Go fishing where big zander roam!
The Pirkkala fishing region (fisheries region as of 2019) offers fascinating
waters for enthusiasts favouring different forms of fishing. You can pursue the
bite of a big fish in the extensive waters of Lake Pyhäjärvi, on the banks of
foaming rapids and in the region’s numerous small lakes.
Lake Pyhäjärvi – a famed
treasury of zander
The region’s main lake, Pyhäjärvi, flows between
Lempäälä and Tampere, providing diverse fishing grounds which consist of
distinct sections that differ in terms of water quality and fish stocks. Its
waters are typically muddy and fairly eutrophic. As a result, zander thrive and
reproduce well in Lake Pyhäjärvi, which has been one of the country’s best sites
for zander through the ages. Whoppers weighing several kilos are common in Lake
Pyhäjärvi, while there is an abundance of basic kilo-range specimens. In recent
years, the area has yielded several giant zander weighing over 10 kilos.
You can catch a zander anywhere in Lake Pyhäjärvi. Well-known zander spots
include the shallow waters in the Toutonen area of Lempäälä and in Vesilahti, as
well as the deeper Säijänselkä-Vakkalanselkä and Sorvanselkä mid-lake areas.
Zander also bite eagerly in the Saviselkä mid-lake waters off the towns of Nokia
and Pirkkala and in the fast-flowing Kaivanto sound. Indeed, torrents and sounds
are generally good zander spots. You can also catch zander by casting a jig at
the slopes of mid-lake shallows or by vertical jigging at mid-depth.
In late summer, anglers go trolling for zander in
the deepest areas of the lake. While the lake is home to very good stocks of
zander, and methods such as winter net fishing have yielded generous catches in
recent years, its zander are often capricious creatures to catch with a lure.
Feeding moods vary on a daily basis and often zander just sulk at the bottom,
refusing to bite. Catching a giant specimen requires skill, knowledge, plenty of
effort and often some luck as well. Plug colours worth trying out on Lake
Pyhäjärvi include parrot, smelt and other natural colours.
Closed areas safeguard the regeneration of zander stocks
In order to safeguard zander reproduction, Lake Pyhäjärvi has two closed
areas, where all forms of fishing are prohibited, with the exception of scooping
smelt. Closed seasons: Hahkalanvuolle Strait from 1st January to 15th June;
Luodonsaari Island from 1st May to 15th June.
The smallest permitted catch size for zander is 42 cm.
Brown trout and rainbow trout alongside zander off the City of
The quality of water in the northern part of Lake
Pyhäjärvi differs from other areas. Nutrient-poor, slightly brownish
but fairly clear waters flow into Lake Pyhäjärvi from Lake Näsijärvi
through the Tammerkoski Rapids. This area hosts the deepest sections
of Lake Pyhäjärvi, with over 40 metres of water. Natural fish stocks
are supported by means of obligatory restocking with brown trout,
rainbow trout and whitefish. The lake is also restocked with eel and
At the Tampere end of Lake Pyhäjärvi, an angler spinning from the
shore stands a good chance of catching a plump and lively rainbow
trout or a brown trout with a clipped adipose fin on the end of the
line. The small adipose fin, located on the back of the fish near
the tail, is clipped from all restocked trout, in order to
distinguish them from individuals born in the wild.
The smallest permitted catch size for adipose fin-clipped
brown trout is 40 cm in the area to the east of Rajasalmi sound on the northern
end of Lake Pyhäjärvi and downstream from the uppermost power plant dam on the
Tammerkoski Rapids. In other waters, the smallest permitted catch size for
adipose fin-clipped trout is 50 cm.
you catch an undersized fish, please handle it gently when removing hooks. NB!
All trout with adipose fins are protected regardless of size. These must be
immediately released back into the fishing waters.
The smallest permitted catch size for grayling is 35 cm.
Common game species found in Lake
Pyhäjärvi include pike, perch, whitefish, burbot and various cyprinids, such as
bream and roach. Good-size perch bite on small jigs in shoals and torrents. In
winter, it’s a good idea to go after perch with balanced and vertical jigging
lures in shallows where the water is just a few metres deep. Pike stocks are
lowest in the waters close to Tampere, but improve along the water route towards
Lempäälä. Water flow regulation measures affect pike reproduction, and it is to
be hoped that the situation will improve in the future. Lake Pyhäjärvi is also
home to a scarce stock of fast-growing vendace, which can be caught using 18–25
Zander used to be released into Lake Pyhäjärvi as part of obligatory restocking
operations, but these were discontinued at the turn of the millennium as they
proved fruitless at increasing catches. Zander found in the colder and more
nutrient-poor northern waters of Lake Pyhäjärvi clearly grow more slowly and are
leaner than specimens in the Sorvanselkä mid-lake area. They also reach spawning
size at an older age.
Signal crayfish from
rocky areas with roach baits
Lake Pyhäjärvi is
home to signal crayfish, which are caught with pots on rocky bottoms where the
water is a few metres deep. Catches from the southern and middle parts of the
lake have continuously improved in recent years. Off the shores of Tampere,
however, what was once a good stock of signal crayfish plunged recently and has
failed to recover. There is an ongoing investigation into the reasons for this.
Eroded swimmeret disease has been found in crayfish living in the area, which
may be the reason for the stock decline.
As the central lake in the River Kokemäenjoki water body, Lake Pyhäjärvi has
strong currents due to the rapid turnover of its entire water mass. In winter,
torrent spots only freeze over thinly, while not all areas are covered in ice
strong enough to bear much weight – these include torrents and sounds as well as
wide areas downstream from these. This is why it’s only worth moving about on
the ice where the cover is certain to be solid enough.
