Guide for travelling anglers in the Land of a Thousand Lakes 
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Lapland Finnish Lake District West Coast South Finland, Archipelago

Lake Keitele - the rugged fishing site of Central Finland


Photo: Jari Salonen
The reeds in Paanalanselkä mid-lake shoals in the Upper Keitele lake area are splendid spots for fishing.

Peaceful nature and sheltered fishing grounds, where the silence is palpable. An abundance of space; the longest open mid-lake areas span dozens of kilometres. For an angler, the limpid Lake Keitele is a water area offering many opportunities.

Lake Keitele, the second largest in Central Finland, flows between Äänekoski and Viitasaari parallel with Main Road 4. The lake is divided into three parts: ‘Lower Keitele’, ‘Central Keitele’ and ‘Upper Keitele’.

A lake of great depth variations

The pressure from fishing on Lake Keitele is relatively low and fish stocks are therefore strong. The lake is within easy reach, as Main Road 4, the chief artery running through Finland, circles the western shores of the lake for a long stretch. There are plenty of sites for mooring boats, as well as lean-tos and other places to take a break.

The Lower Keitele area consists of the most fragmented waters of Lake Keitele, known as Ukonselkä, Kertonselkä, Räihänselkä and Koivuselkä. Pike, perch and zander are anglers' most common game species. Depth variations are considerable in these mid-lake areas too, which is why it's easy to find fishing grounds. Where shoals break up the deep waters is where you'll also find fish. Reedy bays are excellent pike sites and pike also lurk on the edges of shoals in the hopes of catching prey.

Photo: Lentokuva Vallas 
The vastness of the Central Keitele lake area.
The vastness of the Central Keitele lake area.

The rocky and well-stocked central area

The widest open mid-lake areas in the largest part of Lake Keitele, Central Keitele, are known as Karttuselkä, Kokonselkä and Suovaselkä. If you look at the depth chart, you'll notice that this area has splendid fishing grounds; there are shallow shoals and rock piles rising steeply from the deep currents. These are definitely the most reliable places to find zander, pike and big perch. Trollers catch brown trout from the same waters. Well-known pike and zander spots in the area are Suovanlahti Bay and Muikunlahti Bay.

Photo: Jaakko Tähti 
A trolling competition on Lake Upper Keitele in June. Kokkosalmi Sound is a great hot spot.
A trolling competition on Lake Upper Keitele in June. Kokkosalmi Sound is a great hot spot.

Pike thrive in Keitelepohja

The Upper Keitele area consists of the rugged Pihkurinselkä and Paanalanselkä mid-lake areas. This is the deepest section of Lake Keitele.

The shallow Keitelepohja Bay waters are a renowned pike site, while bream and ide are also common in this area. The Upper Keitele area is the best site for catching vendace in the district and it also has a strong stock of brown trout. The best burbot spots on Lake Keitele can also be found in this area.

In winter, the entire Lake Keitele is a popular ice-fishing site. The edges of shallows in the Suovanselkä mid-lake area are popular among ice-fishing enthusiasts in pursuit of big perch. There are considerable depth variations in this area and plenty of excellent mid-lake shallows. It's no wonder that over one-kilo perch are caught there every year.

Photo: Jaakko Tähti 
On a frosty November day, salmonoids move at the surface. Hännilänsalmi Sound, Lake Upper Keitele.
On a frosty November day, salmonoids move at the surface. Hännilänsalmi Sound, Lake Upper Keitele.

Lush and rugged scenery side by side

Lake Keitele scenery is dominated by oblong mid-lake areas and large islands, the largest being Pängätsalo Island and the inhabited Luotolansaari Island. In a manner typical of Finnish lakes, the main basin lies on a northwest–southeast orientation, which is an effect of the Ice Age.

Lush bays and rugged cliffs alternate in the landscape. The small number of holiday homes makes the shores look almost untouched.

Water quality in Lake Keitele ranges between good and excellent.

© 2013–2024
Area:498 km²
Length:85 km
Shoreline:1 462 km
Mean depth:7 m
Maximum depth:66 m
Number of islands:997
Game species
Brown trout

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1. The loud buzz of the ratchet of your reel in the serene summer night on the wide open Pihkurinselkä – a brown trout is biting

2. Zander and pike spots in Muikunlahti Bay

3. Whopper perch from Suovanselkä mid-lake shallows on spring ice

4. Long shores with neither permanent nor holiday accommodation

5. Limpid and pristine waters and peaceful fishing environments

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