Though lying in the middle of Lake Oulujärvi, Manamansalo Island is nonetheless accessible by car. Its sandy shores offer scenic views over the vast open lake, appropriately nicknamed the “Kainuu Sea”.
Parts of the island belong to the Oulujärvi Hiking Area and UNESCO’s Global Geopark Network. Beyond its barren sandy shore the island is airy, pine-dominated and lichen-covered heath forest, with crystal-clear ponds glimmering among the trees. Hikers will appreciate the marked trails, lean-tos and fire pits. In the summer, visitors to the island can enjoy a comfortable stay in the five-star camping area which has a range of leisure activities. The camping area also serves as the tourist information point for the hiking area. The Manamansalo recreational fishing area contains kettle ponds formed during the ice age, their clear water columns inhabited by wild perch, pike and fish of the carp family. Whitefish, grayling and trout stocking has increased the allure of these ponds as a fishing destination. Rainbow trout enthusiasts should head to Lake Särkinen, where the population is frequently topped up by stocking throughout the open water season. All fishing destinations are within easy reach, with the closest ponds just a few minutes’ walk from the camping area. No wonder Manamansalo Island has remained the first choice down the years for anglers, caravanners and families!
With an area of less than two hectares each, Valkeislampi, Kokkojärvi, Kota-Peura and Soikko-Peura ponds carry wild perch and are stocked with whitefish fry. Valkeislampi and Kokkojärvi ponds also contain some grayling.
The shoreline of the Syväjärvi pond is easy to walk along and ideal for onshore fishing. A lean-to is located on the trail running around the pond. A lucky angler may land a rainbow trout stocked in the pond as fry.
The 10-hectare Iso-Peura pond is ideal for fly fishing using a float ring. Those who prefer to fish from shore will probably make their best catches on the eastern side of Iso-Peura pond. The Iso-Peura fish populations are maintained by stocking grayling and whitefish fry. Catchable-size trout are also stocked. Rise rings breaking the still surface may indicate the presence of one of these salmonoids.
Särkinen pond, the largest on the island, lies near the camping area. The pond is highly irregular in shape, so allow plenty of time if you intend to walk around it! Particularly popular among rainbow trout fishers, Särkinen pond also yields perch, as well as whitefish and grayling stocked in the pond as fry. Some spots worth trying are located in front of the lean-to, and at Kotaniemi Point. Those eager to lure fish from a boat can hire one on Särkinen pond. More boat information is available at the information centre.
The Manamasalo ponds are real perch hotspots. A fishing trip here will reward anglers with fine specimens from the clear pond waters. The prime spots include Särkinen, Teerinen, Soikko-Peura and Kota-Peura ponds. In summer it would be worth trying for perch using bottom angling or jigs. In winter the most memorable fishing experience may come through the use of balanced lures and mormyshka jigs fitted with small bait. If you find yourself sceptical about the monster perch found in these waters, take a look at the taxidermied fish caught in the Särkinen pond and displayed on the wall of the camping area café!
With the bountiful waters of Lake Oulujärvi only a stone’s throw away from the Manamasalo camping area, it is certainly worth exploring what this great lake has to offer. Zander, perch, trout and pike are the most common catch, the last-mentioned of particular interest during the European pike fishing championships held annually on the lake.
The boat harbour and ramp in the Manamansalo camping area is a handy base when using your own boat.
The following licences are accepted at Lake Oulujärvi (in addition to having paid the state a fishing management fee):
- Provincial lure fishing licence
- Joint licence for Lake Oulujärvi (available in the camping area)
- Fishing licences of state forest administration Metsähallitus (for the state-owned areas of Lake Oulujärvi)