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FINNISH MEDITATION

There seems to be no point in this peculiar wintery past-time. None whatsoever. First, you walk into a great white space over frozen waters in the middle of nowhere. Then, you make a hole through the ground below you, dip in a fishing lure and sit down to wait, sometimes for hours on end. You might feel that this is a take from a Jacques Tati or Aki Kaurismäki film – but no, this is the true essence of ice-fishing and it is what countless of Finns yearn to do every winter. We try to explain this love affair.

 

  • Ice-fishing is a state of mind

    The beauty of ice-fishing lies in its simplicity. A session of ice-fishing could almost be counted as a sort of meditation. Whilst waiting patiently for something to happen – and often nothing does – your mind clears itself unexpectedly and effortlessly. Infinity and silence are the key factors here. The spirituality is further enhanced by the strangely comforting idea of the vibrant underwater-life deep below the seemingly still and icy surface. Catching fish is a bonus, not the purpose.

  • Anyone can do it

    The basics of ice-fishing are very simple. All you need is a lake – or the sea – that is frozen. Even five centimeters of ice is enough to bare the weight of a human being. Once you’ve chosen your fishing spot, you need a core drill for making a hole in the ice and the fishing gear to catch the fish. That is all. Catching some fish is largely down to luck, although some experience can be needed for choosing the right spot: the direction of the wind and understanding how the fish behave around the year are central to this.

  • spring sun and hungry fish = killer combination

    Spring is the best time for ice-fishing. Not only is the spring-time sun warm and bright, reflected a-thousand-times from the white snow, fish are also more eager to eat your bait at this time of the year. For guaranteed bliss we recommend ice-fishing up North in Finnish Lapland, where idyllic fishing cabins are available for rent, right by a lake and with the ice-fisherman in mind. You will come back a changed man – or woman.

  • A different kind of city-break

    Finland’s waters are the purest in the world so heading for an ice-fishing trip is possible anywhere, even in the middle of big cities like Helsinki. Pack a thermos flask full of strong coffee and a few sandwiches in your bag and a perfect winter picnic is guaranteed.

    TIP: Keep an eye on the locals – they know the best fishing spots around the lakes and the sea.

  • Dress up warm!

    Having a warm set of clothes is perhaps the most important thing of all when it comes to ice-fishing*. It is better to have many layers of warm clothes and some additional ones in your bag too – after all, you are almost immobile for most of the time. Yet, we do also recommend changing your spot every now and then.

    *TIP: Some safety gear in the spring is also recommended as the ice begins to melt!

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