Monday, 28 March 2016

Finland Part 2: Ice Fishing On Lake Inari

Lake Inari which is located north of the Artic Circle is the largest lake in northern Finland. Though frozen more than 7 months a year the locals have found a way to do fishing during this period of time. We participated in an excursion to learn how this is done. 
This activity costs around 140 Euro/pax. Because it was very cold out on the frozen lake we had to get into warm clothing which was supplied by the excursion operator (as in the Crab Excursion I participated in Kirkenes). The overalls were in a variety of sizes, children's size included.
Besides the overalls, there were the boots, the helmets and the gloves.
And this is  how we were made to dress for the outing.
We sat on a wooden sledge pulled by a snowmobile. This sledge sits about 10 to 12 people. Participants who wish to ride the snowmobiles instead of the sledge will have to fork out more.
We were in full gear and were soon on our way to the frozen lake.
I enjoyed this snowmobile ride as much as I did while in Kirkenes. 
Now looking back, I am missing this fun.
As soon as we reached our venue, one of the guides started to uncover a trap which was set prior to this outing. The location of this trap has been marked for easy identification.
 As he opened the door of the trap I could see the eagerness and curiosity on his face. I was sure he was anticipating a good harvest of trouts.
Another guide helped to scoop out pieces of ice floating on the water.
There was a little disappointment as not a single fish was hauled up that day.
Next, we had a guide to demonstrate how ice fishing is done for individual anglers. A drill as big as the one he was holding is needed to drill a hole through the top layer of the frozen lake.
 It was no easy task as the surface has hardened into a thick layer of ice.
A hole with diameter approximately 10cm was created and pieces of floating ice scooped out.  The angler can now fish through this hole.
A short fishing rod, a windable line and bait was used for angling.  Other things needed were patience, perseverance and a bit of luck as the angler waited for his catch.
It was soon our turn to drill our hole. I didn't have the stamina to do so and mine was actually drilled by the guide.
It was too tiring to squat so I sat on the snow. The overall was waterproof anyway.
While we were fishing, the guides took a breather. 
We were later served a cup of hot berry juice and some biscuits.
I waited and waited and after an hour decided to call it quits. 
We were getting ready to go back. Among the 20 of us, not one caught a fish that day. It must have been a very bad day but sitting on a snow covered frozen lake to try our hands at ice fishing is quite an unforgettable experience.
One more for the memory.

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