Small lakes yield perch, pike, whitefish, rainbow trout, carp…
The Pirkkala fishing region
boasts a wide range of small and medium-sized lakes, which are great
destinations for splendid fishing trips. On smaller lakes, you can easily make a
catch by casting with a rod and reel or angling with a hook and line from the
shores and using ice-fishing tackle in the winter. Fishing from the shores also
works on medium-sized lakes, but there you can expand your search for hot spots
using a boat or a canoe.
Pike, perch and cyprinids are typical game species in all small lakes. Lakes
close to Tampere – including Ahvenisjärvi, Kaukajärvi, Peltolammi, Tesomajärvi,
Tohloppi and Vaakkolammi – are also restocked with rainbow trout. Whitefish can
be pursued in the limpid Lakes Hervantajärvi, Särkijärvi and Kaukajärvi, among
others. The last of the basins mentioned above used to be known for its large,
kilo-range perch as recently as the 1970’s. Whitefish are found to a varying
extent in many small waters throughout the fishing area and can be pursued with
flies or small spinners, while mormyshka jigs work in the winter. Nice stocks of
zander can also be found in Lake Suonojärvi in Vesilahti.
You can go after carp and tench on Pahalampi Pond, which is a special site
located in the Nekala district of Tampere. You will need to purchase a separate
fishing licence for the site (€10 in 2017; see Fishing licences). Similar to
other sites, Pahalampi Pond has its own special rules, which you should check
out before you start fishing.
A good option is to go on a nature
trip to forest lakes with rod and reel tackle, a lure box and a packed lunch.
Along the St. Birgit’s hiking trail in Lempäälä, for example, you can find
several small lakes where you can try your luck while enjoying the peace and
quiet of nature. The area has signposts and lean-tos where you can take a break.
There are also interesting small lakes around Nokia, Pirkkala and Vesilahti. You
can use the map to explore suitable destinations and routes for your fishing
The urban Tammerkoski Rapids and the
verdant Kuokkalankoski and Herralankoski Rapids
offer great playgrounds for fly-fishing and spinning enthusiasts in pursuit of
salmonoids. The game species on the Tammerkoski Rapids, flowing through Tampere
city centre, are rainbow trout and brown trout. These are caught using flies,
spoons, plugs and local ‘spinfluga’ rigs, i.e. flies equipped with heavy
weights. In late autumn, whitefish rise into the Kehräsaari fly-fishing area,
where small flies yield catches. A more occasional game species on the
Tammerkoski Rapids is landlocked salmon, some of which descend from Lake
Näsijärvi downstream into the rapids now and then; however, a more likely
visitor to slip downstream is the brown trout, with the largest specimens
weighing several kilos.
The Kuokkalankoski and Herralankoski Rapids area in Lempäälä is among the most
popular fishing sites in the Tampere Region. The range of game species in this
rapids site include rainbow trout, asp, zander, grayling, brown trout, pike and,
less commonly, eel. The largest asps weigh over 6 kilos. When such a whopper
bites, the brake on your reel starts buzzing while your rod bends in earnest!
Big asps, salmonoids and zander are also among the catches available in the
Haihunkoski Rapids in Viiala.
NB! Angling with a hook and line and ice-fishing are
completely prohibited in rapids sites. Permitted fishing methods are listed in
the site’s own rules.
Get your fishing licences and go
between 18 and 64 need to pay the state fisheries management fee for any form of
fishing other than angling with one rod, hook and line and ice-fishing (free of
charge, no licence required). The fee entitles use of one rod and reel without a
permit from the owner of the water area throughout the country, with the
exception of rapids and torrent sites in waters with migratory fish (such as the
Tammerkoski Rapids and the Kuokkalankoski and Herralankoski Rapids) and special
sites, such as Pahalampi. You can pay the state fisheries management fee online
or at an
Water area owner’s
permit and Lake Pyhäjärvi combined licence
For any other
types of fishing and crayfishing, you will also need to get a permit from the
owner of the water area or some other fishing rights holder. Fishing licences
for the Tammerkoski, Kuokkalankoski and Herralankoski Rapids and Pahalammi Pond
and a wide range of licences of local fishery associations and partnerships, as
well as the City of Tampere licences for net and trap fishing, crayfishing, etc.
are available from the web store at
Kalapassi.fi. The map on the Pirkkala
fishing region website at
indicates water areas managed by fishery associations and partnerships, as well
as other licence areas with details of licence vendors.
There is an extensive combined licence area available for rod fishing zander and
other fish in Lake Pyhäjärvi, covering the Pirkkala fishing region, which is
shown on the adjacent
map in dark blue and pink. The licence does not include
any rod quotas, except for the pink area, with max. 3 rods (lines) per boat. You
can purchase a combined licence for a period of one year (price €50 +
registration fee in 2018), one week (€18 + reg. fee), or three days (€10 + reg.
fee) from the web store at kalapassi.fi or from physical sales points (incl.
Nippon Verkko (in Tampere) Kalakaapu (in Nokia) and Kalastus Suomi (in Lempäälä)
Follow the rules, fish wisely and enjoy fishing
You must comply with any
instructions provided for fishing. The fishing region is supervised and any
infringements will be addressed. It is also wise to keep moderation in mind when
fishing, especially if fish are eager to bite and catches are good. When your
fishing licences are in order and your attitude is right, Ahti, the water god of
ancient Finns, will also be happy.
The Pirkkala fishing region wishes all anglers rewarding
(licence sales, web store in Finnish)
Pirkkalan kalastusalue | Viinikankatu 55 | 33800 TAMPERE