Winter nets

It is an honor to introduce our new guest pen: Teemu of Savitaipale! //Anne

Teemu is a starting adventure tourism entrepreneur from Savitaipale. Teemu’s calendar is full of wilderness guide studies, said entrepreneurship and family. Teemu’s stories are all about how the studies give him ideas he can utilize in real life.

Winter nets

Whatever you do, don’t put nets down in wintertime. I mean, that requires real love for the sport.

Those were more or less the words of encouragement I received after telling people I had put down winter nets into Kuolimo lake. So yeah, I was hesitant and almost gave up but there was just something about the concept that fascinated me. And one thing lead to another.

But I didn’t get into this just for fun.

I’ve been an adventure tourism entrepreneur for a year now. Going through different packages I had a vision of Chinese tourist group on the Kuolimo ice, experiencing the wonders of fishing.

Whether that vision will come true, remains to be seen. But for now, I need two days a week to check up on the nets,  with or without the Chinese.

Up until now I’ve always gotten my fish from fishermen I know so I can handle those rascals. Then again I had no equipment to catch any of my own so I had to buy everything from a department store in Lappeenranta.

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For those interested, the equipment cost, after a vicious bargaining, around 370€

So what does 370 euros get you? Everything necessary, save for a floating board. Some of the gear I might’ve found from the garage. I could’ve probably gotten all the stuff for cheaper but one gets a limited amount of time with all them kids.

What I got:

  • Nets 60m x 5m 55mm
  • Ice pick
  • Ice saw
  • Auger
  • Lapp’s sledge
  • Awls
  • A line to drag the nets with
  • Quick hooks
  • Gloves for netfishing
  • A Fazer clocolate bar (not directly fishing related but it was on sale, so…)

This plus the stuff from the garage: reflectors, shovel, twigs to mark the hole in the ice, some wire and lids for said holes. I also needed to take care of the permits beforehand. None of this would’ve been happened without some help. Thanks Timo and your trusty floating board.

As soon as I stepped foot on the Kuolimo ice, I revisited the list above in my head with all the things I should’ve brought with me. One of them being spikes for my soles. Plus a bunch of exclamation marks.

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The ice was in perfect condition…for tour skating. But with rubber boots on, movement was a bit sluggish.

After a few tumbles we had reached an ideal location.

We drilled the hole and measured the depth of the lake, which was about seven meters. The lowering of the nets went swimmingly – the floating board slid under the ice nicely and was clearly visible through it. The ice was about 15 cm thick so drilling the holes was easy. It was about -1 degrees Celsius and zero wind. So, pretty nice.

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I was getting all excited!

To my surprise, there weren’t that many additions on the “stuff I forgot” list. I could’ve left the ice pick home, though. It’ll be essential on the next trip for hacking at the ice formed on top of the holes. Quick hooks were a live saver as well, not to mention the rubber fishing gloves.

A rope to tie the ice saw to your wrist was not short of genius. Did you know that a metallic shaft is extremely slippery? I do, now.

On our way back I was already anxiously waiting for the next time I’d get to come back.

A childlike enthusiasm took over.

I shook off the doubt people threw at me. Soon I’ll feast on fish I caught with my bare…nets.

//Teemu

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