Tokara Islands Japan

Discussion in 'Saltywater Tackle' started by Nick, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Nick

    Nick Site Sponsor

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    For the last few years I have been lucky to have had some great Japanese clients and done a couple of trips to Japan to the Sportsfishing Festival. It has been a great experience to learn new techniques, see new products, understand why products have been developed and generally get a better understanding of where and how GT Popping and Jigging developed. This has also greatly changed the way that I fish and run our operation. Initially it was all about power and max drag, biggest lures, strongest lines but this has changed as I’ve got a better appreciation and understanding of equipment and also that at the end of the day we do this for business yes, but also enjoyment!
    But over the years there has always been one place that has been talked about in a mystical tone and somewhere that I have always wanted to visit and fish and that is Tokara Islands Japan! Tokara Islands is a place of legend and there are endless stories of monster fish, bad weather and of course the Big Dipper and Capt Fukui-san! This is the home of popping and jigging.

    When Konishi-san and Mogi-san invited and arranged a trip for myself and Sami in May 2012 to Tokara there was no hesitation to say yes. Dates were agreed and then the long wait for the day to come that I boarded an Emirates flight from Dubai to Osaka Japan. I landed in Osaka and met up at our hotel with Sami. We enjoyed catching up and getting stuck into some Japanese food. Still worth the trip just to eat the Japanese food, it is always fresh, amazingly prepared and the variety is mind blowing! After a few beers and excited talk of the upcoming trip we managed to get back to the hotel for a bit of sleep.

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    Hotel rooms in Japan not the biggest but do the job!
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    Tuna is a religion in Japan, you can see it everywhere! Sami with his normal Tuna smile!!
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    Tuna
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    More Tuna
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    The choices are endless but also a bit tough sometimes to understand so just point and hope!
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    We chose a restaurant that BBqs all the food in front of you, just point to what you want!
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    Cheers we are in Japan!!

    The next morning Ajiti-san and Tanaka-san met us at the hotel and drove us out to the Carpenter Factory this was the start of an amazing adventure. I really did not now what to expect but was very excited to see the factory. We arrived and where greeted by Konishi-san and his wife Sumiyo-san. The factory had a traditional and old school feel. There was an air of workmanship and smell of wood and epoxy.
    We walked upstairs to the offices and rod building areas. Truly amazing, all the rods are built up by hand and there where rods in various stages of completion! There is no doubt in the quality and workmanship that goes into each rod. Then after sorting out some orders for lures and logistics we were leaving and I think Konishi-san was keeping the best for last, as we were about to exit the building Konishi-san smiled and said “please come this way” He turned on a few lights and we were greeted by something that I will battle to explain!! Basically lure heaven!! There were hundreds maybe thousands of Carpenter lures hanging in racks upon racks in various stages of completion. Sami and I were like kids on Christmas day running around looking at all the toys! Every colour, shape and design. All works of art and cared for individually by hand. The mental picture is burnt in my memory for eternity! Out of respect we did not take any pictures inside the building.

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    Waiting outside the hotel with all our gear!
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    Outside the Carpenter Factory
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    Gamma 250
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    More lures destined for our shop.

    After getting our pulse rates back to normal we headed for lunch and our hotel. The town that the factory is in is small and relaxed. There are rice fields in the center of town. Very different to what I have seen in Osaka and Tokyo, really laid back and was great to see. Next morning we were up early and heading for the airport with the most of the team of Konishi-san, Ajiti-san, Sami and myself. We arrived at the airport with more rods than most shops will stock and all of them Carpenter! A lot of prototypes! The service and help at the airport to pack rods into airline supplied carry cases was something I had never experienced and the staff at the check in where incredible. Wish all fishing travel was this easy! Finally we were on the 1.5 hour flight to Amami.

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    Sami ready to head for the airport
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    Rice fields in the middle of town.
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    Arriving at the airport
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    Checking in with this much gear not very easy!

    The excitement could be cut with a knife. As we flew south and could see the sea and everything looked perfect, but Konishi-san had warned us that the weather could be bad due to a typhoon off the coast. But we were holding thumbs and so far so good. As we started to descend Sami nudged me to look out the window, heartbreak, the sea was upside down, wind pumping and dark clouds! The sea was very very angry! But this is part of fishing that the weather and conditions can’t be perfect all the time, but we always wish it could be! After the initial disappointment we soon cheered up as we were arriving in Amami and for me a new place to visit and experience!

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    In the plane all excited before we saw the weather......
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    Flight from Osaka to Amami

    We were greeted by Fukui-sans wife and quickly learnt that we would not be heading out for Tokara Islands due to weather. We arrived at Fukui-sans house which on a point right above the beach. Amami is a beautiful tropical island with sugar cane, palms and an island style laid back vibe. We unpacked and started to rig up the gear. Mogi-san had sent through a Monster Hunter Rod for me to add to the two rods I bought Endless Passion 85/36 and the good old trusty Wild Violence 80XH. Also Konishi-san had some prototype rods for Sami and myself to use.

