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Salmon - king of the major rivers


Photo: Veli-Pekka Räty
Big salmon are grabbed using a gaff. River Teno, mouth of River Levajoki. A bright migrating salmon snatched the LGH plug. The Nuorgam Pool, River Teno. Northern Finland offers great sites for anglers in pursuit of salmon. Gulf of Finland. Salmon lures for river fishing. Left vertical row: Karikko, Nils Master Spearhead, Joonas, two Wäylä plugs and Turdus. In the middle: Abu Toby, JK-Uistin, Kopsu, Räsänen and Salamander. In the right: for motor trolling for landlocked salmon Rapala X-Rap, Ottiviehe, LGH Muikku, Kapraali and baitfish rig.
Big salmon are grabbed using a gaff. River Teno, mouth of River Levajoki.

There are a few magnificent salmon fishing sites in Finland. River Teno produces more Atlantic salmon catches than any other salmon river in the world. River Tornionjoki is Europe's largest entirely natural salmon river, where the average size of salmon is 6 to 8 kilos.

Wild, naturally reproducing salmon are found in Northern Finland in Rivers Teno and Näätämöjoki flowing into the Arctic Ocean and in Rivers Tornionjoki and Simojoki flowing into the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea.

River Tornionjoki is a major stream flowing almost in a natural state on the border between Finland and Sweden. On River Tornionjoki, salmon are mostly pursued by trolling plugs on rowing boats. You can also fish from the banks. Anglers use spoons and flies on rapids areas.

Big rivers, big salmon

River Teno on the border between Finland and Norway is the most prolific salmon river in Europe and famed for its big salmon, weighing more than 15 kilos. The largest specimens weigh over 20 kilos. Salmon catches on River Tornionjoki have improved since use of drift-nets was prohibited in the Baltic Sea in 2008. River Tornionjoki yields plenty of 10-to-20-kilo catches.

The largest game fish also weigh over 10 kilos on River Näätämöjoki. River Simojoki is the smallest salmon river, where only fly-fishing is allowed. On other rivers, salmon are pursued both by casting from the banks and by trolling on a rowing boat. Northern salmon rivers are large and wide streams and their fishing environments are largely wilderness areas.

Photo: Jari Tuiskunen 
Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).
Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

In hot pursuit of schools of salmon

On the Baltic Sea coast, salmon are pursued by trolling. The peak salmon season on the Gulf of Bothnia starts in late May and continues through to mid-June. That's when schools of salmon migrating into the rivers that flow into the Bothnian Bay move northwards from the main Baltic Sea basin along the Finnish coast and more than 10-kilo fish are caught with trolling lures.

The Bothnian Sea and the Gulf of Finland are stocked with salmon from River Neva in Russia and these can be caught throughout the open-water season with trolling lures. On the Gulf of Finland, anglers troll for salmon out on the open sea beyond the archipelago.

Thanks to restocking, River Kymijoki offers good opportunities for salmon fishing in a more urban environment. The largest fish caught there weigh more than 15 kilos, enough to fulfil every angler's dream. Some salmon also migrate into Rivers Merikarvianjoki and Kokemäenjoki.

Photo: Kari Taimisto 
A bright salmon brightens your mood.
A bright salmon brightens your mood.
© 2013–2024

Distribution: Occurs naturally in the Baltic Sea and in four rivers in Lapland
Typical size: 2–10 kg
Record catch in Finland since 2000: 27,40 kg
Best season: 1.6.–15.8.
Statutory minimum size: 60 cm
Other notes: Minimum size 50 cm in Bothnian Bay. Closed season and catch quota vary by river.

Additional information