fbpx
    • Spring
      • Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkaido

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Northern Tohoku’s Top 5 Spring Hikes

        Chase the cherry blossoms north and enjoy five of Tohoku’s best hikes this spring.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor Activities in Japan

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.

        Haga Farm Spring Glamping in Tochigi

        Haga Farm and Glamping in Tochigi opened in August 2020, but it has quickly become a popular escape for Tokyoites.

        Modern Day Samurai: Interview with a Horseback...

        Discover what life is like for Michael No, a horseback archer and "modern day samurai" who practices yabusame in Nikko.
    • Summer
      • Haga Farm Spring Glamping in Tochigi

        Haga Farm and Glamping in Tochigi opened in August 2020, but it has quickly become a popular escape for Tokyoites.

        Japan Camping Guide

        Check out our picks all the way from Hokkaido to the Okinawa Islands and then plot your perfect Japan camping adventure.
    • Autumn
      • video

        Shikoku Road Trip: Kochi by Camper Van

        Mountainous forests and coastal towns dominate most of the prefecture, where visitors will find enterprising locals and nature guides working to revitalize their communities. Shikoku’s winding roads are best explored by car.
    • Winter
    • Near Tokyo
    • Near Kyoto
    • All Regions
    • Article Map
    • Ocean and Beach
      • Spring Escapes: Outdoor Activities in Japan

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.

        Pacific Solo

        Preacher-tu...
        video

        Shikoku Road Trip: Kochi by Camper Van

        Mountainous forests and coastal towns dominate most of the prefecture, where visitors will find enterprising locals and nature guides working to revitalize their communities. Shikoku’s winding roads are best explored by car.
    • River and Lake
      • Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkai...

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor A...

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.
        video

        Shikoku Road Trip: Kochi ...

        Mountainous forests and coastal towns dominate most of the prefecture, where visitors will find enterprising locals and nature guides working to revitalize their communities. Shikoku’s winding roads are best explored by car.
    • Mountain and Land
    • Sky
    • Snow and Ice
      • hiroshima skiing osorakan snow parkvideo

        Hiroshima Skiing at Osorakan Snow Park

        Enjoy skiing and snowboarding just an hour from Hiroshima at Osorakan Snow Park. Every winter, people from Kansai and Kyushu flock to one of the region’s most popular ski resorts for winter fun.
    • Travel
      • Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkaido

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor Activities in Japan

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.
        Kamikatsu INOW Program

        Kamikatsu: Japan’s First Zero Waste Vill...

        Kamikatsu is Japan's first zero waste village. Travelers can experience what life is like here with the INOW cultural homestay program.
        Aoraki: Sustainable Luxury Glamping in Japan

        Aoraki: Sustainable Luxury Glamping in Japan

        Choose sustainable luxury glamping in Japan with Aoraki started by longtime Minakami resident Mike Burke.
    • Food and Drinks
      • Niseko flying Hokkaido

        Bird’s Eye View of Hokkaido

        Get a bird's eye view of Hokkaido with Ben Kerr, a Niseko-based pilot.

        Spring Escapes: Outdoor Activities in Japan

        Check out these spring escapes this season and enjoy outdoor activities throughout Japan.
        Kamikatsu INOW Program

        Kamikatsu: Japan’s First Zero Waste Vill...

        Kamikatsu is Japan's first zero waste village. Travelers can experience what life is like here with the INOW cultural homestay program.
        Aoraki: Sustainable Luxury Glamping in Japan

        Aoraki: Sustainable Luxury Glamping in Japan

        Choose sustainable luxury glamping in Japan with Aoraki started by longtime Minakami resident Mike Burke.
    • Races and Events

A ‘Coldy’ but ‘Goody’ 2

Usually I don’t go for this sort of thing. The forecast said we’d be getting rain all day, the north wind was going to gust, and the temperature wasn’t going to rise above 10 degrees. Normally, I’d lose much needed sleep wishing I could opt out of my charter when the weather is behaving so badly. Not this time.

I knew I’d soon be busy rustling with some feisty sea bass which were fattening up on the shallow north end of Tokyo Bay, as they do every late autumn, before heading south to spawn. 

My non-fisherman friends have come to know me as a guy who endures just about anything to get, what I’ve explained to them, a particular endorphin fix that only comes via the tug of a fish on the end of my line. 

There’s one exception.

Cold weather, especially wet cold weather, sends me into fishing hibernation usually from the holidays until early spring. Perhaps what puts me off this time of year is the childhood memory of warm December afternoons in New Orleans, when I could flip plugs for bass at the golf course ponds near my house wearing a T-shirt and flip-flops.

For my Malaysian buddy Chuck, putting up with the cold in Tokyo has to be even worse. But, like me, he knows a good bite is all that’s necessary to take your mind off everything that isn’t right about the world; never mind how cold your fingers are.

Our four-hour charter passed in a flash as we boated fish after fish. Some folks think this kind of incessant frenzying takes the challenge out of the sport, but there is a skill set to it. The captain takes care of finding the fish, but it’s up to the anglers to figure out what lure to use, where to cast it, which depth range to fish and retrieval speed.

The fluidity of tidal movements and weather can quickly change things such as water clarity, color and temperature, which in turn affects where the fish are holding and how they’re feeding. 

Aside from the fun of fighting and subduing my catch, the coolest thing about fishing is juggling all these factors and figuring out how to entice bites. That’s the “juice” to me and many other anglers. Perhaps we feel like “we get it” –like we’re in touch with the human hunter instinct which people who don’t fish have forgotten about.

Chuck and I hadn’t bothered counting how many sea bass we caught, but our guide reckoned it was more than 100 fish. Although we didn’t happen across any lunkers, we were plenty satisfied with the action. All that was left to do was get a hot bowl of ramen and sort out our next run in Tokyo Bay.

Rain or shine, we’ll be ready.

Outdoor Japan logo tree

Related

Latest posts

Categories