Lake Oulujärvi









Pike perch


Pike the surest catch

For the summer holidaymaker, the surest catch will be pike. The pike population of Lake Oulujärvi is abundant and fairly evenly distributed throughout the lake. This is the most common lure fishing catch. The number of pike in the lake is illustrated by the fact that those intending to win at the European Pike Championships must lure some 100 kilos of pike in a day. Luring pike is always worthwhile because the species is not fussy over weather, and can be enticed to bite even in the heat of midsummer. In the summer, small pike live close to the shore, while the whoppers measuring 5 kilos or more chase vendace in the open lake, and are usually caught using larger lures.


Zander is king

Lake Oulujärvi has a healthy zander population. The best fishing grounds are found in the eastern parts of the lake, where zander are caught even more frequently than pike. Belonging to the same family as the perch, the zander is a mild-tasting and delicious fish. The catch usually weighs from one to two kilos, but larger specimens are also frequently encountered. Lake Oulujärvi lake provides excellent conditions for zander. The zander diet mainly consists of smelt, of which there are hundreds of tonnes in the lake. With the exception of a smelt festival held in Paltamo each spring, smelt in the lake are hardly fished.

The zander thrives around the underwater slopes of the open lake, and in fast-flowing straits. Zander is an excellent catch for summer holidaymakers. In the summer, it spends the daytime close to the lake floor, but when the night falls, it rises to the surface waters to prey on schools of smelt, making it easy to lure from an ordinary boat using standard topwater wobblers.

Travellers can easily learn about lure fishing for Lake Oulujärvi pike and zander by going on a fishing safari, for example to the open mid-lake waters of Paltaselkä.


Vendace and trout

Lake Oulujärvi provides good vendace fishing grounds, vendace being the most important table fish in the region. In the best years, Lake Oulujärvi yields almost 400,000 kilos of vendace, sold throughout Finland. The rich vendace population in Lake Oulujärvi allows trout to grow rapidly and guarantees a high-quality, fatty fish. There are also tonnes of smelt in the lake that are suitable for eating.

The most popular spots for trout luring follow long sandy beaches. Fish prefer to stay close to the steep slopes on the edge of the open lake. Lake Oulujärvi is ideal for trout lure fishing in early summer and in autumn. The trout catch usually weighs from one to two kilos. The choice of lure should be informed by the fact that finger-length vendace are the trout’s favourite dish. Lines and knots should be selected knowing that tens, if not hundreds, of giant trout are caught in the lake every year.




A lure fishing licence is personal and covers the entire lake, with the exception of waters belonging to the Säräisniemi and Niska fishing associations (indicated on the map). 10 rods limit on the number of lures or rods.

Lure licences: €10/day (24h), €20/week (7 days), €30/calendar year.

Licences are now directly available online:

Places where lure licences for Lake Oulujärvi may be purchased: Shell Kontiomäki (Kontiomäki), Neste (Paltamo), K-Market (Vaala), Seo-Otanmäki, the Ihme café, (Jaalanka), the Manamansalo camping area (Teeriniemi), Ase ja Optiikka Korhonen (Kajaani).


Minium size for zander 45 cm


For further information, please contact:  jaakko

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