Today I caught some mebaru. In Tokyo Bay, this fish is caught using live shrimp as bait; the fish start feeding inshore once the water temperature rises with the end of winter. The kanji characters used to write mebaru comes out as the rather poetic “Fish that Announces Spring”. True to form, the weather today was wonderful, warm with a slight breeze all day, almost perfect spring fishing conditions. For the first time this year, I was able to ditch my thermal waterproofs and got by with standard wellies and trouser bottoms, a T-shirt over a long-sleeved shirt and my Tilley hat (more on this later). Whilst the catch was not abundant, it should be remembered that black mebaru are a rarity at market, and command a high price as ryohtei and luxury restaurants like to use them as symbols of Spring; one of middling size will put back the seasonally minded chef 800 to 1000 yen.