Baltic Sea spearfishing championships 2004, Korppoo Finland
Nature is changing. Summer 2003 was the hottest in 100 years in Scandinavia. This summmer was coldest in many decades. In Finland the cold summer is saving the spearfishing. The water stayed in 13-16 celcius so the plankton and the sea weed were not taking over our sea. So the conditions in the first Baltic Sea spearfishing competition were great. Competitors came from the 6 countries. Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Norway and Russia. This competition were made because the Denmark, Finland and Norway have been fighting for Nordic championships from 1960 tees. But now it was time to take all Baltic Sea coountries to the competittion. In the ex-sosialistic countries spearfishing is been wery popular but the fishers just havent got a good equipment. Like in Russia spearfishing is very popular and there is also many professionals which are fishing eals from the lakes and rivers. The smoked eal is expensive gourmet food in the eastern Europe.
In finnish coast the fish is always living by the sea water temperature and angle of light. Autumn the fish are cathering in huges groups. In the groups they can hunt better. But that creatures one big promlem. The fish is located only in selected spots. Pearch are in the under water rocks in 7-18 meters. Breams, ides and Pikes are located in the sea grass or close to the grass. Flat fish is rare in the autumn and it is very hidden. So you really have to know were to find the fish otherwise you will not get anything.
The baltic sea competition is two day competion and the competitors are swimming with the boe, no boats are used. Many teams came already one week before the competition to practise the finnish autumn conditions. And the conditions were great. Water temperature at september were 13-15 celcius and visibilty to 5-8 meters. The west wind was blowing wery hard the hole week during the competion but that was great because, clear water was coming inside to the finnish archipelago and cleaning the waters and also creating strong currents between islands.
First day of the competition the area was far out from the coast. Far from the coast is living the real spearfishers dream fishes. White fish and trout. White fish is common but conditions have to be perfect to catch it. The white fish you find the windy side of the island and there have to be shallow beach, with rock bottom. Then you just hide your self in to the rocks and wait. After one minute the fishes are passing by if they do. In Finland the spearfishing is mainly done by waiting. White fish is eating from the bottom the shells and plankton. It can be from 0,5 kg to 8 kg. The trouts are very rare but in the autumn they are located at the same spots as the white fish.
After the first day competition the competitorrs were not having very happy faces. Many people catched only some flatfish and pearches. Jukka Rapo and Matti Pyykkö from Finland were having better faces. Jukka started is competition by swimming fast to the first sea grass. He saw a 2 kg pike there. He consenrated and shooted. When he went to take the pike he was wery suprised because there was also another pike in the arrow. So in one shoot he got to pikes. Matti was heading to the windy side of the area. Matti knew that this is the place were is possible to see trouts or white fish. And the experince did not let him down. Matti catched 3 white fish, flat fish and trout which was the first accepted trout in the spearfishing competition in Finland. The trout minimum limit is 50 centimeters. So catching three different species you get bonus points in Finland. And more species you get more bonus points you will get.
After the first day evening when cometitors were having sauna and some snaps of vodka everybody knew that it will be the second day which will matters. Because the second day area was closer to the coast, the zone of huge pikes.
Second day morning there was a almost a west wind strom but it did not matter because the area was between many islands. It was just good because there would be currents which will make fish wery active. Competition start was in the middle of the area which was 8 kilometers wide. All the competitors knew that today the fish are close to the sea grass. It was possible to catch breams, ides, herrings, flat fish, pearch, pikes, trouts and rainbow trouts. Fishing in the sea grass is exiting but it is not diving, it is hunting in the underwater forest. You have to move slowly and your eye have to be good. It is difficult to see fish when it hidden in the grass. Also turning the harppoon in the gras needs special skils. Finish spearfishing has also a rule that only one competitor can be in one grass zone at the one time. Because it is dangerous like hell to hunt if there is other competitor.
After the second day at the goal area were very happy but tired faces. More than 20 pikes over 3 kg were catched. And Tanel Seermat from Estonia was having the best story. He was swimming by the coast were the huges wawes were hitting the rocks. He saw the trout about 5 kg beside the rock. He aimed but no wonder he did not get it. If you would see the almost hand made estonian harpoons. After this beautiful confortation Tanel desided to buy real modern harpoon. The problem is that the harpoon costs one third of normal estonian salery.
Team Latvia was the most happy team. They could not belive that they had best catch also in the second day. The best cath from Latvian were made by Alexei Savon, 8 perches, 4 pikes, one big bream.
Matti Pyykkö was relaxed. He has won the first Baltic Sea championships and also third time the Nordic championship. And the catch was great. 9 pikes and the biggest was also the biggest fish in the competition 8,9 kg pike. Alexei Savon was the second and Latvia took also the third place. So suprisinly the team Latvia won the team trophy of Baltic Sea championships. But it couldnt be better guys to win this title.The Latvian guys won the main prize of the competition, Marea made to measure wet suits. Getting so good suits replacing the old suits what they were having they will kick ass for a long time.
Then it was time for russian hospility. Sauna was hot and vodka was avaivable. Also the estonian guys made amazing shasliki. The fish from the competition was given to the local people, so meat was the main dinner of the competitors. And in the prize giving the atmosphere were great. Also two main finnish news paper were writing about the competition. Other one put as in the first page. In the nort of europe spearfishing is not having any promlems, people like guys wearing black rubber.
So next year were are holding the Baltic Sea championships at Norway, totally different conditions!!!!!