Fishing Trips on Lake Saimaa

Fishing Trips on Lake Saimaa

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas 2016 and fishing stories of the winter 2017 from fishing cottage Jokiniemi on Lake Saimaa





 I did ice-fishing with my family and with my sister's Brazilian friend Luiza, at our fishing cottage Jokiniemi at 23 December 2016.



All the fisherwomen caught plenty of fish, but Luiza and the smallest girl caught the most..... So we had many happy fishing ladies here today.


We did finalize our fishing day with a picnic by campfire.


At Christmas evening we did set up fire, enjoyed traditional Finnish Christmas foods and relaxed by having sauna.



On the last day of the year 2016 I did some “ismete” ice-fishing for pikes. First I caught some roaches and perches to be used as bait. After that I hooked an “ismete” rig for catching pikes. An “ismete” rig is formed of a metal leader and two pieces of single or triple hooks. I adjusted the hooks into the mouths and sides of the dead bait fish, and set a small line weight of 20 grams on to the line, to a distance of 40 cm from the bait fish. By using removable line weights I can freely adjust the free length between the weight and the bait fish. Then I dropped my bait fish and line weight combo through the hole to the bottom and attached the line to a bite indicator. Now I was able to hear and see when the fish were moving or eating my bait fish. It is important to adjust the break of the “ismete” gear to be loose, otherwise the fish can feel friction, become suspicious and spit the bait fish out of their mouth before hooking. The basic idea in “ismete” fishing is to allow pike to swallow the bait and then strike back to get it hooked, so you need to wait for a while before you make the strike. Quite often pikes turn the bait around in their mouth first, so if you strike back for hooking too early, you will loose the fish.

I started my fishing day after midday and continued it until dark. Smaller fish were biting well after midday, but I needed to wait until dark to get my first fish. It is normal that times of dusk in the early morning and late evening are the best for “ismete” fishing. If you start fishing early in the morning, it is a good idea to set your gears down before sunrise. We have several “ismete” sets available for the use of our cottage guests, if you are interested in trying ice-fishing. You can get good advice and tips for fishing spots from our cottage owner and fishing guide Mr Jari Kayhko.

In “ismete” fishing we can select the fish we want to keep for cooking and release the rest, as we do in open water fishing also. We lift the fish from the hole by line or by inserting our fingers under the gill cover (lip lock move). We do not use a landing hook in case we want to release our catch. When the fish is landed, we put it into a water-filled vessel (a plastic sledge or box) and use pliers to remove the hooks. If we want to release the fish, we measure and weigh it before putting it back to the lake (there are specific weighting bags for this in shops).


Active ice-fishing (regular ice-fishing in which you use ice-fishing jigs and short rods which you hold in your hand) is free of any fees and licences in most of parts of Finland. There are some specific fishing areas in which you need a licence for using active ice-fishing gear also.

For “ismete” ice-fishing you need to purchase a licence by paying the fisheries management fee of the Finnish state. According to the law the rod must be at least 1 meter long (typical “ismete” rod is 1.2 meter long). In the law there are no specifications for the reel, so we are basically using bait caster reels instead of pulling the fish up by grabbing the line with our hands. With this licence you can use one “ismete” set per fisherman.

You must notice that for using tip-up ice-fishing gear you need two licences. 1) the fisheries management fee of the Finnish state and 2) the bait fish licence of the local water area owner (“iskukoukkulupa”). Every single unit of tip-up gear needs to have their own licence. It is often quite difficult to find sellers for these local water area licenses, so I prefer “ismete” fishing more.

Regards, Jari

Fishing Reports of Winter season 2017 


In last weekend of February I did some ice-fishing for perch and roach with my old friend near the Russian border. The sunny day had the perfect conditions for fishing: the temperature was -5 degrees Celsius, we had high pressure, no wind and only 20 cm of snow on ice.

My original plan was to do “ismete” fishing for pike, but instead of that we decided to do active ice-fishing for perch and zander. The start of our day was quiet, with not many fish caught before midday. From midday on we had a couple of hours of good bites from perches. The biggest perch for me was the one in the picture. It weighed 280 grams and my friend cooked it for dinner.

