Wolffish, also called sea wolves, are found along the entire Norwegian coast and in most fjords. As typical “demersals”, they have completely adapted their lifestyle to the ground. They will mostly stay in a sea depth of 20-500 m or even deeper. They are relatively quiet, lazy animals, that slowly change their location and do not track their prey over long distances. The wolffish is a rogue.

Informations about the wolffish


uo to 120 cm

up to 26 kg

Latin: Anarhichas spp.
Norwegian: Steinbit
French: Loup de mer
German: Seewolf, Katfisch
English: Wolffish, Catfish

Where to fish for wolffish

In Spring and Summer, wolffish stay near to the shore at depths of 15 m to max. 50 meters, where they can then be caught with basic rigs and natural baits. The more often the rig get tangles up on the underground, the greater the chances that wolffish live there!

Especially larger wolffish live as rogues, preferring stony to rocky areas with seaweed carpets. One finds the fish both in depths of 10-20 m and in much greater depths of up to 500 m.

Tip: If you continually catch shells when pirking for "cod & Co.", you’re fishing over a mussel bed. The chances of catching wolffish here are very good, so change the rig right away!

The most effective methods to catch wolffish

Wolffish are almost exclusively caught with natural baits. Often you’ll get lucky when using pirks - but only, if the hooks previously have been garnished with fish scraps, mussel meat or shrimps.
The bait must always be held just above the ground. Repeat to hit the pirk/sinker on the the ground with caution. This is important, otherwise you won’t attract wolffish. They bite rather carefully – if you feel a pull on the line, you have to give it time to take the (natural) bait. Set the hook sharply 2-3 times because wolffish have a very hard mouth. Ultra sharp hooks are required!

The most commonly used baits for wolffish fishing

Natural baits: fish scraps, mussel meat, shrimps, squid.

Wolffish are preferably caught with natural baits. There is a wide variety of rig styles, for example "garnished pirks". (Take away a treble hook from a heavy pirk of 200-500 g, instead use a 15-20 cm long nylon rig on a strong swivel. Mount with a stable sea hook and use fresh clam meat, herring or mackerel scraps, but also crab meat as bait). This rig can easily be used on mussel beds or rocky grounds. Use slow and easy pirking movements.
Often times, the hook with herring, mackerel or saithe scraps will already be attacked during the sinking phase.
Please try to use as fresh bait as possible.

Keep in mind when fishing for wolffish

If you catch a wolffish, you must use a stable gaff for getting it on board. Under any circumstances, do not try a “manual landing”. Wolffish bite wildly and do not let go of anything they get between their teeth. If a wolffish gets hold of your fingers, it will crush them with its strong teeth.
For loosening the hook, you have to use stable, long pliers to make sure that your fingers are out of reach for the wolffish.

Our recipe suggestion for you

Wolffish with gorgonzola sauce (4 persons)
600 g wolffish fillet, skinned and boned
Sea salt, freshly ground
White pepper
Lemon juice
12 tbsp(s) flour
100 g neutral vegetable fat (for example Palmin)
200ml vegetable stock
200 g gorgonzola
200 ml cream
100 ml dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Wash the wolffish fillets, pat dry, cut into pieces. Sprinkle with lemon juice and season with sea salt and white pepper. Turn in flour (the fish should be completely covered with a thin layer of flour), and fry gently in the heated vegetable fat. Turn several times until it is just cooked, use medium heat at most.
For the sauce, bring the vegetable broth to a boil and melt the crumbled gorgonzola in it. Add cream and white wine and let it boil. If the sauce is too liquid you can e.g. use flour to thicken it. Season with salt, black pepper and lemon juice according according to taste.

Serve with rice or fettucine, and broccoli.


Wolffish, sea wolve, fishing, fish species, Norway