of those days…
Strange weather for a Japanese summer on Sagami Bay, but I’m always glad to be out on the water, even on a day completely undisturbed by fish of any kind. By the by, I didn’t go hungry in the evening thanks to the kindness of the skipper, but that story is for another post to come soon…
On Sagami Bay, under a winter sun with hardly a breath of wind. The weather was if anything, too good, and the day passed quite undisturbed by fish. Luckily I had taken the precaution of packing a number of Yebisu beers, and snacks, in my ice chest and the day was passed most pleasantly in full view of Mt. Fuji and very little to do beyond occasionally making a pretense of checking one’s tackle, and fetching another beer from the cooler.
Fishing on Sagami Bay in the winter usually means calm water and spectacular views of Mt. Fuji. In my advancing years, it is hard to imagine that in my youth I actually climbed it to the very top. As the Japanese saying goes, “every person should climb Mt. Fuji once in their lifetime; he who does it twice, is an idiot.” Anyway, back on shore we were greeted by a bowl of hot udon, some fried things and a great number of boiled eggs, laid on by the boat as part of the day’s fee, and by the captain’s cat who waylaid us as we were finishing up our meal. Amongst twelve anglers that day the cat soon had me down as the soft touch, a mark, a flat, and I was obliged to amuse her whilst my fishing buddies were preparing to go home. I managed to escape eventually, under a cloud of feline disapprobation.
Yesterday was a dark, rainy, dismal-Jemmy day on Sagami Bay, and although we were supposed to be fishing for hirame, only one angler in twelve was in luck, and I was not the one. I managed to catch a lionfish and several moray eels, one of which was as long as my arm. The poisonous lionfish (it is edible though) went back to the sea, traumatised perhaps but otherwise unmolested, and so did the smaller eels. On the advice of the captain (“Morays should not be eaten in summertime, they are only good for the table when it is cold”) I kept the largest eel so that I could have something for my kitchen.
on Sagami Bay, but it was nice to get out on the water after a hiatus in my sea-fishing. I also caught two new species of fish to add to my list!
Many thanks as always to Noboru-maru, sailing from Urushiyama Nagai in Kanagawa Prefecture.
Concluded my first fishing trip of the new year with a catch of hirame (bastard halibut; Linnaeus’ Paralichthys olivaceus), a traditional winter sport fish here in Japan. Click through for the full story.
Grilled with salt and pepper, smeared in tororo yam-paste and wrapped in little spring rolls and fried. Served with chilli peppered grated daikon (momiji oroshi) and in my opinion, one of the greatest Japanese seasonings ever, ponzu-soy sauce.
By the by, this was my favourite photo from the day’s fishing; although it was overcast in the morning, and snowing at around 9am, by midday the Japanese version of the tramontana had cleared the skies of cloud enough to reveal a magnificent Mt. Fuji looking over Sagami Bay.
No luck with the hirame today, but I had the good fortune to snag a 3kg kanpachi.