Another fun thing about it is once seabass are onto Conoshiro, they lose
all demunity and they become fixated to big lures. I usually fish with
lures around 8'' but some folks goes up even to 12''. See their mouth that
can swallow my whole fist no problem.
In 2014, I made 119 seabass outing to catch 106 fish. This compares favorably
against the previous year 2013 (107 outings for 73 catches).
The shortage of rain in autumn tested my patience but Conoshiro pattern
toward the year's end made it all up. We counted 16 lunckers (80cm+) this
year, including 2 by Sayuri - doubling the record of 2013. The biggest
was 88cm. I am looking forward to seeing him again next year +2cm bigger
- Bream Games
As Spawned out Ayu pattern fades out, the last and probably the most explosive
pattern fishing starts - Conoshiro pattern. They are an oceanic fish but
they too run up the river to spawn. And this takes place as the water temperature
goes below 10degrees usually in November.
Compared with Ayu, Conoshiro prefers deeper, central part of the river and having a kayak improves the success rate dramatically.
Once you manage to locate the school of Conoshiro, you are in for a big
game. Often big seabasses are lurking several meters their downstream.
I had fished 90 some days this year from January till October, only to
land 2 trophy seabass above 80cm. But in November to mid December, I often
caught 2 or 3 trophies a night. Such is the explosive nature of Conoshiro
Conoshiro fed seabass are silver slab of powerful muscle. While mid sized
ones around 70cm are better acrobatists, the big ones fight like a bull,
shaking the heads violently in the water. A first class game fish by anyone's
October was annoyingly dry. What we need this time of the year is plenty
of rain that washes down the spawning Ayu to the hungry mouths of big seabass.
We prayed for typhoon rain but they either bypassed us or passed over us
too quickly to create a flood. Many outing was wasted on the banks way
We were deeply thankful for the precious back up alternative - baby mullets
pattern fishing. They are so abundant in the urban waters downtown Hiroshima,
and seabass, tired of waiting for Ayu, agreed to do with this alternative
To catch a big seabass on fly, Ayu is probably the most important bait
fish. First of all, Ayu is a very tasty fish (for humans too). Secondly,
they are not as numerous and when seabass find one, they generally fight
for it. Thirdly, and importantly for us flyfishers, Ayu are anadromous
fish that spends their short 1 year life migrating from river to the sea
and then back up.
In their migration, they tend to drifts down or swims up particular part
of the river and once you manage to read their routes, and wade near enough
to make up for the relative lack of casting distance against the spinning
rod, you have a good chance of landing a lunker on fly.
Seabass are nocturnal fish by nature. But, floods makes them active more
during the day than after dark. Probably easier for them to sight the bait.
Even small stream could turn into a roaring whitewater and, though very
few neighbors know it, seabass love it. Almost as soon as the river floods,
seabass swim up as far as they can, to hunt down the hapless bait fish
flushed down from the upper reaches. I had half an hour of hot action pulling
out multiple good fish out of the mess.
Ayu, after spawning, drift down the river to die. But the all too important
element is a flush of autumn rain. which didn't come this year.
After 7 successive unsuccessful outings even my persistence was almost
worn out. Knowing the modest rain that fell in late November was to be
my last chance, I ventured out though midnight weekday. And finally, managed
to nail down this beauty of 75cm on fly.
On Largemouth bass games
Kayak fishing for largemouth bass was the main subject of fresh water games
this year. In the man made reservoirs which tend to have steep shorelines
putting down FRP boats is not easy. That's where our inflatable kayaks
come handy. I managed 3 good fish above 20'' - not bad for a casual basser
Next comes my favorite pattern that uses monsoon flood as its catalyst.
And it is very timing sensitive fishing. When a good rain falls and the
river swells, you have to be there right on time!
I managed to make the best of such opportunities this year. Here's a testimonial
- 83cm brute that fought like an angry bull!
Monsoon clouds normally clear up by late July, but they somehow stayed on throughout August. Good that we could continue to enjoy the seabass games, though it wasted several good tides for the breams.
Finally in September the sun came back. And the shallow waters off the
coast of Iwakuni was filled with millions of Iwashi, a pilchard like small
bait fish. The scene was set for fun top water games, and for once quantity
did make up the relative lack of quality.
As the sakura blossoms go and the scent of summer comes, we anglers welcome
the high season of ''Baby ayu pattern''. Ayu is a distant family of trout
and they migrate up the river in late spring. Young ayu are still fairly
thin, place your pointer on the pic and see how they look.
Both my friend and I managed to hook up on a good fish, but alas, the hook
was not strong enough to subdue the beast. Better luck with stronger hook
On Seabass Games
My 2014 season opened up with a capture of 76cm seabass in the night of
new year's day.
The early part of the spring passed mildly, enabling me to enjoy the ''baby
squid pattern'' typical of the season. Strictly night fishing from lighted
jetties where baby squids flock on the surface, inviting their deadly nemesis
from the deep. Most of the fish are in the 60-70cm range and trophy fish
are rare. But it is fun checking one jetty after another, as long as you
are ready to brave the chill.
The biggest share of my outing was, again, for seabass. No surprise as
they are so near, and can be fished night and day in almost any weather
condition. New this year was the addition of rock fish games in early spring
and, regrettably, relative lack of bream games due to the unstable weather
at the height of the summer.
2014 again was full of actions & memorable captures.
Like any other worthy theme, you encounter more unknowns as you learn more.
Different faces of fields in big tides, small tides, and in different seasons,
so many more mysteries to uncover. Let me look back on those 166 eventful
days that I went out fishing in 2014.