Fishing is one of the most popular hobbies in Finland. Fishing is possible on most lakes, rivers, and sea areas. There are plenty of waters in Finland, so enthusiasts can easily select wilderness areas or locations in city centres for fishing.
Perch and pike are some of the most common fish that are caught. In some water areas it is also possible to find zander, whitefish, and salmonids.
How to get started
Angling and ice fishing are popular, and free in Finland on lakes, ponds and sea areas. Before going fishing, remember to make sure that the water area is not protected. You can check this on the kalastusrajoitus.fi service (in Finnish).
The most important permit for fishing is the Fisheries management fee, which is the standard fishing permit in Finland. The fee is required of all between the ages of 18 an 64 who fish. Once you have paid the Fisheries management fee you are allowed to fish on lakes, ponds, and sea areas with a single fishing permit. Before starting to fish, remember to make sure that the water area is not protected (www.kalastusrajoitus.fi, in Finnish).
Those who are under the age of 18 or over 65 are allowed to fish using a single rod without payment of a fee or a permit in water areas where fishing is not restricted.
The Fisheries management fee can be paid through the Eräluvat.fi service!
Special locations and special forms of fishing
Finland's waters offer experience also for those who want to try fishing in rivers or other special locations. For these locations a separate permit is required in addition to the Fisheries management fee, in order to help protect rare species. In rivers and special locations, it is possible to catch salmonids and whitefish, for example.
Species etiquette, responsibilities of fishing
Revenue from fishing permits in Finland is used to help maintain fish habitats. This means that the Fisheries management fee and the Metsähallitus fishing permits that you buy are investments into nature. The number of fishing permits that are sold depends on estimates by experts on how much fishing is sustainable for the fish populations.
In Finland several species of fish have minimum catch sizes (www.eraluvat.fi) to help secure continued reproduction.
Are services of cooperating enterprises available?
Fishing is easiest to start in the company of a guide. The guides (www.kalastusoppaat.fi) know the best locations, fishing methods, and the mandatory permits.
Recommended for fishing
Langinkoski rapids (www.eraluvat.fi) in Kotka, which is of historical significance for outdoor activities, is recommended for those who are interested in casting for salmon. Russia's Tsar Alexander III had a fishing lodge built here already in the 19th century.
The most popular fishing waters on state-owned land can be found in Eastern Finland, at Ruunaa Rapids (www.eraluvat.fi) in Lieksa. Grayling, brown trout, and rainbow trout can be found in the versatile rapids. The rapids at Ruunaa are constantly being upgraded to make sure that the populations of endangered brown trout and landlocked salmon can thrive. Wild trout and salmon are protected, but fish that have been stocked can be caught. Stocked fish can be identified from their cut adipose fin.