Abstract The abundance of 0+ pikeperch, Stizostedion lucioperca (L.), in trawls was compared with water temperature, water level and commercial catches 6–9 years later. The abundance of juveniles in autumn was positively correlated with the water temperature but not with water level in May or in June. The sum of a year abundance of juveniles showed a strong correlation with the catch years later. This abundance and the cumulative water temperature between August and October inclusive in five consecutive years one year prior to recruitment into the commercial fishery explained 86% of the variation in catches. This empirical model indicates that catches of pikeperch depend on both juvenile abundance and water temperature.