All text and pictures in courtesy on Team Kampela
Perch ”Ahven” (Perca fluviatilis)
The perch is our country’s most common fish and Finland’s national fish. It is found throughout the entire country, except in fell waters. Its diet is varied. The young eat water fleas and copepods, switching from aquatic insects to a fish diet. Fish becomes the primary diet once the perch has attained a length of 25-30 cm. Spawns in May, when the water has warmed to a temperature of 6-8 °C.
Pike ”Hauki” (Esox Lucius)
Next to the perch, pike is the most common fish found in Finland’s inland waters. The pike is undemanding concerning water quality. On the other hand, aquatic flora is essential for pike. The pike is a fairly local fish. It is also a predatory fish that eats fish 4-5 cm in length. Pike spawn in April-May immediately after the ice has melted. It is worth noting that all giant pike are generally females.
Whitefish ”Siika” (Coregonus lavaretus S.L.)
Many types of whitefish are found in Finland, all described by the same scientific name Coregonus lavaretus. In Finland, whitefish are found throughout the country, but not necessarily in every lake. Whitefish require cool water that is rich in oxygen. The diet depends on the type of whitefish. Those with fewer teeth are specialised in aquatic insects, whereas those with denser teeth feed on organic plankton. Whitefish spawn in the autumn during September-October when the water cools to a temperature of 2-5 °C. Whitefish are most often caught with nets, but they can also be caught with other gear such as jigs, seines and drum nets. A species of whitefish from Siberia (Coregonus peled), has been introduced in Finland, forming reproductive stocks in certain fish farming waters.
Bream ”Lahna” (Abramis brama)
This is one of the most polite fish in the Baltic Sea. It has become very popular in competitions, as it seems to love the pollution and increased alga. The best way to catch this handsome bony fish is to swim slowly in shallow water and look for bream eating crap from the bottom mud. Breams are often swimming in large flocks in depths of less than 1m. The catch varies from 500gr up to 2kg max. The best way to prepare this ”tikktaulu=dart board” is to smoke it. The greasy meat tastes OK this way. The stories tell that the native Finns used to make hats from bream by cutting the stomach open to cool down in the hot summers days.
Ide ”Säynävä” (Leuciscus idus)
This controversial fish has split the Finnish spearfishing crowd in two. Some love the catch as it gives easy points for waiting predators in shallow water with limited visibility. Others think that this has taken much of the sporty edge of competitions. Ide has become very popular in The Baltic Sea in the past 6-8years. An average Ide weighs 1-2 kg and rarely comes bigger or smaller. The best recipe to cook bream is to sprinkle some maldon sea salt on a bream lying on a bed of rucola and place in a paper bag. Then place the bag in compost for 6-8 months.
Burbot ”Made” (Lota lota)
Made is the only species of cod family found regularly in Finland. This slimly brown ugly fish usually lives in the rocky bottoms in depths of 10 to 40 meters. Made is active at nights and stay under rocks during the days. If you find one it is easy to shoot it because they are often blind. The best way to eat it is soup but you should only do it in wintertime because Made is full of worms and other parasites in summer.
Roach ”Särki” (Rutilus rutilus)
Roach is a rare catch in spearfishing. It gathers in huge flocks in July but the fish are rarely big enough. In night diving you can easily find bigger roach lying beside bass on the bottom on the sea. This is a good fish for getting bonus points but it’s pure luck to come by any decent sized individuals.
NOT A COMPETITION FISH!
Salmon trout ”Taimen” (Salmo trutta)
In Finland, salmon trout are found throughout the country, but are not found in every locale because salmon trout flourish best in clear and unpolluted waters. Salmon trout are separated into three ecological species: sea, lake and brook trout. Sea and lake trout migrate, but brook trout have not adopted this pattern of behaviour. When spawned in a river, salmon trout feed on aquatic macroinvertebrates and insects. At the sea and lake stages, fish is their most important food source. In the sea, the most important food sources are Baltic herring and stickleback; in lakes they are vendace, smelt and nine-spined stickleback. Throughout their lives, brook trout feed on insects, basic life forms, and even crustaceans. Salmon trout spawn in the autumn. The most common fishing gear used to catch salmon trout are nets, lures, dry flies, and when at sea, also drum nets.