Lake Saimaa is the fourth largest lake in Europe
in Finland is the fourth largest lake as well as the largest contiguous lake district in the whole Europe. It is a national treasure of over a hundred lakes and thousands of islands, a unique collage of big open lakes, steep rocky shorelines and an abundance of islands.
The vast Saimaa archipelago has more than twice the length of shoreline that Brazil has, and the area is also under consideration to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. One of the rarest freshwater seals, the Saimaa Ringed Seal
, lives only at Saimaa.
The lake basin of Lake Saimaa is well-known for its salmonids.
Landlocked salmon and brown trout are the most revered and
sought-after fish of the area. To learn more about sustainable fishing
of these species on Lake Saimaa, you can visit the website of the Lake
Saimaa Salmonidae Project.
I will offer you another perspective on the size of fish caught in
Finnish lakes by spinning and trolling, by showing you the
measurements of the biggest fish caught in a very popular Finnish
fishing cup. The cup consists of catch-and-release fishing events in
which competitors are after pikes, perches and zanders only. The fish
are released back into the water alive after taking a photo of the
length of the fish and another photo in which the fisherman poses with
the fish he caught. The competitors are trying to catch 3 perches, 2
zanders and 1 pike as big as possible. The lengths of these 6
individual fish are added together and the team with the biggest total
sum of lengths wins. This competition cup runs from May to October
every year and it gives us statistics on the size of fish caught by
experienced competing fishermen here in Finland.
Read complete article here!
Fisherman’s calendar of Lake Saimaa
Winter time is for Active and Tip-up Ice Fishing
Ice cover usually begins to form in the beginning of December on the shallow parts of Lake Saimaa, but the best ice fishing times on the whole Lake Saimaa area start in mid-December. The early season until the end of January is very good for active and tip-up ice fishing of pike and perch. The ice fishing season of rainbow trout starts in the beginning of January and ends in mid-April. From mid-January to the end of February we do ice fishing for burbot. Spring fishing from the beginning of March to mid-April it is the best season for ice fishing of pike, perch, roach, bream, whitefish and zander on Lake Saimaa.
Spring Time Angling and Spinning
Water areas near our fishing cottage are free from ice usually around the 1st of May. The waters right in front of our cottage are only max. 2,5 metres deep. This means that the waters warm up quite fast in spring, which attracts small fish to do their eating and spawning there in May, which in its turn attracts bigger carnivorous fish to turn up and eat the small fish. The most effective methods for catching fish in the beginning of May are spinning, worm angling and fresh bait angling.
Big Pike Fishing for Early Summer
I have been fishing for over 30 years on these waters and I have learned that the period from the beginning of June to Midsummer (which will be on June 25th in 2016) is very good for big pike fishing near our fishing cottage. This is due to the coldness of the waters and the end of spawning period, which makes big pikes hungry and ready for catching. There are also plenty of smaller pikes hunting in shallow water, which makes fishing very active with lots of biting and actual catches.
Zander Fishing and Bright Nights of Midsummer
The last week of June and the first two weeks of July are good for catching zander near our fishing cottage. After mid-July zanders will start to move towards the streaming water areas in the distance of 5 - 6 km from our cottage and also to the big lakes of the Great Saimaa lake system, such as Paasselka, Orivesi, Savonselka and so on. Big pikes do the same and both zanders and pikes will be more often caught from the deeper areas or bank slopes of the big lakes of Saimaa in the daytime.
Sunny Summer Days & Warm Nights on Lake Saimaa
In Finland July and August are the best months for fishing on Lake Saimaa due to warm waters and often very warm or even hot weathers. There are plenty of fish about and you can fish around the clock if you wish, thanks to our light summer nights. Big perches normally move to the shallow waters in mid-July and they can be caught there in the daytime during a period of a couple of weeks. If you do late evening / early morning or night time fishing near our cottage, you will be able to catch zanders and pikes from the shallow waters as well. The best season for night-time fishing on Lake Saimaa continues from Midsummer until the end of August.
Fall Colours and Perch Flocks in September and October
The weather is still warm in late August and early September, making it great for picking berries and mushrooms near our cottage as well as fishing for perch and pike. The beginning of the season of fall colours, from mid-September to the beginning of October, is excellent for catching big pikes close to our fishing cottage. The season of fall colours will last until mid-October. From the beginning of October bigger perches start forming flocks in the deeper water areas of Lake Saimaa. Bigger pikes are also moving to deeper water areas to hunt vendace, which have their spawning season from mid-October to mid-November.
Landlocked Salmon and Brown Trout of Lake Saimaa
The minimum landing length of Landlocked salmon and Brown trout on Lake Saimaa area is 60 cm. Due Finnish law, it is forbidden to kill any wild landlocked salmon or brown trout species with adipose fin.
• Landlocked salmon and Brown trout of 60 cm are weighted from 2 to 2,4 kg`s.
• Average size of Salmon caught on Lake Saimaa is from 2 to 5 kg`s. Salmon of over 6 kg are concidered big. On Lake Saimaa the max size of Salmon can be 10 - 12 kg`s.
