Ice fishing World Championships latest in Finnish series of odd sports events

Ice fishing is set to be a new world championship event in Finland. (Emma Pietarila/Yle)
In Sami and Tanja Niemimuukko’s field in the countryside near Lappeenranta (southern Finland) close to the Russia border lies the spot on a frozen lake where the first-ever world ice fishing championships will be held on 16 February.

“We’ve received a lot of support on social media, and it looks as though a group will be coming from Russia to compete,” says Sami Niemimuukko.

He says that the championship of ice fishing will be organised and sponsored by local businesses and organizations, as well as individuals.

Unusual competitions

Sami Niemimuukko believes ice fishing will take its place among the other unusual and original Finnish sporting events that raise interest around the world. These include the world championships in swamp soccer, wife carrying, kick sledding, ice swimming, and rubber boot throwing.

The idea of a new sporting event started with a conversation between friends around the coffee table.

“We were sitting and thinking of all the events that have been organised and the idea of ice fishing came up,” says Sami Niemimuukko. “It fits in well with (the tradition of) swamp soccer and wife carrying,” he says.

According to the organiser’s website, the two and a half hour competition ends with weighing each ice fisher’s catch. The jury then meets and decides who the top six ice fishers are. The main prize is a car, and, of course, the title of first-ever world’s best ice fisher.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Northwestern Canada: Hallucinations in a ‘frozen paradise’ at Yukon Arctic Ultra, CBC News

Finland: Younger Finns more and more attracted to winter swimming, Yle News

Norway: Swedish musher wins Finnmarksløpet, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: Iditarod adds four new board members amid criticism, Alaska Public Media

Yle News

For more news from Finland visit Yle News.

2 thoughts on “Ice fishing World Championships latest in Finnish series of odd sports events

  • Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 00:40

    Oh no! This article is based on mis-reading the original article written in Finnish. The story does not tell about actual ice-fishing, but a joke event in which people treat snow-covered agricultural scenery as if it’s lake scenery. In winter, the fields often look like lakes, and the organizers of the event wanted to take the joke to the extreme and arrange an actual competition that looks like an ice-fishing event. Real ice-fishing world championships already exist, nothing new in that. What is new here (in the original story) is that an ice-fishing-look-alike competition is called world championships in field-fishing (loosely translated).

    • Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at 19:41

      Thanks for the translation. I grew up in Alaska and was certain that ice fishing couldn’t be a big deal in Finland.😹

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