Guide for travelling anglers in the Land of a Thousand Lakes 
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Lapland Finnish Lake District West Coast South Finland, Archipelago

Lake Lappajärvi - the inland sea of South Ostrobothnia


Photo: Hannu Oksa
Large open water area of Lake Lappajärvi.

About 77 million years ago, a meteorite measuring almost half a kilometre in diameter crashed into the South Ostrobothnian soil. The impact obviously created a huge explosion, but also a strikingly good fishing site – Lake Lappajärvi.

Depth chart (zoom in to view depths).

Known as Finland’s largest crater lake, Lake Lappajärvi is also an exceptionally large water body in the South Ostrobothnia region. The vast open mid-lake area with few islands creates a maritime atmosphere, as the opposite shore disappears beyond the horizon. The maximum depth of the lake measures 38 metres, which is also pretty exceptional in these otherwise flat lands.

Photo: Mikael Luoma 

A diverse range of fish species

Lake Lappajärvi is part of the River Ähtävänjoki water system and, due to the soil characteristics and functions of the catchment area, its water is fairly eutrophic and clearly coloured by humus. Therefore, as a species that prefers dim conditions, zander thrive in the lake splendidly and catches are good regardless of your approach.

Perch also grow big in this lake, especially attracting jigging and ice-fishing enthusiasts from far and wide to pursue these ample ‘razorbacks’ to fill their smokers. The slopes of the lake’s numerous shallows gather schools of perch; however, the largest specimens can generally be found in the surface layers of mid-lake waters.

Photo: Mikael Luoma 
Ice fishing is popular fishing method on Lake Lappajärvi in winter and early spring.
Ice fishing is popular fishing method on Lake Lappajärvi in winter and early spring.

There are plenty of smelt in Lake Lappajärvi and its stock of vendace is also quite good at present. These small and nutritious species create good growth conditions for brown trout. Research also shows that the restocked specimens of brown trout, released into the lake from time to time, have increased their girth at a rapid pace. When trolling for salmonoids, it’s a good idea to turn the front of your boat towards the edges of the deep on the western side of the lake.

The golden season for ice-fishing enthusiasts in pursuit of burbot comes in January-February, when the reedy shallows of the lake yield the ingredients for burbot soup without much effort. You should also prepare for large specimens, as five-kilo fish are not enough to make the local papers. The ice-fishing season on burbot spots also continues even after the spawning period. That’s when you switch to a small mormyshka jig on the end of your line to haul whitefish feasting on the spawn to the better side of the ice cover.

Photo: Mikael Luoma 
Zander thrive well in Lake Lappajärvi.
Zander thrive well in Lake Lappajärvi.
© 2013–2024
Area:145 km²
Length:24 km
Shoreline:160 km
Mean depth:7 m
Maximum depth:36 m
Number of islands:56
Game species
Brown trout

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