• Text: Andrey Haustov

Fishing during the warmer months in Vladivostok certainly draws a smaller crowd than in the winter. This is simply because in the winter you can reach the water on foot, and summer requires special gear for for spearfishing. Nevertheless, people fish and the catch is quite diverse.

Herring spawn from March to May in Peter the Great Gulf. Although the law prohibits catching them during spawning, herring fat with roe and milt are still displayed in the markets.

After the ice recedes, sea breams are caught on their way to spawn in the Suifenhe (or Razdolnaya) River. Dark flounder and pollack lurk in the Stark Strait and Russian Island bays. The season begins in May for Pacific redfin and Japanese smelt, which are also beginning to spawn. The smelt swarm in coastal waves, and are often called „surfers„. Catching them is as easy as dipping a net, although this is prohibited by law. “Surfers" pair well with cherry salmon. You can try to catch them in a boat using a spinning reel; however, should you succeed, consider it luck. In late May, spawned sea bream return from the rivers to the sea. The sea bream, in contrast to salmon, feel great after this process. This fish can be caught using earth and sea worms.

In the summer when the water temperature warms, mullet migrate to Amur Bay from the southern latitudes. They can often be seen jumping out of the water. Completely calm, sailing through the air and landing with a loud splash, it is a magical spectacle to observe! This is a very cautious fish, and not easy to catch with bait or a speargun. In Tavrichanka, the locals use a net to herd the mullet and then scoop them up in the shallows.

From time to time, but not every year, the Amur Bay sees runs of large cod, herring and Pacific redfin. The waters of the bay during these times are filled with fleets of small vessels: boats, cutters, and yachts with numerous fishing rods visible from all sides. And fishermen dot the shores and piers.


In August, there is little fishing in the coastal waters of the Amur Bay. Most fish species have retreated to cooler, more oxygen-rich depths. However, this is the best time for squid fishing. Fishing is done at night, far from the shore. At one time, the tackle used for squid fishing was very primitive, and shiny like a stainless steel spoon. Today, specialty shops offer a wide variety of specialty gear for catching these cephalopods. The squid are caught from boats, sometimes even with the help of sonar. Squid trolling is, of course, much easier than fishing; however, it has its own nuances: You must be able to choose the right place, find the depth, choose bait of the right size, color, and lure shape, choose the right jig weight (which depends on the force of the current and the depth the squid is at when it bites).

It is a rather dangerous way to fish: anchored boats next to one another, each shining a light into the water which attracts young fish, which in turn are hunted by squid.

For the residents of Vladivostok, squid fishing is a favorite activity, which attracts families, large companies, and even entire workforces. Squid is enjoyed in delicious salads, prepared on the grill, and pan-fried, stuffed, dried, made into jerky, smoked, etc.


Spearfishing is loved no less by the residents of Vladivostok than regular fishing. However, it requires physical fitness, skill and equipment. In addition, the spearfishing season is limited from June to October. But, there are extreme athletes who are ready to dive almost as soon as the ice recedes. The main objects of spearfishing in Vladivostok are Atka mackerel, greenling, Shlegel's black rockfish, and perch. Perhaps the most coveted trophy is the amberjack. Schools of these fish, weighing up to 15 kg, come into the waters of Peter the Great Bay from the south.

In addition to fish, octopus, scallops, oysters, mussels and sea urchin are trophies for spearfishers. You can catch a sea cucumber, but it is against the law and may result in serious fines or even criminal charges.

Come to Vladivostok!

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