Pike fishing is one of the most popular forms of freshwater angling in Sweden, given the country’s vast array of lakes, rivers, and waterways teeming with this apex predator. Here’s a comprehensive overview of pike fishing in Sweden:
1. About the Pike:
- Appearance: Recognizable by its elongated body, greenish-grey color with lighter spots, and its ferocious set of teeth.
- Habitat: Pikes prefer shallow, weedy areas in lakes and rivers, but can also be found in deeper waters, especially during warmer periods.
2. Where to Fish:
- Lakes: Sweden is home to numerous lakes that are ideal for pike fishing. Some of the largest and most popular include Vättern, Vänern, and Mälaren.
- Archipelago: The archipelago regions, especially near the coastlines of Stockholm, Västervik, and the Baltic Sea coast, are known for large pike.
- Rivers: Many of Sweden’s rivers, such as the Dal River (Dalälven) and Klar River (Klarälven), have healthy pike populations.
3. Fishing Methods:
- Spinning: Using lures like spoons, spinners, and soft plastics.
- Trolling: Dragging lures or baits behind a moving boat.
- Fly Fishing: Increasingly popular for pike, using large streamer flies.
- Dead bait fishing: Using fish like roach or herring as bait, either float-fished or ledgered.
4. Best Time to Fish:
- Spring: As the ice melts, pike move to shallow waters for spawning, usually in April and May. This is a prime time for fishing as they are quite active.
- Autumn: During September and October, pike tend to feed aggressively in preparation for winter, making it another excellent period.
5. Regulations and Conservation:
- Fishing License: To fish in most waters in Sweden, a fishing license is required. These can be obtained online or from local fishing associations.
- Catch and Release: Practicing catch and release ensures sustainability of pike stocks. Use barbless hooks for easier release and handle pike with wet hands to protect their slime coat.
- Size Restrictions: There may be minimum or maximum size limits on pike in some waters. Always check local regulations.
6. Pike Fishing Tips:
- Lure Choice: Brightly colored lures can be effective in murky waters, while more natural colors work well in clear waters.
- Safety: Given pike’s sharp teeth, always use a wire trace to prevent bite-offs and have a good pair of pliers for unhooking.
7. Guided Tours and Fishing Camps:
- For those unfamiliar with Swedish waters or seeking a specialized experience, there are many guided fishing tours available. These tours can provide insights into the best fishing spots and techniques.
- Fishing camps across Sweden offer accommodation tailored to anglers, often with facilities like boat rentals and fishing gear.
In conclusion, pike fishing in Sweden offers a thrilling angling experience amidst breathtaking natural scenery. The country’s commitment to conservation ensures that these waters remain abundant with healthy pike populations for future generations of anglers. Whether you’re a seasoned pike hunter or a newbie, Sweden’s waterways promise an unforgettable adventure.