Fishing Trips on Lake Saimaa

Fishing Trips on Lake Saimaa
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Sunday, May 12, 2024

Stories of Fishing Cottage Jokiniemi vistors 2023 - 2024


Opening words by company owner Jari Käyhkö

Our company has been offering guiding services since 2010 as well as cottage accommodation and equipment for independent fishing since 2013. During the past decade fishing culture has changed a lot in our area of Lake Saimaa towards a more sustainable and protective way of fishing. It has been a new path both for me and many of our visitors.

Wild Landlocked Salmon, Brown Trout, Lake Trout and Grayling are endangered species in Lake Saimaa area. These species have been widely protected by the Finnish fishing law and protection acts since 2016. The fine for killing a protected fish species can be up to 8 000 euros. Our company organized our last trolling trip for catching landlocked salmon in 2014. All the fish we caught were released.

Jari and 4 kg landlocked salmon caught october 2010. In the year 2012 I caught my last personal Salmon fish killed. In the year 2014 I organized the very last fishing trip for catching salmonids on Lake Saimaa so far.

The most wanted game fish species in our area are Pike, Perch and Zander. We do follow daily fishing amount and fish size quotas when fishing these species. I have been proud to notice that pretty much all big pikes over 100 cm long as well as perches over 40 cm long and zanders over 75 cm long are released by our visitors. They keep the smaller fish for cooking.

So far the biggest pike released has been 118 cm long, zander released 80 cm long and pech released 43 cm long. I want to thank all these groups for sharing our company values and fishing philosophy.   



I want to thank all our visitors of the past decade who have been following our company values of sustainable fishing.

Last February I ordered a Garmin Livescope system, which was delivered in mid-March and finally assembled ready for use near Easter and the last couple of weeks of our ice fishing season. I bought all the accessories ready-made when possible, but some components I was forced to build myself, as well as putting it all together.

First trips on ice were basically for learning how to use and adjust the device. I did not make many changes to the factory settings, which made the start relatively easy. The hardest part was learning how to read the screen. I did find this device very useful in locating the fish, as its wide 25–30 meter beam makes it faster to find the fish than with a normal ice fishing sonar. Naturally we still need luck and basic knowledge of fishing to catch, but the device made winter fishing much more visual for me.



My Live sonar winter set up.

In May it was time to put it all together in my boat, which meant another intensive adjustment project and manufacturing some parts I needed. After a couple of days of hard work I was finally ready to start the open water learning process. My first mistake was to try adjust settings while my boat was moving 5-6 km per hour. I was basically trying to adjust the device to be as sensitive as possible, but reflections as well another disturbances made reading the screen very difficult. As a typical man I went to YouTube to watch some instructional videos later on. They helped a little and finally in the beginning of August I was able to get as clear a screen as possible for fishing in deep water of over 4 meters deep. From now on it was relatively easy to see the lure hitting the water surface and sinking near the bottom, as well as how the fish were reacting to the lures I and my clients were using. The device works best when there aren’t much waves, because the boat chassis rolling constantly from side to side makes it difficult to follow the lure. There are also some dead zones in which the sinking lure disappears. All in all I am very happy with this device. It has taught me more about underwater life and made fishing much more visual and effective both for me and my clients. But yes, it has also made us live some very annoying moments when the fish have been very picky and we have seen them come to check our lures only to turn away without a bite!


This 45 cm zander was located and caught by using Live sonar during Easter 2024.


May for Fishermen

Most often Lake Saimaa is open of ice by May 1st. Sometimes it can take until May 5th–7th for the ice to melt, but there have also been years when the lake was free of ice on the last week of April. In the year 2024 Saimaa was open of ice 3 rd May.

The first and second weeks of May are normally cold and challenging for catching. Bite periods are short, less than one hour. The best times for catching are mostly in the morning before 9:00 and once again in the evening after 17:00. There is 20 hours of daylight for catching this time of the year. Water temperatures vary from 3 to 8 degrees Celsius.

This is the season for catching pike and perch in shallow water less than 3 meters deep, but deep pools down to 9 meters deep can also give good size pikes. Catching zander by spinning is very difficult during this period, but occasionally you can catch them by trolling near the water surface on deep water areas of 10 to 30 meters deep, when the fish come looking for the warmest water column.

The last three weeks of May are easier for catching as the water gets warmer and makes the fish more active. Water temperature rises to 6–15 degrees Celsius. Biting periods get longer and we get much more action in pike and perch fishing. Cold north winds can still make fishing very challenging, but if we get sunny and warm weather with south to west winds, fishing will be very good. Sunny and warm weather seems to be the key for happiness in May time fishing.

Soft baits for catching perch can be very small, less than 3 inches long. Drop shot spinning works well, as do spinners and blades. For pike fishing we can recommend 12 cm or longer wobblers as well as 10–20 cm long soft baits or jerk baits. Big spoons work also. One lure that works nicely is the good old Rapala Minnow spoon.


 June 2023


 It sure was a great pike fishing week 5 - 11.6.2023 for our Czech visitors in warm & beautiful weather. Biggest pike caught was 109 cm long. Sun and warm sure did make fish active. Thank you for your very first visit in Finland, looking forward to meet you again.






 In the mid-June our old German visitors had great fishing during their 9 day fishing vacation. Very hot weather during their stay was nor best possible for catching big pikes, but perfect for great perch and zander fishing. 


In the last week of June 2023 we had a Romanian fisherman group staying in our cottage for their fourth time. They did most of their fishing during evening / night or early morning due very hot weather & bright nights. They did great in zander fishing. Their biggest zander caught was 70 cm long.

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