competitors.

I am in the process of purchasing myself a new fishing boat (27ft) and am playing with the idea of offering a mixed package of angling and accomodation at very reasonable prices for weekend, long week and week long trips to fish for Cod, Ling, Coalfish, Pollack, wolf-fish ++ for private groups between 2-4 anglers at a go.

I have been living here for almost ten years and have accumulated a lot of local fishing knowledge. Even this year I have helped my brother to land a monster 46lb Ling and had cod myself into mid 30´s. Whilst this latitude cannot compete with the angling offered in the far North of Norway, the seasonal type of fishing offered at this latitude is still way ahead of the game in UK. Bergen produces 30lb+ coalfish, 25lb+ pollack, 50lb+ Ling, 50lb+ Cod and a variety of other species on a yearly basis. Furthermore, the fact that there is cheap flights via NORWEGIAN from Stanstead to Bergen (under 100 quid return!) and that the accomodation (2 bedroomed furnished apartment in a larger house) is not far from the airport and supports a fantastic view of the fjords is making the opportunity for fishing in Norway for just a weekend trip a realistic economic opportunity.

At the outset I am thinking of offering a combined accomodation and fishing package (excluding flight) for up to four anglers in the range of 600 quid for a weekend (fishing friday night, saturday, sunday, return monday). Boat is entirely booked by the party of 2-4 anglers (!) and local hotspots according to the time of year and intended quarry will be selected. Bait is included in the price of the package and leads can be supplied such that there is no problems bringing in a ton of lead on the flight etc. Transfer from arirport to and from boat and accomodation will also be in the package. Other "fine details" can be arranged.

Its even possible for two anglers to take over thier spouses for a weekend trip, they can drop of shopping in Norways second largest city whilst the two of you can go fishing - and still enjoy the evenings together - Flexibility from my part is the key here.

Anyway, based upon the limited information I supply, whats the reaction from you lot? I mean, 600 quid shared by 4 men = 150 per man for 3 fishing trips including bait, accomodation and a privatly chartered boat. It offers something out of the ordinary without having to take a week off work, or having to pay an arm and leg for getting up to the Norweth of Norway. Just chartering a boat in UK would be almsot as expensive as this and well, can it be compared?

Constructive replies most welcome,

Regards,

Kevin
 

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Sounds good to me as well, we aren't in the same area here, as the bloke with the hooks though are we?
blueskip
 

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It's possible Blueskip, it's possible. I expect Mike or the moderators will sort it out. It does look a good deal though.

Fred
 

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HI Keving

You really need to read the post in the tackle for sale forum - as feelings were running pretty deep about using these forums for advertising a product or service. See below.

http://www.worldseafishing.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2270

However, you are only asking our thoughts, and I too think you have a great idea. Most people are put off Norway due to the costs, so if you can remove some of that cost with your idea - you will have an advantage over others. Sea Angler magazine are selling spaces on a Norway trip at the moment - don't know the details.

If you wish to persue your plan, I am sure there will be a space for your advert here.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Guys,

Thanks for input thus far.

I take the point on board about commercial advertising here - its certainly not my intention and you wont find a contact telephone number or link to a web site anywhere in my post. All I am interested in is to see the reaction from Anglers on the idea, and get some constructive feedback. I hope that this does not unleash the wrath of moderators of the forum or its users. I come in peace :)

I have discussed my ideas with my Norwegian colleagues here (fishermen) and they reacon its a very good idea/deal, but they dont have the "feel" for the UK market and what it wants. My brother who lives in Essex and has been visiting me for fishing many times over the years thinks its also a very cheap and good deal. There are several more points I would like to chuck out here to see the response however.

