Some of the best pike fishing in the world is in Sweden. The Swedish archipelago (or Skärgård) runs along the coast of the Baltic Sea. It contains numerous smaller archipelagos such as Västervik, Trosta, and Blekinge. Stockholm Harbor has yielded some record-breaking fish. Grankullavik Bay has many opportunities for a bite. Sweden's miles of rivers, too, are full of pike. Try the Kalix or the Sangis.
What makes Sweden such a heaven for pike anglers?
- Relatively few people fish here. Laws prevent overfishing by commercial fisheries, so the pike population is stable.
- Baitfish proliferate. Sweden's coastal waters are shallow and extensive, giving baitfish a large reproduction area. Long northern summer days extend feeding times. Pike love being around this much food.
- On the coast, you don't need a license for rod fishing. (In inland waters, however, you will need a license.)
- Sweden has no regulations on fish size, the use of catch bags, or the number of pike you keep. Of course, that doesn't give you justification to fish irresponsibly; practice quick, humane catch-and-release on all pike you don't want to eat.
- Privacy. Rent a boat, bring a tent, and have a whole island to yourself.
For a trip that combines fly fishing with history, take a look at Aland -- the part of the Baltic Sea between Sweden and Finland. Sweden's numerous rivers keep the water here from being too salty. It's been a hallowed fishing ground for several thousand years. Even before the Vikings fished here, early cultures made sacrifices of pike. In Basto Fishing Camp, you can still see pike skulls adorning trees all around the ancient fishing sites.
Ice-off in Sweden happens relatively late, around the second week of May. This is around the same time that pike spawn, however, so you can often find waters teeming with hungry pike. What happens when the waters get warmer? Read on.