It is easy to start fishing in Finland. Angling with a hook and line, ice-fishing and herring fishing with a rig are exempt from licences under public rights of access. In addition, lure fishing with one rod is free of charge for people aged under 18 or over 64.
Other types of fishing always require fishing licences. People aged 18 to 64 must pay at least the state fisheries management fee, that entitles angler to fish with one rod and lure with the exception of river and rapids sites and other special fishing sites.
Photo: Jari Salonen
In the special fishing site of Kattilakoski Rapids in Ruunaa, anglers can rent the entire fishing grounds.
What licences do I need?
I'm going angling and ice-fishing with a hook and line.
You do not need a licence – with the exception of rapids sites, managed rainbow trout lakes and other specific sites.
I'm going spinning or trolling with one rod out on a lake or at sea.
If you are aged between 18 and 64, you'll need to pay the fisheries management fee. If you are aged under 18 or over 64, you don't need a licence. However, in order to fish on 'plant and fish' lakes, you'll always need a permit from the owner regardless of your age.
I'm going fly-fishing and spinning on river and rapids sites.
You'll need to pay the fisheries management fee (if you're aged 18 to 64) and obtain a permit from the owner of the water area.
I'm going trolling with more than one rod.
You'll need to pay the fisheries management fee (if you're aged 18 to 64) and obtain a permit from the owner of the water area. It is also possible to purchase a combined licence for many large lakes, covering the whole or part of the lake in question.
I'm going to fish with nets and traps and other standing tackle and to catch crayfish.
You'll need to pay the fisheries management fee (if you're aged 18 to 64) and obtain a permit from the owner of the water area. It is also possible to purchase a combined licence for certain large lakes, covering the whole or part of the lake in question.
Where can I purchase licences?
You can purchase the fisheries management fee to cover the whole year, for a period of seven days or for one day. You can pay for licences at R kiosks and on the Internet at https://www.eraluvat.fi/en as well as at Nature Centres run by Metsähallitus.
Owners' permits and combined licences are available at fishing tackle stores, petrol stations and information points. You can also use your mobile phone to obtain lure fishing licences for state-maintained waters sold by Metsähallitus, a state enterprise in charge of state-owned lands and waters.
Photo: Jari Salonen
Those aged under 18 or over 64 do not have to pay the state fisheries management fee.
What are the rules?
Regulations for a specific fishing site are usually available when purchasing a licence or on the Internet. In addition, national closed seasons and smallest permitted sizes will generally apply (see presentations of fish species), but there may also be diverging local regulations (see presentations of the water bodies).
Also remember to take other people into account. As long as you don't go fishing too close to an inhabited shore, you will avoid causing unnecessary disturbance.
What do licences cost?
It doesn't cost much to go fishing. A one-year licence for a lake usually costs a few dozen euros and rates for daily licences at rapids sites range from a few euros to a few dozen euros.
Fisheries management fee is 45 euros for a calendar year, 15 euros for the seven-day period and 6 euros for 24 hours.
Fisheries management fee need not be paid for fishing in Åland.