Like I have stated already, the southern and middle part of Norway cannot compete with the extreme sea fishing offered in the far North where if you are in the right place 20lb cod are as common as roach in your local lake. However, bags of fish (dependant upon anglers skills, the "day", weather conditions, time of year and quarry intended and all the usual variables that make fishing exciting) per angler on my boat are likely to be ranging from 10-30lb for the "unlucky" individual on a "bad" day, to 150lb+ per angler for those individuals that hit the right spot at the right time. 40-100lb bags per angler for a days fishing are likley to be the "normal" if there is such a thing in angling. In just 4 hours my brother and myself took 200lb of Ling from a hot spot in Feb. this year, the largest as I have already stated was 46lb - we were also "into" a least five or six other "big" ling. Two weeks later some friends were on the spot, they took even more ling and had 3 in the 40lb+ range and a lot of 20-30lbers. Two weeks after this, the spot went entirely "dead". Such is fishing. My point being: is the level of sport I can offer at the prices I have "outlined" good enough? I cant and will not promise halibut galore and so much 30lb cod that you get fed up, but I can offer significantly better fishing than the vast majority of places in UK, for small private parties of anglers in scenery that is breathtaking - at a reasonable price. Or whats the opinion on this?

The prices of flights to Bergen (v. cheap), conveniance and accessability to Bergen from UK, and the flexibility I am looking to offer in the package at my end is where I think I am likely to score best when combined with the great fishing. If two blokes want to take thier wifes to Norway for a weekend, and sneak in some fishing, its possible. If the weather is nice and the ladies want to join in the fishing one of the days, its possible. If three blokes want to book the whole package and have the boat to themselfs, not a problem - either for me or their wallet. Accomodation is only 20 minutes by car away from the city centre, and 5 minutes away from the closest shopping centre, whilst the fishing grounds are simply on the doorstep. Could it get better if you want to mix fishing with pleasure or you simply want a blokes weekend angling without re-morgaging your house?

There is always a drawback however.
One of the big issues is the legislation and registration of the boat. To cut a very looong story very short, and to avoid most of the important details, the biggest drawback with the whole package is that the boat, and "skipper" will not be licensed in the british sense. Whilst there are clearly regulations for this type of activity in Norway, its simply not that simple to start this type of activity, furthermore, because Norway is one of the biggest boat owning nations in the world (per inhabitant) there is very little demand for chartered fishing amongst the local population. This means that you simply will not find a whole list of boats to charter here (you wont even find a short list), and the ones that can be coaxed into taking you out on a trip are not licensed, it goes by local contacts. I am a member of one of the most serious sea fishing clubs in Norway, and we hire in boats for competition purposes on a national level. Of the 10-12 boats we reguarly rent in, NONE of them are registered for passangers. Whats my point? My point is that my package will not be offering a registered boat for skippered fishing, and some sidestepping of regulations will be nessasary. How the UK angling public react to this is something I am curious about. Most likely the package is going to be paying for accomodation, with option of joining me on my personal boat for free fishing, in return for me getting the catch (taking bucket loads of cod back to UK simply is not happenning anyhow). Of course saftey, quality of service and fishing is not to be compromised, but if people are only going to jump onto the package if the boat is officially registered like in UK then there is a major sticking point here. Like I say, in Bergen I dont know of more than 1 boat that is registered for this type of thing, and access to this boat is difficult, club linked and not accessable for you lot (not easily at least). I would simply be starting a small fishing club, where members are welcome to join for a small token fee (5 quid) and then they will have access to fishing on my boat. I will have cirucmvented the aspect of licensing, and only take money for accomodation. Not exactly inspiring confidence in people prone to worry about these things, but at the same time this is the ONLY way I can get such a small operation up and running. I am sure that this may put off a lot of potential customers or whats the opinion on this? I play honest and open here, not trying to hide or fool people. You join the club, pay for accomodation, and we take a club trip paying only for the bait or diesel or something similar.

Anyway, its all getting a tad long and I am simply interested in hearing a few more constructive opinions before I go further with the idea - or not. I work as a scientist for the goverment in Norway, and am not intending on this being my bread and butter, I am just palying with an idea of partly financing my own boat, renting out my second apartment which is sitting empty, and joining in some fishing trips with English guests. At the same time the customer would get very affordable and easily accessable fishing with local guide and all in one conveniant package.

So, comments?

Kevin
 

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Keving,

If you are looking for reactions, I would be interested at some stage in in the future. From a personal point of view, provided safety precautions are in place, I don't think licences are that important.

