The smallest lakes freeze usually in late November and the bigger lakes in December. This signals the winter fishing season in the Finland. The ice-fishing season lasts 4–5 months ending in April. There are a lot of risks in this sport. Usually the fishermen walk on only a few inches of ice. Midwinter is the most difficult fishing season. The days are short and usually there is plenty of snow on the ice. The weather may be cold and the fish are quite passive then. The few light hours around noon are the best for ice-fishing in December and January. A special period starts in late January when about one month´s long burbot fishing season begins. Burbot can be caught from quite shallow water in the evening with special burbot jigs.
In February the days get lighter and longer and perch get more and more active. The best ice-fishing season now starts. The biggest perch are usually caught in late February and in March when there may be still snow on the ice. For instance the Finnish record perch of 21st Century, a specimen weighing 2.475 kg, was caught 12th February 2005 in the Tampere Region. The main ice-fishing catch is perch, but zander, pike and whitefish are also potential game species on certain lakes, as are salmonoids on ‘plant and fish’ lakes. The region’s waters provide almost endless opportunities for ice-fishing different kinds of cyprinids. The early season and the late season are the best periods. Just after the lakes have got a thin ice cover perch are usually active and the catch can be very good. Especially if there aren´t much snow covering the ice yet.
Ice fishing is not just a way to get food over the winter, its long history in Finnish culture. In the past 20 years ice fishing has changed drastically, it is more modern and the way of fishing has advanced with technology.
Thank you Dear Merja for this lovely card.