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Ice Fishing And Skiing Finnish Championships in Pertunmaa on 4th March 2023
Finland is a country of many strange contests. One of them is ”Pilkkihiihto”, a race that connects fishing and cross-country skiing. Ice fishing & skiing (Pilkkihiihto) is a competition that has never reached the masses. Anyway, it is still alive and well with a history of almost 50 years. This year's Finnish Ice Fishing & Skiing Championships will take place on National Skiing Day on March 4. The contest will be arranged in Pertumaa on Lake Pienivesi.
The rules of Pilkkihiihto are simple; after a mass start and a short skiing, competitors start to ice fish. After one has got his or her first fish, he or she will ski along the ski track towars the goal area with the fish. It is allowed to put fish in a waist bag or plastic bag or, as the original purpose was, ski with a fish in a mouth! Competitors will leave their fish at the goal area under supervision and then go fishing for another fish. The skiing round is about one kilometer long. The contest period is two hours and the winner is who has skied more fishy rounds than others.
Pilkkihiihto was invented in the middle of 70's, when late Antero Rusanen got an idea of the special sport in Mäntyharju. Ice Fishing & Skiing contests have been mostly held in eastern part on the country. A special summer competition, the Fishrun (Kalajuoksu) is also arranged in Finland.
The Finnish Ice Fishing Championships (without skiing!) will take place on Lake Nuasjärvi in Sotkamo on March 25, 2023.
Ice Fishing And Skiing Finnish Championships 1986 ‒ Yle Archives
Pilkkihiihto Facebook Pages
Ice Fishing Finnish Championships 2023 Sotkamo
Photo: Ice fishing does good for health and mind. In early spring it is fabulous to go kilometres on a flat ice by foot, skiis, kicksled or bike and find the secret distant fishing spots. Fishing is exciting and when there is a fishing contest going on, feeling is thrilling, when the ice auger hole is in the right place for once and the spot is full of hungry perch. Photo: Ismo Kolari.
A wide variety of fishing-related events are organised in different parts of Finland, allowing you to take part in exciting competitions, sample fish delicacies and check out the latest tackle innovations.
Photo: Jari Tuiskunen
Helsinki Angling Marathon, ‘Stadionki’.
Exciting fishing competitions
Finns are a competitive race and fishing competitions have long traditions. Competitions are organised around the themes of ice-fishing, angling, trolling, spinning and crayfishing. Ice-fishing competitions attract the highest number of people; numbers of participants in the largest competitions run into thousands.
Especially popular summer events are the hundreds of trolling competitions, the largest and most well-known of which is the 24-hour rowing marathon, the Puruvesi Salmon Championships, organised in Kesälahti. The River Teno Salmon Championship is resolved by trolling a big salmon from this majestic stream of Upper Lapland.
Photo: Lentokuva Vallas
Ice-fishing enthusiasts spread out on the ice like ants during the Lake Kallavesi Finnish Championships.
The European Championships in salmon trolling, held on the Gulf of Finland, bring plenty of participants and spectators to Helsinki. Every year, Lake Oulujärvi hosts the European Championships in pike trolling, while the World Championships in zander trolling, known as Rönnin Veto, take place on Lake Längelmävesi. The solemn names of events, such as ‘World Championships', demonstrate Finnish anglers' ardent zeal – and sometimes quite considerable fanaticism – about their pastime. Many competitions are open to all interested participants.
Photo: Petteri Kontila
A trolling competition on Lake Rahajärvi, Inari.
Delicacies at fish fairs
About 50 fish fair events are organised every year, offering a diverse range of delicious fish dishes to be enjoyed on the spot, fresh fish and various preserved fish products, accompanied by plenty of additional entertainment. The largest events are the Helsinki and Turku Baltic Herring Fairs organised every autumn and the Tampere Fish Fair, held every spring and autumn.
Fish fair calendar (in Finnish)
Photo: Veli-Pekka Räty
Fish fairs offer fried vendace and many other fish delicacies. Tampere Fish Fair.
Brand new tackle at hunting and fishing fairs
Fishing and nature enthusiasts gather at hunting and fishing fairs, a few of which are organised every year. The most well-known events are the Riihimäki International Sportsmen's Fair, the Northern Finland Outdoor Life Fair in Oulu and the Savo Wilderness Fair in Kuopio. The fairs present a diverse range of tackle, clothing and travel offering and, naturally, the latest product innovations.
Photo: Petteri Kontila
Kuopio hosts the Savo Wilderness Fair every other year.