• Average size of Brown Trout caught on Lake Saimaa is from 2 to 5 kg. Brown Trout of over 5 kg are concidered big. On Lake Saimaa the max size of Brown Trout can be 9 - 11 kg`s.
Pike, Zander and Perch of Lake Saimaa
• Average size of Pike caught on Lake Saimaa is from 1.5 to 5 kg. Pikes of over 6 kg are concidered big. On Lake Saimaa the max size of Pike can be 14 - 18 kg`s.
• Averagel size of Zander caught on Lake Saimaa is 1 to 3 kg`s. Zander of over 4 kg are concidered big. On Lake Saimaa the max size of Zander can be 9 to 12 kg.
• Average size of Perch caught on Lake Saimaa is 200 to 800 grams. Perches weighted over 1 kg are concidered big. On Lake Saimaa the max size of Perch can be 2 - 3 kg.
Fishing areas on the northern parts of Lake Saimaa
We operate on the areas of Northern Karelia
(towns/villages of Joensuu
) and Southern Savonia
(towns/villages of Savonranta
in Savonranta is a lake that lies in a crater caused by a meteorite millions of years ago. It is known nationwide as a great salmon lake but it’s also good for pike, perch and zander.
on the border between Savonranta and Rääkkylä are known as fine zander fishing areas. They are also good for pike, perch and ide.
are known for their big zanders, but also for pike and perch.
In Liperi, Lake Ukonselkä
is known for big pikes, and lakes Jänisselkä
are good for catching zander and perch.
in Joensuu is a fine area for zander and perch. It is also conveniently near to the many shopping and accommodation services of the town of Joensuu.
Raikuu canal – a hidden treasure
Raikuu canal is one of the canals, that was made by local people more or less in the middle of the 1700 -century. Later by general Suvorov's order canal was expended about 200 years ago. Suvorov was responsible of border between Sweden ja Russia of those days. Suvorov wanted to ensure the service lines from Olavinlinna (in the city of Savonlinna) to Lappeenranta, where was the fortress of Lappeenranta.
In the second world war canal was part of the huge fortress called Salpalinja or Salpa Line. Salpa Line was built between the Winter War and Continuation War to defend Finland against Soviet Union. Line was totally 1200 km long.
Nowadays canal is not an official boat route, but it is legal to go trough by one's own risk. Canal is very shallow and narrow. Smallest depth is 80 cm and most narrow point is 3,5 m. That means, that only small motorboats, jet skis, canoes and rowing boats can go trough.
There was a time when locals living around Lake Paasselkä (earlier - Paasivesi) did not turn much attention to the lights howering above this large lake. Paasselkä Devil was just a play of spirits, who should care about them?Nowadays, when people have no logical explanation to existance of spirits and ghosts, this light phenomena is very intriguing. It is observed rather often nowadays as well.
Specialists had a supposition that the large, deep Paasselkä lake has been formed by meteorite. Geological investigations in 1999 proved it - this enormous depression was created by a large meteorite hitting the Earth approximately 229 million years ago, in the middle - late Triassic period. Paasselkä lake has roughly circular form and has no islands in central part, it is unusually deep - up to 75 m. Through several channels this lake is connected with other lakes of this area, forming a part of the picturesque Greater Saimaa complex.
Light balls over the lake
Light phenomena over the Paasselkä lake have been observed for centuries (mentioned in written sources since 18th century) but in recent years the interest was revived by a wonderful book of the enthusiast of local history Sulo Strömberg. This book, issued in 2006, contains a collection of the stories of eyewitnesses who have seen these lights.
Eyewitnesses tell that Paasselkä devil can be seen at night and looks like a ball of bright light. It is not easy to determine the size of these formations: for most part they are seen in great distance, howering above the lake. It is assumed that they reach a size of football.
For most part these balls are white, also red ones have been seen. Eyewitnesses tell that the light is very bright, much more powerful than the distant lights of car headlamps, driving along the lake.
In most cases they are seen over the lake, but there are cases when these lights have been seen also in nearby forests and marshes. For most part is seen one light, but there might be several.
Paasselkä devil can be calm, resembling a bright lantern. But these seemingly calm lights might start to move around very quickly.
Local people report that sometimes these lights behave as if they have their own will. They might follow the boats of fisherman, it has been also observed that lights evade from the beam of torch.
Thus once, in the beginning of 20th century a group of people were returning with a boat from a wedding. They noticed the light howering above the lake and decided to approach it. As they did it, the light moved away for several hundred metres very fast and was standing calm again.
In earlier times local people considered that these are some evil spirits, there are known cases of offerings to Paasselkä devils up to early 20th century.Nowadays several tourist companies have included "watching of Paasselkä Devil" in their tours, as additional attraction to the usual fishing tours. From time to time tourist groups report about sightings of this phenomenon, there are taken images and videos.Convincing explanation to this phenomenon has not been found. There are attempts to explain these lights - like the old and multiple times disproved theory about some easily ignited gases rising from the sediments of lake or some rare piezoelectric effects.