Ice Fishing in Finland

by Tyler Rickabaugh, degree student in Environmental Engineering

Tampere winter horizont - ice cover of Näsijärvi lake with sight seeing tower Näsinneula

After hot July it is maybe hard to imagine that in few months the lakes offer an amazing environment for ice fishing!

Ice fishing is a long and deep history of Finland. It is known to be a public rights access, meaning that you don’t have to have a license to fish. All you need is a fishing pole, really warm clothes, a frozen lake, and a tool to break the ice.

The most important thing in ice fishing is preparation. You don’t want to get out to the middle of the lake only to realize you forgot something, or that you are under dressed. Always be prepared. Please note that you can spend several hours on the lake in freezing temperatures, so it’s going to get cold. If you are fortunate enough to know someone who happens to have a tent or hut that they use while ice fishing then it can make the experience that much better.

Common fish you will come across while ice fishing are perch and pikes. Pikes are a bit bigger fish and can really give you a good fight. Although both of the perch and pikes meat are a bit bonier than most fish, if they are cooked properly they can be really tasty.

Be sure to go out on the lake with a Finnish person who has experience. Ice fishing takes a bit of knowledge and experience. The last thing you want to do is get out into the middle of a frozen lake and realize you have no idea what you are doing. Also having the right kind of lures and bait will help as well. Again talk to a Finn first for some guidance on this.

Finally remember to bring alcohol! If you don’t catch any fish at least you can catch a buzz!

Have fun and remember to stay warm!

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