Fishing in Russia

The largest country in the world, Russia has enormous fishing opportunities from the warm Black and Caspian Seas to nearly inaccessible lakes and streams near the Arctic Circle
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About Russia

Russia is by far the largest country in the world in terms of territory, and, stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans, and from subtropical belt to the Arctic circle, offers an amazing variety of fishing opportunities. Among the country’s most iconic fishing destinations are: Kamchatka, with its salmon fishing, the delta of the Volga river near Astrakhan, swarming with both saltwater and freshwater fish of all descriptions all the way to two-ton beluga sturgeon, the rivers of Yakutia Yakutia-Sakha with taimen, the world’s biggest salmon. Fishing is so popular in Russia that the government doesn’t even dare to introduce licenses for recreational angling, only commercial fishing is licensed. You may, however, need a special permit to access the rivers and coasts located in border control zones.

Fishing Types

The industry of chartered offshore fishing tours is not as developed in Russia as in some other countries, whether on the Baltic, Arctic Ocean, Pacific or Black Sea coasts. Fishing lodges, however, are numerous all over the country and for the most adventurous anglers outfitters offer faraway trips to locations as inaccessible as the Putorana Plateau on the Taimyr Peninsula. In fact, it is the remote backcountry fishing that is the major attraction for international fishing tourists in Russia.

Targeted Fish Species

Most Russian anglers primarily target such species as roach, carassius, bream, perch, pike and catfish. Carp fishing is a well-developed industry, with numerous stocked ponds offering both high-caliber trophy fish and regular-sized carp for the table. International fishing tourists, however, are mostly attracted by the rare, and occasionally endemic, species of salmon and trout. The kind of those, of course, is the taimen salmon, that can grow as large as a human, followed closely by the Arctic char and the Arctic grayling in Siberia, the Atlantic salmon of the European North-West, and the whole spectrum of Pacific salmon species including chum and pink salmon. The Baltic coast near St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad offers the North Atlantic species such as flounder, and trout can be found in many streams of the country’s numerous mountain ranges. Sturgeon are strictly protected, and are mostly illegal to catch by a recreational angler (the dark side of having no fishing licenses and no catch-and-release fishing).

Fishing Techniques

Locked out of the outside world by the Iron Curtain, Russia’s fishing industry often took a separate way. As mentioned above, heavy tackle deep sea fishing is not as popular as it could be, however, light tackle trolling is widely practiced and popular. In a similar vein, flyfishing is still a bit of an exotic bourgeois pastime. Yet don’t fret, the lodges, charters and guides who offer such trips know and understand these fishing types. The most popular fishing tackle in Russia is the old-fashioned line, hook and float, as well as bottom fishing, spinning, jigging, and, of course, ice fishing. A lot depends on the destination, and a relatively small river or lake under Moscow will, understandably, require different approaches than a mountain stream in the Caucasus or a salmon run in Kamchatka.