Indigenous peoples have called Baikal lake as “Sacred sea”, “Sacred lake”, “Sacred water” from time immemorial. So did Russian inhabitants, who discovered Baikal’s shores in the 17th century. Baikal is located in the center of Asia between Irkutsk Oblast and the Buryat Republic. The lake extending from the southwest to the northeast is 620 km long and looks like a giant crescent. The deepest level of the lake is 1742 m and the water transparency is more than 40 meters. Baikal is the deepest lake in the world.
Many sport fishing lovers would like to visit and, of course, to fish at the biggest, the deepest and the most extended lake in Russia – Baikal Lake. This incredibly beautiful and picturesque place, located in the center of Russia, has always attracted a lot of tourists and travelers. However, trophy and sport fishermen need to know that fish population density varies and can be low in different parts of the lake. Due to the affordable Chinese fishing net sales the quantity and trophy fishing rates has decreased nearby local and touristic areas. That is why we recommend you to find a competent trophy fishing guide if you consider your fishing to be joyful, exciting and with plenty of worthy species. A big number of recreational vessel owners, promoted on various websites, will guarantee you a high-quality fishing on Baikal, especially in its northern part, but we assure you that not all of them are expected to be that nice. Therefore, you better find a proven and experienced guide from a professional company with good reviews. Baikal-Safari has 30 years of experience in organizing fishing and hunting tours in Baikal, Siberia and Far East regions. Our main tour destinations are: pike fishing (up to 14 kg), perch fishing (up to 2 kg), trout (lenok) fishing (up to 4 kg), grayling fishing (up to 3 kg), omul fishing (up to 1,5 kg), taimen fishing (up to 35 kg, catch and release).
Cruise fishing at the northern part of the Baikal and rivers flowing into the lake is our main and best fishing offer. The first thing to do is to choose a boat for such a trip. There are more than three hundred small vessels registered in the lists of the Irkutsk region and Buryatia. This business is fairly profitable. The prices for freighting yachts or ships are sometimes higher than in Europe. The high season is short, so their owners are trying to squeeze the maximum profit. However, as in any business, the one who lifts the prices up is more likely to miss the clients. Therefore, we do not advise taking the most expensive options, it is better to pick one with the best price-quality ratio, if the main aim for you is fishing. The main types of ships are river-sea class boats modified for comfortable travel, such as "Yaroslavets", "Admiralteets", "PTS", "MRT" and other Soviet ships. However, many new projects of modern yachts and catamarans began to appear recently, but not all models are suitable for Baikal fishing. You have a lot of choices: from three-deck ships to small sea-class yachts if you just want to arrange a cruise.
But for fishing a vessel must have a few important things:
• small draft (1.4 - 1.7 meters), which allows you to approach the shore
• speed of at least 18 knots
• spacious wardroom (where most of the time is usually spent)
• comfortable sleeping cabins for a full rest
• equipped toilet rooms
There are not many such ships, believe our experience. Despite the fact that we have many ships on the site, not every is suitable for your needs. The quality and safety of your vacation strongly depends from an experienced captain and a well-coordinated crew. However, the most important thing of fishing on Baikal is a qualified and experienced fishing guide, so we do not recommend trying save on it. Many fishermen believe that can do everything alone, but if you do not want to spend 90% of your time looking for fish and studying its habits, trust local specialists. Baikal is large, so an inexperienced fisherman will waste a lot of time before finding a fish.
What is the best time for fishing at Baikal lake? Considering the seasonal closure during the first half of July (approximately till 20s of July), the end of August and the beginning of September are supposed to be the most beneficial times, since at this period large species are migrating to the river mouth. Omul and white grayling fishing are also available at this time. If you are interested into pike or perch fishing, the best time for that would be the end of June and July.
Now let’s try to find out what fishing spots can be the best depending on the species you would like to fish.
Pike fishing: pikes do not inhabit the whole lake but are mostly found in sluggish streams and shallow places or narrow rivers. The best trophy fishing spots are: Chivyrkuy bay, Arangatuy lake, Selenga delta, upper Angara delta. Mukhor would also be included to this list but because of the construction of many tourist camps on it, the trophy qualities of this predator there has sharply decreased. The pike reaches its weight up to 20 kg., However, nowadays, catching a ten kilogram specimen will be a great success, as the majority of main habitats of large pike are currently listed in a specially protected area of national parks and reserves.
Perch fishing: The habitats of large perch are the same: Chivyrkuisky Bay, about. Arangatui, the Selenga delta, the Upper Angara delta. However, it should be mentioned that in the Small Sea there is a population that lives in opened water of Baikal and enters the bays only in spring, during spawning season. The weight of some individuals reaches three kilograms.
Lenok fishing: Lenok is widely considered to be a pure river fish, but this does not apply to Lake Baikal, where lenok often stands in the lake itself along the coast, but you need to know where exactly. Lenok belongs to the salmon family. The weight of individual females reaches five kg, however they are sexually mature from one kg. It inhabits all major rivers flowing into Lake Baikal, however, it is worth mentioning that in the north of the lake it inhabits only the eastern side, where there are wider rivers. For interested into such kinds of fishing, you can arrange helicopter flights to the mountain rivers of the Baikal Lake and the Lena River that are completely untouched by man. Lenok is listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Buryatia.
Grayling fishing: Baikal grayling is of two types: white and black. White, exista only in the lake, stands at great depths, has a lighter color, a smaller and not very bright dorsal fin, more tender and greasy in taste, its meat quickly deteriorates if it is not frozen. Reaches 2.5 kg. Grayling is listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation. Black grayling is the most common type of lake along with omul. It lives along the entire area of the lake adjacent to the coastal zone, shallow water and estuaries. This fish loves cold water, so he does not inhabit the bays and adjacent estuary lakes. Grayling freely enters rivers, spawns in both rivers and the lake itself. The weight of individual individuals reaches 3 kg. The largest individuals are found in the north of the lake. Belongs to the salmon family.
Omul fishing: Omul lives throughout Lake Baikal, and at the end of summer, when it rises into the upper layers of the water, it can be found everywhere. Some species reach a maximum size of 1.5 kg, but the average weight of this fish is 500 gr. It is caught in flocks in flies, tied to special Baikal moods with a sinker at the end, both day and night. It Is very tender and tasty fish in all dishes. Omul belongs to the whitefish family. Currently, fishing is temporarily banned, so you can only practice catch and release technique.
Taimen fishing: Taimen is the largest representative of the salmon family, its weight reaches 50 kg. It can be called as a tiger of the Siberian rivers. Many people wonder: “Do Taimen species inhabit Baikal lake itself?”. Probably there is no exact answer to this question. It is caught in the net in opened waters of Baikal, but mainly in the spring and most likely during migration to spawning places. However, it often relocates to remote streams, which go far from Baikal from river deltas, and often migrate behind herds of omul, which spawn in September along large riverbeds. Taimen is not that numerous, you can catch only in the middle flows of large rivers. It is listed in the Red Book of the Republic Buryatia.
What other species can be caught in Baikal? There are many fishes in Baikal, about 20% of them are endemic. However sport fishing trophies can also include such species as: Baikal whitefish (up to 7 kg.), Common carp (up to 10 kg.), Gorse (up to 1 kg.), Burbot (up to 8 kg.), Dace ( up to 700 gr.), ide (up to 1.5 kg), Gmelin catfish (up to 2 kg).