Guide for travelling anglers in the Land of a Thousand Lakes 
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Other species - dominant, demersal and imported fish


Photo: Antti Koli
Vendace (Coregonus albula). Baltic vimba, also known as vimba bream (Vimba vimba). The Vanhankaupunginkoski Rapids, River Vantaanjoki.
Vendace (Coregonus albula).

Finnish waters are home to many other species of fish, some of which may also surprise lure anglers. In addition to the most common fish, some rarer and less appreciated species offer exciting fishing experiences to those well versed in fishing them.

Vendace and smelt

Vendace, however, come as no surprise to rod anglers. The small-sized vendace thrives in the mid-lake areas of large lakes, is the most significant game species for professional fishermen in inland waters and provides important food for predatory fish. Nobody has as yet discovered how to get vendace to bite a lure.

Even smaller than vendace, smelt (Osmerus eperlanus) is another dominant species in large lakes and another key source of nutrition for predatory fish. Smelt are also found in large numbers in coastal waters and they are sometimes eager to bite jigging lures.

Photo: Risto Jussila 
Bleak (Alburnus alburnus).
Bleak (Alburnus alburnus).

Several cyprinids

Bleak and silver bream (Abramis bjoerkna) occur in most large and medium-sized lakes in Southern and Central Finland. Chub (Leuciscus cephalus) and Baltic vimba (Vimba vimba) are found in some southern rivers and on the coast. The small-sized crucian carp (Carassius carassius) is the only species in many small muddy ponds. In the bay waters of large lakes, it can grow to weigh as much as a couple of kilos. Dace (Leuciscus leuciscus) occur in the pristine waters of Eastern and Northern Finland and on the coast.

Photo: Jari Tuiskunen 
Blue bream (Abramis ballerus). Form strong stocks in several lakes, but seldom snatch lures.
Blue bream (Abramis ballerus). Form strong stocks in several lakes, but seldom snatch lures.

Tench (Tinca tinca) live in lush and shallow bay waters on the coast and in several lush lakes in Southern and Central Finland. The warm summers of the early 21st century have been favourable to reproduction and growth of tench. In places, stocks are strong and there are plenty of individuals weighing a couple of kilos. Carp (Cyprinys carpio) occur as stocked fish in shallow bay waters and river mouths on the coast and here and there in the lush lakes of Southern Finland. The largest carp caught in Finland have weighed over 20 kilos.

Demersal fish and imported species

Flounder occur in the South and Southwest Coast, but not many people fish for flounder with rod tackle. Scarce stocks of eel (Anguilla anguilla) are found in many lakes, on the coast and in certain river systems. Plenty of eel have been restocked into a few lakes since the 1990's and anglers fish for them using a hook and line in places. Cod (Gadus morhua) occur sporadically in Finnish water areas and very few people fish for them.

Photo: Antti Koli 
Flounder (Platichthys flesus). The sea area off Hanko is the best flounder area in Finland.
Flounder (Platichthys flesus). The sea area off Hanko is the best flounder area in Finland.

Stocked lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) also known as lake char, can be found in Lake Inarijärvi. The species is a native of the Great Lakes of Northern America. A typical game fish weighs between half a kilo and two kilos.

Brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) are also migrants from America. They have formed naturally reproducing stocks in the headwaters of River Kemijoki, replacing natural trout stocks in the area. At present, the species is stocked into a few river sites in Southern Finland. A typical game fish weighs 200 grams in Lapland and just below one kilo in Southern Finland.

The spiny and slimy ruffe (Gymnocephalus cernuus) is a common by-catch when ice-fishing throughout the country, with the exception of Northern Lapland. There is no evidence of any ice-fishing angler using ruffe for food. However, Finnish canned food manufacturers do deliver delicacies prepared from this fish to the best lunch or dinner receptions hosted by the President of Finland. In the 19th century, Finnish ruffe were delivered to the Tsar's court in St. Petersburg.

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Typical size: 0,01–21.44 kg

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