Fishing in Finland – What you need to know about permits etc.
As the land of a thousand lakes, Finland offers travelers versatile opportunities to catch various types of fish. Up to 10% of Finland’s surface area is covered by water. You can try and enjoy fishing both on the outskirts of the city and in the wilderness lake.
We have compiled here things that you should know before you start fishing in Finland.
Fish species in Finland
67 species of fish regularly live in Finnish waters. Of all the fish species in Finland, more than a dozen are common in sport fishing. The most common hobby fishing species in lakes and coastal areas are pike, perch and zander. Trout, grayling and salmon are the most sought after species in river areas and are also found in many standing waters. Whitefish, mate and various cyprinids can be found all over the country.
Most common fishing methods in Finland
Angling with hook and line is the most popular form of fishing in Finland. No wonder, because it’s an easy way to fish and there are fishing spots everywhere.
There are many shallow waters and the fish are easy to reach. The certainty of a catch is high on a good day, of course the local knowledge and the skills of the fisherman have a lot of influence.
Plenty of waters are suitable for jigging in Finland and many species are eager to catch the jig. Jigs have quickly become popular as casting lures for perch and zander. Jigging is fun and active fishing.
Trolling is a popular form of fishing that is perfect for Finland’s open water areas. In spring and late autumn, trolling enthusiasts fish for salmon and trout. In summer and early autumn, zander, pike and perch are caught.
Finnish rivers and lakes are wonderful environments for fly fishing lovers. The abundance of species and fishing areas offer opportunities for versatile fly fishing.
Ice fishing is the most traditional way of winter fishing in Finland. Although ice fishing requires patience, fishermen can experience the kind of peace of nature and peace of mind that is hard to find anywhere else in the world.
For many people, the tuning of crayfish traps to the darkening autumn evenings is one of the highlights of autumn season. Crab catches in the large lakes of southern Finland have increased a lot in recent years. The crabbing season starts on July 21 and ends at the end of October.
Fishing nets are efficient fishing gear and can be used for versatile fishing in all seasons. Species that are difficult to fish with other equipment are caught with nets. Typical net catches include some of the most common species in Finland’s waters, such as vendace, Baltic herring, whitefish, bream and burbot.
First, its good to know that hook and line fishing and ice angling are general fishing rights and do not require a fishing permit as defined in the Fishing Act. General fishing rights only entitle the angler to use one rod at a time when hook and line fishing, ice angling and fishing with a simple herring rig.
Foreign citizens and travelers have the same fishing opportunities and obligations as Finns. You can pay the national fisheries management fee and obtain fishing permits from Metsähallitus for state-owned waters where fishing requires a separate permit. The fisheries management fee is a statutory general fishing fee, which is valid everywhere in Finland except Åland. Metsähallitus fishing permits apply to state-owned waters.
Fishing permits are classified according to the fishing method:
– An angling permit allows lure fishing, fly fishing, ice angling or angling, depending on the terms of the permit area.
– A trap permit allows fishing with nets or traps.
– A crayfishing permit is also available for crayfishing. Metsähallitus also issues and sells fishing permits for residents of the municipalities in Northern Lapland.
The fisheries management fee
Required if you are 18-64 years of age and will be fishing with lures or traps or crayfishing. The payment of this fee is not required if you are only ice fishing, hook and line fishing or fishing with a simple herring rig. The fisheries management fee entitles you to fish in nearly the entire country using one rod. In some cases, however, anglers will require the permission of the owner of a given water area. Proceeds from the fisheries management fee are used to manage fishing waters and fish stocks as well as monitor fishing activity and provide advice to anglers. The fisheries management fee is based on the Fishing Act.
State-owned waters make commercial fishing activities possible in most regions of Finland. Persons intending to fish commercially must apply for a separate commercial fishing permit from Metsähallitus’ Game and Fisheries Planner.
Guidelines for responsible fishing
Each and every fisher is obligated to ensure the proper and respectful treatment of the fish they catch. Finnish law prohibits causing wildlife any unnecessary suffering. All fishers must therefore understand, as obligated by law, how to treat all fish they catch, regardless of whether they intend to release them or keep them for food.
Minimum catch sizes and protection periods
The minimum catch size is the shortest allowed length for a caught fish. Minimum catch sizes are set to ensure the sustainable use of fish stocks and promote the recovery of certain stocks. The length of a fish is measured from the tip of the jaw (with the mouth closed) to the tip of the extended and squeezed-together tail fin. Find more info about catch sizes and protections.
Links and contact information
Sources: Fishing in Finland, Metsähallitus, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland