Personal record! 11.3kg, Medai or pacific barrelfish

Right after work went for short fishing session and got this ‘monster’ hooked 🙂 Was fun and intense fight, especially since i had to close down my drag completely and drag it out as fast as possible. Letting fish run even little bit meant a high risk of cutting the line by rocks. Depth changes really quickly, from 80m point to 10m is literally within 20-30m. I had it happen already few times and never will know, who ate my jig and pulled my rod so hard, that reel almost hit the water 🙂

  • Rod: Abu Garcia SS PRM Skid Shaft SPSC-79H/250
  • Reel: PENN Squal SQL40LDLH
  • PE: Kastking 65lb
  • Leader: Duel Yo-Zuri 22# 75lb
  • Lure: 120g slow type drag jig, pink blue (nothing special, really, price ~3USD)

Local name of the fish is Tarume, more know it as Medai. From what i could find, english name is Pacific barrelfish. Weight 11.3kg!

My first fishing gear choices and advice.

Before we moved to Iojima i didn’t have much experience with saltwater fishing, few times i went to fish with cheap basic gear and it was inland sea. Before moving we researched quite a bit and i was expecting already amazing place for fishing, but it beat even my highest expectations.

So, what kind of advice a novice in saltwater fishing can give? Most important, don’t rush with buying first gear you think is decent. There are plenty of options in almost any price range. I wanted to start fishing fast, so my decision was a bit rushed.

My first mistake was that i didn’t seriously consider how harsh saltwater environment is. Budget was of course quite limited and i didn’t use it well. While i’m happy with my choice of rod for shore jigging, Shimano Salty Advance S906MH 2.89m, good price, light, strong enough and guides don’t show any signs of rust in 10 month of shore and kayak fishing. We also have an active volcano here which constantly leaks gases that accelerate rusting (this was the only big surprise, i didn’t know just HOW much faster everything will start rusting here).

Shimano Nasci 4000HG was a big disappointment, it’s light, drag is smooth, but it’s weak to water, not only saltwater. All it takes just a bit of rain or wave splashing on it to make it really stiff. Since saltwater gets on reel i have to wash it all the time with freshwater, which makes things even worse. Already had to apply several times oil and grease. If i had a chance to choose again i would either buy cheap reel, little bit bigger and heavier or right away got decent reel with proper bearing sealing and more suitable for saltwater. And NOT Shimano. Not like their reels are bad, but when looking from a limited budget viewpoint, price to performance ratio is certainly not best. Although if weight and size is important it might become a bit different story.

Next i’ll talk about PE braided lines.

My first Greater amberjack!

Or so i think it’s called in english. I’m still far from remembering names of all local fish species, especially in Japan most fish have many different names depends on size and region.

The more i learn, the more saltwater fishing becomes fun. It’s packed with action and fish is tasty. The size is certainly not record-breaking, but i got really excited over my first Greater amberjack. It was a fun battle, i still had only light fishing gear that i got for land based fishing. Second most interesting fish of the day is Pigface bream, again i’m not so sure about name, only what i could find on the internet. In Japan common names are Taman or Hamafuefuki.

  • Rod: Shimano Salty Advance S906MH 2.89m
  • Reel: Shimano Nasci 4000HG
  • PE: Kastking 20lb
  • Leader: 30lb noname fluorocarbon
  • Lure: 80g slow wide butterfly type pink jig

Greater amberjack 4.5kg and pigface bream 4kg. My face is kinda funny here, way too difficult to keep eyes open in bright light 🙂

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Greater amberjack and Pigface bream

Sujiara 3kg

Quality of photos for now won’t be so good, but planning on buying decent waterproof camera and action camera for video, sadly already missed quite few interesting moments. Like my first shark which i got totally by accident on a 200g Shimano inchiku lure around 120m depth. Hook pierced it’s tail, but thanks to this, releasing was simple and safe. I think it was thresher shark, really long tail, around 10-15kg.

First time went to opposite side of Iojima on my Hobie Revolution 13, it’s not really far, around 5.5km from starting point. Tide currents are rather strong here, i still don’t know ocean well enough to risk going in less than perfect conditions. But with more practice and more safety gear i will explore my limits more.

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In next post i will go over my starting gear and mistakes i did, it’s sure better to take time selecting, than regretting latter!

My saltwater fishing journey begins!

How i ended up in Mishima-mura is rather long story, few details where from i am and why i moved to Japan in about page. My last fishing experience was over 10 years ago and back in my home country. I often went fishing with my father to nearby lakes and rivers, so it was a bit of a challenge to start all over again! I’ll be going in more details in future posts on how i caught up with local fishermen and went my own way.

I will also post stories, tips and guides, photos and videos from local fishermen, both amateurs and pros. Ocean surrounding Misimima-mura  is really rich even by Japanese standards!

Here are few photos to start: