North-east Germany: The Bodden

Where the big pikes live

Angelurlaub - Foto: Greifswalder Hafen
With salt on your lips pulling out Bodden pike one after the other - that is what entices the pike fan to these unusual areas. They are areas for the big ones. Pike of 20 and even 30 pounds regularly take the bait in the Bodden of Rügen, Greifswald and Peenestrom. Where else do you get as good a chance of catching several pike over one meter on the same day? And all that with the beautiful scenery in front of you: Fishing in the brackish waters of the Pommeranian Bodden countryside takes place in stunning surroundings.
An angler's paradise, but tricky
However beautiful the places to fish around Rügen may be, there are difficulties too. The broad expanses of water make casting difficult due to the strong wind and allow the pike many opportunities to escape our bait. Sudden surges of water from the Baltic often cause the pike to stop feeding and ever-present lake grass acts as an annoying side dish to our bait. Combined with the number of often rather incomprehensible fishing regulations can make fishing a bit tricky at times. It's still well worthwhile working your way through these difficulties because the pike here grow to a huge size in a record time and are fantastic fighting fish. Especially in winter they really impress with almost unbelievable body size.

Find, hunt and cath 'em
Your biggest task is in finding the fish. With miles on end to take cover you often need long journeys to find the fish. Instead of just starting to fish anywhere, it is better to go looking for certain recurring structures within the water first: Your first point of reference are the buoyed shipping lanes. Here the channels get deeper compared to the surrounding area. Sometimes there is just half a meter of water left under your keel right next to the buoys. Other areas to consider are those with sea grass, stone cairns on the bottom and deep holes in the flatter areas. Good charts of the bodden and a sounder are a huge help, of course.
Simply perfect
You need really very little in the way of bait and equipment for really good catches. A firm rod with a casting weight of 80 gram in combination with a fixed salt water reel works well in most cases. In addition a box with 13-15cm long rubber fish on jiggers of 10-40 gram. These lures are what the locals use most. Regarding the colour of the bait it should be natural in the Bodden and more garish in the Peenestrom. Naturally you can use sinking or deep diving wobblers instead of the rubber fish, but the rubber fish are what are recommended to be part of every fishing bag.

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The Sea of the one meter pikes
It was usually the Bodden that catered for the pike fishers but now the Baltic Sea too is seeing more action, especially in the summer. There is already fantastic fishing in Cape Arkona (on the northern tip of Rügen) or in the region known as the Greifswald Oie (the Baltic east of the Greifswald Bodden). As there is no ban on trawling outside the coastal region, systematic trawling with big wobblers is one of the most effective ways to fish. New adventures wait for you.

An excellent menu for fish
In part responsible for the rapid growth of the brackish water pike is the abundant variety of food available for the fish. Alongside the normal fare of red eye and perch the pike also feed on codlings and have a penchant for the fat herring. Just when the tasty fish return from the Baltic to spawn in the brackish waters you'll find the pike hot on their heels.
Rügener Bodden - Angelparadies
Rules for fishing in this pike kingdom
The required paperwork is the fishing licence and the coastal fisheries licence for Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (available at the angling shops or at boat hire places along the coast). Unlike other waters you cannot simply trawl for pike in these waters using a wobbler towed behind the boat. Trawling is forbidden inside the Bodden and in the coastal waters. Ignoring this will earn you a substantial fine. Fishing from a drifting boat is also prohibited. So the rule is look and don't trawl, anchor up and cast. When anchoring remember to use an anchor ball, or otherwise face a fine.

Stumbling blocks
There are a number of protected areas that may only be fished during certain times of the year. It's helpful to read the brochure "Fishing Laws of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern” in this respect and you can get hold of the brochure from the Fisheries Protection Unit of the State Fisheries Office of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Postbox 103115, 18005 Rostock (at a cost of Euro 3 plus postage). As an alternative we recommend also "Angling in the National Park of the Pommeranian Bodden country” or "Angling in the Greifswald Bodden” which can be obtained in the state fishery and tourism offices. Important notice: Since 2003 every effort has been made to ensure optimum protection during spawning time. It is recommended to avoid any unnecessary losses when fishing for the brackish water pike. Fish with a guide.

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