Winter fishing season 2018 - 2019
|My first ice fishing trip of winter season 26.11.2018 .|
|Ice fishing 8.12.2018|
|Christmas Pike 2018.|
|Lake Saimaa 24 February 2019|
|Some bait fishes caught for Ismete use.|
Weather Conditions of Winter 2019
You can find and explore useful information of the Finnish weather on this site:
Weather of past 30 days by Finnish Meteorological Institute
|Air temperature from mid-January to mid-February in the year 2019|
|Air temperature in February 2019|
|Air temperature in March 2019|
|17 February 2018. Appr. 20 cm of snow on hard ice cover, temperature -5 degrees of celsius.|
Ice thickness in southern Finland area!
|24 February 2019. Almost clear ice, temperature 0 degrees of celsius.|
During spring-time ice fishing season from mid-March to mid-April we normally have cold nights down to -10 degrees of Celsius as well as warm days up +6 degrees of Celsius. Morning and evening bites are the best for catching during this period.
The fishing rod in this picture is 33 cm long. Both the perch and the bream weighed over 500 g. Spring-time from the beginning of April is the season for good catches and big fish.
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 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|
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.
|Balanced ice fishing jig|
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.
|Ice fishing jig|
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.
|Tip-up fishing gear.|
On the day before there had been a big ice fishing competition for rainbow trout, namely the Finnish Championships with over 560 competitors. Fishing had not been good: only 56 competitors managed to catch any fish, and the winner got three fish in total.
Our next fish was caught also with tip-up gear before midday. Sharp-eyed Dima noticed the flag, which indicates bite, and soon the fish was landed.
We took a break to have a nice picnic by campfire in the middle of day. When we resumed fishing, we had our last trout action at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. This time the trout bit into one of Jari's special ice fishing jigs, but the fish was too strong and broke free after a 10-minute battle.
The day was quite difficult for active ice fishing, but still we were able to create action and contacts with the fish. The final result of our sunny day on ice: two trouts and three happy fishermen!
|Ice fishing 18 March 2016|
Our Fishing Guide Jari Kayhko did ice fishing in a radius of 3 km from our cottage by foot as well as in a radius of 30 km by car. He went through traditional angling places, known mainly to local ice fishing enthusiats. His catches were good every day in the morning and evening time. The caught perches were between 50 and 600 grams in size. As the weather was warm and sunny, making it easy to walk on ice, the conditions were perfect for having an enjoyable Easter time ice fishing holiday.