The fish stock of Lake Oulujärvi could be described as follows: salmonoids in the west, abundant pike and zander in the east. The zander is common enough in Paltaselkä to have surpassed the vendace as the point of interest for professional fishing.
Zander should be lured in the evening or at night near the edges of the deeps. The zander is a sedentary fish that spends almost its entire life in one area. Lure fishers have caught trout, for example, on the northern bank off Toukka Island and off the Siniluoto islet near the village of Koutaniemi; off Mutoudenniemi Point; in the deep water in Mieslahti Bay; and especially in the deep water at the mouth of the River Kiehimänjoki. Zander are also quick to bite in the Kajaaninjoki and Kiehimänjoki rivers.
Although the numbers of pike are high in almost every part of the open lake, the meatiest catch for lure fishers is around the islands between Hevossaari Island and Karhusaari Island, the Mäyräkari and Tiirikari shallows located north of Honkinen Island, and near other similar rocky shoals around the lake. Popular zander grounds such as Mieslahti Bay, the mouth of Jormuanlahti Bay and the northern bank off Koutaniemi Point, also yield pike. The lower reaches of the River Kajaaninjoki and Lake Paltajärvi are also renowned for abundant pike.
The trout is not as common a catch as in the open waters of Ärjänselkä and Niskanselkä, but salmonoids are attracted to the rivers draining into Paltaselkä. The fast-flowing Toukansalmi strait is a popular trout route.
The bays and bay mouths bordering Paltaselkä, such as Jormuanlahti Bay, yield ice fishing catches measuring up to tens of kilos. Popular ice fishing spots are found off Mieslahti harbour, the mouth of Mieslahti Bay, the western side of Maahonkinen Island, Melalahti Bay and Lake Sokajärvi.
The broad sandy lake floors are something of a desert for ice fishers, but fish are ready to bite wherever the smooth sand floor is broken. The area around Hevossaari Island is a good example of this.