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.




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