Ice fishing, or winter fishing, is an essential part of winter activities for many russian people.
Vladivostok has its unique style of fishing: here people fish on the sea ice, and in inner territories of Russia they fish on the river ice. Still, the concept is the same. In winter the surrounding bays of Vladivostok city and inner bays of the Russian island are deep-frozen. The ice thickness in some areas is such that it can hold the weight of a large-sized car. So, starting from the mid-december, hundreds of fishing enthusiasts go on the ice. They bring seats, fishing lures, hot tea and sometimes vodka. Some people take it to the next level and even put up tents on the ice. Though real enthusiasts aren’t afraid of cold, wind and snow – they know how to keep themselves warm. And still, with all the cold, they remember: a big plus about fishing in winter is that there are no mosquitoes or flies to annoy you.
The fishing is done through the holes in the ice using lures. People cut holes with manual ice drills, put their seats on the ice, place the lures in water and wait. Their seats are metal boxes which later will be used as a backpack for carrying the fish back home (or, sometimes, for sale). The main catch here is smelt and saffron cod.
Sometimes entire families would join the activity. The family makes a fire on the coast while waiting for the men to bring their catch, and then everybody makes “Ukha” – a traditional russian fish soup. The fishermen often compete with each on the size and the amount of fish. Some competitions are more ambitious. Each year, during the peak of the ice fishing season in Vladivostok, the city government organizes a competition among amateur fishermen, which can be joined by any residents of Vladivostok and guests of the capital of Primorye. All day fishermen compete to see who catches more fish and who caught the heaviest or the biggest fish. It should be said that quite often the winners of these competitions are women, causing jury to be delighted.
Overall, winter fishing is one of the main highlights of the winter Vladivostok, and if you’re here in this time of year – make sure not to miss it. Join our ice fishing tour and become a part of this real russian activity.