Bounty of the winter nets

One can’t call themselves a fisherman if one hasn’t scored a 10 kg pike at least once, says Teemu. So what was the bounty of the winter nets?

The legend of the 10 kg pike

I was about ten years old when I started dreaming of catching the fabled fish when I was out in Kymijoki river with my dad. Back then the catches were far from it. I forgot about fishing for a long time as well. I settled for watching from the sidelines and listening to other fishermen’s stories.

But nowadays, I can’t get enough! My winter nets have been waiting under the ice of Kuolimo lake for a month now and I’m happy to tell you, the bounty has been good. Never have I returned empty-handed. From the very first catch I knew – this is my jam! Long gone were the worry and warnings from others I’ve heard before. I’m super excited for every time I get a change to return to the nets. And when we set a date, we don’t go back on it. Not even when it’s -25 degrees Celsius.


My wife, however, questioned my mental health for going out there in the freezing cold. As I stepped out the door, I hollered: “It’s a matter of proper clothing!”

So what was in the nets?

A variety of stuff. On the first go I got two perches, a pike and a burbot. The larger perch was 963g, so a pretty good sized individual. The types of fish were more or less consistent on all the other times as well. There was a rogue roach and an ide visiting at one point. The 55mm mesh seemed to do the trick.

However, not everything is as easy as it looks in the movies.

Full disclosure: I could feel grey hairs emerging from my balding head after I lost one of the nets. One of the quick-release latches broke when I was reeling the net in. After a spectacle of cursing like a sailor I pulled myself together and realized I could still salvage the situation.  I just needed a long pole with a hook in one end.

After the ice had had a chance to thicken, things ran smoothly. We drove our car right next to the ice in the hole. Disclaimer: you need to know for a fact that the ice holds. If you have any doubt, don’t go.

Timo and I started with the nets as per usual. He began sawing he hole as I readied the pulling rope. It’s always heavy at first, with the whole net under the ice. With half of it above surface, the first fish dropped out. A 700g roach. A little disappointing, sure. The rest felt way too light and I jokingly said we shouldn’t even bother.

There’s nothing more in there. Until..

I noticed a dark figure in the hole. At first I thought it was just a large perch but then I realized that was just the head! A gigantic pike! A few more tugs on the net and we had it above the ice. What came right after was a symphony of two fishermen screaming out of pure joy.


After skinning the beast and taking the necessary photos, we pulled the nets back under and headed for the scale. Could this be it? Could this be the stuff of legends? After we placed the fish on the scale, I kept my eyes fixed on the numbers. I felt like I was playing a slot machine.

And yes! The scale revealed the winning numbers: 10,08 kg! I felt like a king. Man, I love fishing!




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