A Northern Adventure
“Finally, we arrived at our destination. A couple of steps down a small passage down to the water and North of Sweden was right there in front of me. We were in a Fisherman's Village called Mellanström near Arjeplog.”
“Behind me I could hear the voices of all the eager fishermen. French, Germans, and Swedes. Some of them had just got back from a day out on the waters, few of them were already on their way home - some were more happy than others. That’s the life of an angler, I guess.”
Days on the water
The first days of our journey were actually going in a new direction. The plan was to scout and explore some new waters, smaller lakes which hopefully have a more untouched surrounding than the bigger lakes in this area. One of our newfound lakes had semi clear water with a maximum depth around four meters. A lot of shallow, highly vegetated areas with grass and stones. so the first choice of lure for me in this new exciting water is definitely the X-Rap® Haku from Rapala. The perfect bait to cover a lot of water in a quick way, especially when you are searching for active fish. The X-Rap Haku is a new member in the Rapala family and is under the category jerkbait/glide bait.
What makes Haku so Special then? Besides the fact that the range of colors is spot on for any occasion, the X-Rap® Haku has a unique titanium release rig system. It’s tucked away inside the belly of the lure and when the fish strikes, the rig is released and it prevents the fish from using the plastic body as leverage to get loose. The rig is made of a 100Ibs titanium wire and is exceptionally reliable and strong. You can fish the Haku like a traditional jerkbait or just retrieve it. Both are good ways and it has a very smooth side-to-side swimming action.
We are closing into the southside of the lake. When researching this area on Google we stumbled on what looked like some heavy grassy areas, which turned out to be perfect because we immediately came across a lot of fish! They chased our Haku’s down and hit them so hard. We had an hour or two of super fun fishing and even if the majority of the fish were smaller pike in the range of 70-80 cm, it was quite a success. It wasn’t until we started to back out of the shallow areas and hit the deeper sides down to two or three meters, when it was time to unfold our net.
The Northern Pike is really strong, especially this far up in Sweden. An experience I am hoping every pike fisherman can have - the feeling of seeing and catching an untouched fish with those magic patterns on their bodies is truly something amazing. A broad backed pike is now laying in our net and although it doesn’t look like a huge fish, a quick measurement shows it being 105 centimeters.
Our day continued with us scouting and battling our way through the different kinds of areas in the lake. This particular lake had a lot of perch in it and I would say that the perch was probably also the main feed for the pike. Especially since we didn’t see any bigger amounts of other baitfish, which also made this lake a bit tricky for us of course.
We ended the day around a nice fire with hot and tasty goulash and some bread to go with it. A nice day for us and our broken Haku’s.
You’ll find perch among stones and grass
During our visit we explored all kinds of waters with different characters. A tip for the truly dedicated angler or the all nature loving person is to always have a go-to (smaller) rod available. Even if our tackle box and rods were mostly pike related on this trip, we did pack a small perch rod with us. An extremely easy and effective lure to use in this exploring situation is the Rippin’ Rap from Rapala. A lure I’ve already written about so many times and it has been working great for all kinds of fishing - zander, perch and even pike!
Rippin’ Rap® comes in different sizes and colors. 05-06-07 are the model codes you’ll find in the stores. The numbers represent the size of the lures: 5 cm, 6 cm and so on. I would say that the 06 version is the most all-round version and very easy for everyone to start out with.
When fishing your Rippin’ Rap®, there are a couple different tactics to go with: A simple throw out and steady retrieve is of course the easiest way. Here you’ll be fishing the lure in the mid-column section and the hard-rattling sound will grab all fish attention. Another way to fish your Rippin’ Rap is the classic jigging technique: Bouncing the bottom and jumping your way forward through grass and stones is amazingly effective.
On almost every water we visited during the week we came in contact with perch. Sometimes the more aggressive ones even came striking at our pike lures! That’s when we knew we had to act fast and get our perch rods out. Among the lily pads and larger stony areas we came in contact with the striped and aggressive warriors. It truly was fun and exciting fishing, but also a breaking point in a hard day of searching for the bigger pikes.
Rain, Nature & Bonfires!
As the last days were closing in, we started to feel tired. The long days and even longer nights take its toll in the end, but we were not giving in. Not just yet. Amazing times and days filled with new experiences passed by and I will never get tired of seeing the high mountains with their snowy tops. We planned to spend the last couple of days out on more open waters, searching for stony plateaus and hopefully bigger fish.
We were closing into our last stop of the trip. An area with bigger stone blocks, almost like an upside-down mountain under water - a mystic and really cool place to seek pike. Through my cast a shimmering X-Rap® Peto is flying through the sky. The color of “ROL” imitates a real roach and it turned out to be really effective up here. The X-Rap Peto has (literally) been on everyone’s lips lately - among the Swedish Proguides, some more than decent zander has been taking on the Peto. My own post-spawn fishing, also with Peto, back home went really well. The X-Rap Peto is a hybrid bait that you can find in two different sizes, the smaller one being 14 cm and the bigger 20 cm. A hard-plastic PVC body in the front and a rubber paddle in the back. With the built-in ball bearings, it creates a rattling sound to make the fish strike from aggressiveness.
The net is out and we just scooped in another nice fish over 100 cm long, which practically inhaled my Peto! The pike was in good shape, with a broad back and he sure put up the fight of fights in the water! I´m satisfied. We had the opportunity to experience the most of every moment on this trip. The weather conditions were good, even though some heavy clouds managed to hit our way occasionally. But even then, we managed to catch our green colored friends.
As the car slowly breaks in on the camp again, we can hear new and old voices coming from around the bonfire outside our cottage. A nice meeting place in the evening, where fishermen can share their big fish stories from around the world. Everyone wants to share theirs. I did not have that much to contribute to the conversations that night, but I did take my Peto out of my pocket and threw it on the table. Here's the 100 pike catching winning lure guys. Run to the shop….
This is where our journey ends, but one thing is sure: This place, my Lapland has become a second home and it will be right in front of me again. Probably sooner than I can imagine.