Cast a Line in Hokkaido

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Hokkaido lures many fishing lovers from all over Japan. The mountainous area of Niseko also has popular fishing spots – rivers, lakes, and the ocean – within a 90-minute drive distance or less. Whichever location you prefer, different types of tackle and casting techniques are necessary. Select the best bait for the specific type of fish you want to catch. Families can enjoy lake fishing and camp out nearby, while the ocean offers seasonal variations of fish, and you can expect a larger catch!

River Fishing

Widely known for having the nation’s best river water quality (total 15 accumulative years, 7 years in a row until last year), the fishing season begins in June. Snowmelt adds a large volume of water into the river, creating a powerful, rapid flow. Rainbow Trout, Landlocked Salmon, and other Hokkaido native fish appear from July onwards. The temperature could drop down into -20 degrees Celsius during winter month, but that doesn’t matter for the passionate trout fans. The best spots are under the Niseko Ohashi (yellow bridge), Yusanbetsu bridge (near JR Konbu station), and Makkari River Park. A wader and life jacket are the must-have items.

 

Lake Fishing

This northernmost, never freezing lake is the second deepest in Japan and said to be the clearest lake in the whole country. Located in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, the fishing season is between 1st June and 31st August, with curtailed fishing hours. The main resident is Sockeye Salmon in the 20-30cm size, possibly up to 50cm long. The most commonly used baits are red caviar (ikura) and shrimp, but plugs and flies are becoming popular nowadays.

 

Breakwaters

A famous family-friendly fishing spot is Iwanai town, just a 45-minute drive away from Niseko.
Types of fish found in this area are Righteye Flounder (March-May), Okhotsk Atka Mackerel
also known as Hokke (April-June), Surf Smelt (May-July, October-November), and Mackerel and
Sardine (September onwards). Try Sabiki bait rigs, your whole family could catch more than 100 fish. The old ferry pier is everyone’s favourite spot.

 

Deep Sea

For a great day on the water, fishing vessels can be booked just an hour away from Niseko. Cod
are usually larger than 60cm, large-scale Righteye Flounder and Hokke, rockfish-like Yanaginomai (perfect for sashimi!) are relatively easy to catch. You need the right fishing pole to reach 100m down to the ocean bottom, as well as electric power assist reel for big game fishing. Go for flatfish between July and November.
Contact: Mr. Kawachi 090-6211-8348

 

Long distance Surfcasting

A home for White-spotted Char (Ame-masu) and Cherry Trout (Sakura-masu). During the peak
months (December–March), this place becomes a special fishing destination for anglers from all over Japan. Winning the intense battle of reeling in and pulling up certainly gives you the biggest sense of accomplishment. The Ame-masu Fishing Derby has been held since 1991, the winning fish have been socalled monsters, at least 80cm long for the last few years.
Use heavy lures of 40-50g, and know how to choose your bait depending on the time of the year. Lure fishing is recommended from December to January, and fly fishing from February. Join the crowd usually found at the mouth of the river behind Seicomart (for fly fishing), the Enoshima shore, or the spot behind Michi no Eki (roadside rest area) Shimamaki.


 

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