Vanajanselkä – perch paradise and famed pike-perch fishing spot


Few are the ice fishers who have had to leave Lake Vanajanselkä without catching some perch. The lake is also used in numerous local ice fishing competitions. Although the perch caught on Vanaja in the winter are usually small, they more than make up for it in numbers. In competitions, the fastest ice fishers can catch nearly 20 kilos of perch. Small perch are ideal for making the traditional Finnish food kalakukko, for example, but experienced ice fishers also come to the lake for larger specimens ideal for the frying pan. In the Häme region, ice fishers often use balance jigs, but an even more common lure is a vertical jig equipped with a small coloured hook. A particularly effective lure is a mormyshka attached to the end of a span of line under a vertical jig. The ideal bait is a fly or mayfly larva. The best ice fishing spots on Vanajanselkä are found in the shallows and gradually deepening shores.

Vanajanselkä’s large perch are considerably easier to catch in the summer than in winter. The best times for catching them are late summer and autumn. For the best results, try casting a silicone jig in rocky areas on the quickly sloping inclines found at the tips of headlands and islands. The largest perch are caught by trolling. Small deep-diving wobblers are effective when used in and around underwater shoals. When trolling for perch, you will often end up catching an annoying amount of pike as well.


You cannot talk about Vanajanselkä without mentioning pike-perch. The surest way to catch yourself some of the lake’s pike-perch is to go trolling in the summer; the warmer the water, the better they bite. Attach a medium-sized wobbler to a traditional line and add one or more weighted lures in front of it. Another method worth trying is to use a heavy jig instead of a weighted lure. Good summer catches can be found at least around Keisa island, Lusinselkä and Suntti, just west of Vanajaniemi. Usually the best time to troll for pike-perch is in the evening and at night, but on Vanaja they also bite well during the day. The methods for catching pike-perch on the open water are also effective on the narrow part of the watercourse from Lepaa all the way to Lake Kernaalanjärvi.

Fishing permits:

Joint permit for the Vanajanselkä fisheries region. The permit area (approx. 11,000 hectares) encompasses the majority of Vanajanselkä as well as Rauttunselkä, Makkaranselkä and Kärjenniemenselkä. Permit sellers have brochures of the area. One permit entitles you to use up to two lures (one person can have multiple permits). EUR 15/year, EUR 10/week.

Tyrvännön kalastusyhdistys permit
The permit area (approx 4,000 hectares) encompasses areas to the east of Vanajanselkä.
The permit sellers have maps of the area. EUR 10/year, EUR 4/week

Permit sales locations:

  • Lepaan Savipaja, Lepaa, tel. +358 (0)400 497 717 or +358 (0)40 7177 196 (both permits)
  • Kastelli service point, Hämeenlinna, tel. +358 (0)3 621 3370. Open Mon–Fri 9:00–16:00 (both permits)
  • Neste Oil Toijala, tel. +358 (0)3 542 4230 (joint permit)
  • Sportia Valkeakoski, tel. +358 (0)45 648 2222 (joint permit)
  • Lomakoti Järvelä, Haukila, tel. +358 (0)45 133 9460 (joint permit)
  • Marko Laurila, Retulansaarentie 223, Retula (Tyrvännön kalastusyhdistys permit)
  • Petäys Resort, tel. +358 (0)3 673 301 (Tyrvännön kalastusyhdistys permit)
  • Payment directly to accounts:
    FI89 5494 0920 2113 82  (joint permit for the fishing area)
    Etelä Hämeen op FI87 5680 6140 0035 52 (Tyrvännön kalastusyhdistys permit)

Boat launching spot:

Vanajanselkä has boat launching spots in Vanajanniemi, the municipality of Kalvola’s recreational area and in Viidennumero.