I had a little bit of bad luck also. I had one very strong and promising bite in my mormyshka during our day. I was able to swim this mysterious big fish for 10 to15 seconds before it released – and of course my friend had the same destiny, dropping his fish the same way as I did. We will never know what species this big one was, but it was definitely not a pike. But of course, all things considered, we had a very pleasant day of mid-winter ice-fishing.




Waiting for open water season 2017 .....Posted February 2017.




Monday, December 5, 2016

Fishing on Lake Saimaa, October 2016

In October 2016 we welcomed a group of six experienced fishermen from the Czech Republic. This was their first visit to Finland and they picked our fishing cottage on Lake Saimaa for their destination. They liked our cottage so much that shortly after returning home they booked a new holiday with us for the autumn of 2017! Our guests were especially pleased with our well-equipped kitchen and our sauna.


Fishing Holiday on Lake Saimaa  1 -  8 October 2016



The first days of their visit were spent looking for the best fishing spots and the best lures. They caught pikes and perches every day and kept fish of the nicest size for cooking. On the third they they spotted a Saimaa Ringed Seal in the bay closest to our cottage – this was a massive stroke of luck as this fresh water seal is extremely rare!






During the first days of their holiday the wind was blowing from the north, which always makes fall-time fishing challenging. After that the wind turned to blow from the south and the west, which is always better for successful fishing. The last two fishing days were the best for our Czech group: on both days they caught 10 to 20 pikes, the biggest being from 80 to 90 cm in length.






Our Czech guests were very pleased with the fishing of pikes, but felt that fishing for zander and perch was challenging in the cold waters (8 to 10 degrees Celsius). They thanked our fishing guide Jari for all the help he gave in finding the best fishing spots and the most appropriate lures for their holiday of independent fishing on Lake Saimaa.

 

Mid-October on Lake Saimaa!

In mid-October I went trolling for pike, perch, zander and landlocked salmon on Lake Saimaa with a Russian family I knew from previous engagements. We started our fishing day after 9 am. with salmon trolling. Our expectations were high, as the weather was perfect for fall-time trolling and for spinning as well: it was calm and warm, with a slight wind blowing from the south. First we learned how to operate with 10 sets of trolling rods, talked about the best colours and swims for wobblers and spoons, and discussed weather conditions as well as other fishing issues the father of the family was interested to learn. This family owns a country house in Finland and they have been fishing with me a couple of times to learn more about fishing near their cottage.



We started locating flocks of smaller fish and predators hunting them, and eventually trolling took us over 10 km from our starting point. Fish of the salmon family were passive, but we were able to get several pikes while enjoying the beauty of the fall colours of the Finnish nature. The best bite was waiting for us after midday. In a period of less than two hours we were able to land and also release a lot of pikes as well as several zanders. We kept some of the catch for cooking a meal and released the rest. Our most significant landing was a zander of more than 50 cm in length, caught by son of the family. Overall, our fishing day was a success and I enjoyed the company of this nice family very much.


End of October 2016 on Lake Saimaa



In the last weekend of October we welcomed a charming young couple from France. Before their arrival I had arranged warm clothing, boots, fishing licenses and gasoline for our cottage boat for their use, so it was easy to start their fishing vacation. They successfully started their fishing vacation by spinning pikes near our fishing cottage, had a sauna and a good night sleep before our guided fishing day together.





We had a combined spinning and trolling day together near our cottage. The morning was cloudy, which made the weather feel cold, so we definitely had use for warm clothing. The beginning of our fishing day was quite difficult. Every time we stopped to do spinning, we were able to catch one or two pikes or perches, and this is why we changed fishing spots fast. After midday pikes started to bite like crazy. We were able to land and release several pikes in a period of less than two hours. We ended our fishing day before sunset and we all seemed to be happy with our fishing day. A couple months later our French couple made a new reservation for the summer of 2017 and sent us these regards: ”We are so excited to come back and see the cottage and the lake during summer time!!!”