The Catch of a Lifetime
A tenth of Finland is made up of bodies of water and almost a third of the country’s population fishes in their free time. This may explain why the vast majority of the country’s 500,000 summer cottages have been built beside lakes and ponds.
Fishing has a solid position in the Finnish cultural lexicon, with revered Finnish author Juhani Aho (1861-1921) famously describing fishing as an experience that left him “spellbound, intoxicated”.
You can’t disagree once you see the lake’s surface glistening in the early morning sun, inviting you to relax on the dock, enjoy the immaculate stillness and to then lure in perches from the surrounding waters.
Fishing is a year-round activity in Finland; only the fishing styles and species vary according to season. The vast and clean waters, a wide variety of species and beautiful lakes and rivers are attracting a growing number of fishing tourists to Finland.
Finland’s waters are home to about 60 species of fish, of which about 20 are actively pursued by fishermen. Leisure fishers often catch perches, pikes, roaches and pike-perch. Resilient whitefish are also popular among fishing tourists.
In the right environment, a pike can grow to 10 kilos, which can provide plenty of challenges for any fisherman. The pike season extends from May to November or December.
Angling with a hook and line does not require a licence in Finland, while a permit for fishing with a lure can be obtained for a small fee.
Arctic chars swim in cold waters
Finland’s pike-perch populations have notably strengthened over the past two decades. Lake regions in both central and southern Finland are the most optimal waters for catching pike-perch. Finland’s national fish, the European perch, thrives in lakes, rivers and oceans.
Grayling, a member of the salmon family, grows to an impressive size in north-western Lapland, the “arm of Finland”. The cold and deep lakes of northern Finland are also home to the delicious Arctic char, which is a sought-after food fish and is also caught by ice fishers. Those looking for a challenge can try to catch an Arctic char with fly fishing.
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