Fred
 

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Have lifejacket will travel! If the fishing is as good as it sounds, & there is such a high boat ownership per head, if we sink there is bound to be somebody about to pick us up!
If it goes down so quickly we cant get a "Mayday" off, we wouldn't have got on it in the first place would we!
blueskip
 

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I am going to play Devils Advocate first. You are offering boat fishing on an unlicensed boat, if the worst were to happen and you sank I would immagine with he temperature of the water your survival time would be very short. Your Insurance company would have all sorts of reasons for not meeting your claim. I have no idea how the law works in Norway but would immagine that if one of your passengers was lost they would throw the book at you. You are to my mind leaving yourself open to financial ruin and possible criminal charges.


Now I hate rules and licenses myself and have a thought for you.

You are the expert on fishing Norwgian waters and are looking to use that knowledge to earn a living so why not offer Guided fishing in Norway the same as our Ghillies do for sport fishermen. You would be offering yourself as an expert guide to the area, techniques, bait collection and shore fishing You could also offer tackle hire along with accomodation and food. There could be the option to accompany you on a boat trip aboard your boat to put your new found knowledge into practise. You would have to make it clear that the boat trip is at no expense and at the fishermans own risk. The boat trip is then offered as a tool mutch the same as giving someone a lift to town in your car. The visitor would be paying for your time and knowledge as well as accomodation, but not for a boat fishing holiday.

I would also run the final proposal past your local sea fishing authority to check the legality of whatever you finally decide on.

Whatever you decide on I wish you luck, I think you have found a market, I just hope you can make it work.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi Chris,

You are correct in everything you state, and its something playing on my mind. I have been discussing with the authorities and colleagues and other similar businesses (sea rafting etc) and see that like you describe, there are potential loop-holes to get around problems of licensing etc etc etc.

I would like to point out that I have a considerable respect for regulation, especially when to comes to the sea. I am not a risk taking person or a "cowboy", and will not be placing myself or potential fishing companions at risk. Almost all of the places that I am thinking of fishing are inshore, and places that I have been exploiting in my 15ft open boat for the last 8 years or so! Yes, 50% of the fishing is done with land 360 degrees around, and at most 50% of it (in good weather only) would be done up to but not exceeding 1km offshore. GPS, radar, lifejackets and VHF.

Your suggestions about "dodging authority" are along the lines I am thinking. The angler will need to pay for accomodation, and the boat trip needs to be free, and I need the angler to sign on this. One method of dealing with this is to set up a club, be a member myself as would all others going onto the boat, and then the boat fishing is run non-profit and hence law is sidestepped. The only problem with this as for all other law dodges, is that IF the proverbial sh*t hits the fan, sidestepping is not going to help.

The funny thing here is that I can 100% ok rent out my boat to the anglers, with no problems or licensing needed whatsoever, but taking myself onto the boat is not so "simple".

Its my major sticking point and somewhat frustrating to deal with. I am in the process of discussing my ideas with a marine solicitor who can help, but at the end of the day, sidestepping the law is riskty business I understand.

Kevin
 

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Sorry missed this thread earlier as i have been travelling but i am thinking of doing something similar. The idea being to provide some accommodation with the boat thrown in free so as not to be taking a "fee" for the boat rental.
The issue of liability however will not go away in this day and age. I cannot contemplate taking third parties out fishing or just supplying the boat and gear for a bare charter without some sort of liability insurance. If one of your guests gets injured and cannot work ,for example, they will be forced to claim against you or their own medical or accident insurers may claim against you . (subrogation)This would not only put you out of business it would cost you personally potentially many thousands of pounds.The average public liability limit is now in millions! Not worth the risk. Of course as i will be in EEC my liability would be easy to pursue; you may be able to avoid some liability?? This is the reason so many so called pleasure activities are non starters because the insurance is unavailable or too costly.
Of course no insurer will provide cover for an unlicenced boat or unqualified skipper.
I am taking my RYA courses for boat and VHF to get a "ticket" but the insurance thing is still being investigated.
If i come up with a good solution i intend to post it here. I would love to get some of the forum members onto some guaranteed fishing with a package that entails turning up at Stanstead and forget about everything except catching fish, eating good food and drinking great beer.

Freddy
 
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