Tag Archives: Goby

Merry New Year

Wishing you all calm seas and tight lines for 2017!


It’s that time of year again

Haze time!

Most of the fish were disposed of in the orthodox manner:

haze tenpura


Turned out nice again

More Sunday haze fishing

This time on the Kanagawa shore of the Bay.  The weather was good; so good in fact that despite two applications of sunscreen my nose and forehead ended up lobster-red, quite a feat for late November fishing.  This did not stop me enjoying a few ice-cold Yebisu beers throughout the day though.

I released about a dozen smaller fish, but there was still plenty in the bag for the neighbours, and a colleague at work who had placed a slightly oblique request for some of the fillets.  Somewhat embarrassingly, I also won a prize for my catch.  My haze rod continues to give good service, though I think I shall make another one, slightly longer this time.  I’ve a whiting rod project in the making also so it will be no great effort to add to it, and I think I will attempt another batch of tanago rods.

Many thanks to Mr. O. as always!

Haze fishing and tenpura trip

Last Sunday saw my annual haze fishing charter out on the Bay on a golden, sunny winter’s day.  Not a breath of wind (until after lunch) and so warm under my thermal waterproofs I took my hat and coat off and had to put sunscreen on my nose and ever-expanding forehead.

The fishing was very easy, pleasant and the fish gave plenty of sport taking the bait, although this year the fish seemed much smaller than usual.  The smaller haze I tended to release if hooked well, and only keep the bigger-sized fish. My homemade bamboo haze rod is still giving good service but its tip needs to be re-straightened over a fire after two seasons of use.

Come lunchtime and Captain Yukio as ever outdid himself in the galley, labouring over a giant pot of boiling sesame oil and serving up the most amazing tenpura comprised of whiting, cuttlefish, kuruma prawns, vegetables and things, all served by the deckhand hot-and-hot as soon as they came out the oil.  A great many number of cold beers, kanchuhai and other drinks helped them down, as well as pickles, rice, misoshiru and littleneck clams lovingly skewered onto bamboo sticks and roasted and basted with a sweet soy sauce marinade.

Unfortunately the wind suddenly began to blow from the south very strong after about midday, although I don’t think anyone begrudged not fishing after the giant tenpura meal and we packed up and headed home.  The trip was only slightly marred by a spot of engine trouble soon after weighing anchor, but a quick radio call and an obliging fellow sport angling boat came alongside and a man with a magical box of tools went below and sorted everything, saving us an ignomious paddle twenty yards to the shore (aside from those who can’t swim, who of course would be lost).  On reaching home, some of us more hardy anglers headed off to a local izakaya to further refresh ourselves, and one of my fishing buddies gave a detailed account of a particularly well documented ghost.  Thank you to all my fellow anglers, and to the captain, for another great day out.

First Tokyo Bay Haze

of the season.

Not a bad bag for the day; I released any fish smaller than 10cm that wasn’t hooked deep and there were still plenty of keepers.  Since we had eaten a massive tenpura lunch and I had had a few kanchuhai, I made a gift of these fish to one of the anglers on board, who wanted them for his restaurant.

Hopefully this weekend I am going out cuttlefish-fishing.

Matsushima Bay Bounty

The most orthodox method of dealing with haze: tenpura.  Eaten with just good sea-salt, there are few fish dishes I enjoy more than tenpura straight out of the pot.  If anything the batter was a little too thick but still came out pretty well.

The next dish is another favourite of mine when dealing with white fish: kobu-jime.  Here fillets of fish are salted and then pressed with a great weight between layers of konbu kelp leaves that have been moistened with vinegar.

To serve, I always eat it with finely chopped umeboshi plum.  These too are homemade.  Kobujime for me is always a bear-trap as it goes uncommonly well with almost all alcoholic drinks, often leading to over-indulgence.  I managed to control myself and drank only three cans of chuhai spirits.

Finally, as we left Matsushima in a characteristically generous gesture my rod making teacher said ‘I have no need for this’ and gave me the big blue swimmer-crab he had caught.  Good thing I didn’t mock him for falling over (see previous post)!

A hefty sized hen crab, which I split in two and made into miso soup; the taste was unbelievably good and rich.

Lastly, one of the curiosities of Matsushima Bay was the number of shako mantis shrimps we caught as by-catch.  I boiled mine in salted water and it made an excellent snack.