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    Fukui-sans house
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    The legend
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    Monster Hunter 80H delivered to the house from Mogi-san!

    Fukui-san arrived back with another group and the guys looked seriously beaten up, one guy had black eyes and a possible broken nose, Sami and I both raised an eyebrow and started to wonder what we had got ourselves into. The guys had stories of big waves, high wind and difficult fishing. Also Taniy-san arrived to complete our group. Taniy-san was on the trip to help with translation and he really helped us with history, tackle, and communicating. Really great to have him on the trip! After a bit of discussion with Fukui-san we found out that bad weather was the norm and we would head out in the morning, he did not seem to worried, but when I looked out from the house at the sea I was very worried!!

    One of the highlights at Fukui-sans house was to see his personal collection of lures, rods and reels, it is almost like a complete history of GT fishing from the early days till today, and you realize how long Fukui-san has been captaining and guiding when you look at the collection, very impressive and I would say priceless. This was a proper man cave!!!

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    A replica of a GT Fukui-san caught from the shore in Tokara, notice all the rods up in the roof!
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    Loads of Gammas given by clients that have caught fish on them.
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    58kg caught on this 160 before we arrived.
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    Poppers
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    Old reels
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    Awesome to see the collection.

    We headed out for lunch and some sight seeing around the island. We stopped at a chicken restaurant. All looked good till Taniy-san asked if we wanted to try CHICKEN SUSHIMI! After laughing a bit I realized Taniy-san was serious so Sami and I thought what the hell lets try! When the chicken sashimi arrived it look fine, and then when I took the first bite my head was telling me not to eat it but it tasted good, a very strange experience, but in the end it was very good and I’m still here today! After another great meal we headed for the supermarket to buy drinks and snacks for the trip, now again this was another experience as all the products are different and it took Sami and I about 1 hour to choose a few drinks and snacks, in the end we should have followed everyone else and taken the same things as they did! We got back to the house and finished off setting up the tackle, dinner and straight to bed!

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    Chicken sashimi!
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    Sami looking a bit nervous!
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    Thumbs up, so far so good!

    Fishing Amami and Tokara is slightly different to anywhere else I have fished, you wake up around 07.00am and then have breakfast and head out around 08.00/30am. It is very leasurily but you soon come to realize this is done as you fish till almost dark and also the body cannot handle much more fishing due to extreme conditions, casting heavy lures and fighting big fish! After breakfast we packed up the two minibusses and headed for the Marina and the legendary Big Dipper. At first glance she is an amazing boat, purpose built for GT fishing. We loaded a small tackle store onto the boat and headed out into the still very angry sea! Sami said to me don't worry this was normal weather and same as his last tip. I looked at it and thought it was going to be a long hard day and trip, but after the first 30 minutes of running into the sea at 22knots I realized that the Big Dipper was not a boat but a high performance GT Weapon!!

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    Loading up all the rods, for 5 people!!
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    Big Dipper!
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    Excellent rod storage along the side of the boat.
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    Loading up the gear
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    Heading out to sea
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    Tanaka-san giving the thumbs up with Taniy-san and Fukui-san at the helm
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    Sami and Ajiti-san in high spirits and always playing jokes.

    We got to the first GT point and there was huge current, big waves and lots of wind. The water was crystal clear and the place just felt fishy! After a couple of drifts we moved to the next and last point off Amami before heading for the famous Tokara Islands. The last point was a couple of small islands sticking out of the sea in no mans land and just had GT written all over it! By now we had forgotten the weather and were just excited to try and hook up a fish, but we were reminded every now and then when the boat rocked at right angles to the sea and we almost got flung off the fore deck, but you soon got used to grabbing for the railings and holding on. Must say it is conditions that we would not be able to fish in Southern Oman on Center Console boats!!

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    Small islands
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    More islands
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    Sami casting with Tanaka-san in the background
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    Big Dipper in action

    By this time Sami and I were on the bow of the boat casting into the shallow areas and working our Gammas as best we could in the wind and current when Sami let out the all familiar GT cry and I looked up and saw a good fish swirl under his lure but not hit the lure, the fish came back again and missed and then disappeared, by now our GT adrenalin was pumping and this was what we had come for! Now the night before we had been taliknig and the guys had said that around Amami the GTs were smaller around the 25-30kg mark, so this was the size fish we were expecting.

    I put out a long cast with the wind with the new Monster Hunter 80H I got from Mogi-san and started working the 160H Black and Silver Gamma (amazing lure) back towards the boat with long strokes when from the side a massive black shape came up rolled on the lure and almost pulled me off the bow of the boat. I hit the fish several times making sure the hook was set properly and the game was on! Now on the fore deck of the Big Dipper you stand about 2m above the water line so I opted to get to the stern of the boat to fight the fish so I didn’t end up overboard, I slowly got a bit of line back and used the fish as leverage to walk the fish to the back of the boat. Finally in position I started to work back line. After another strong burst and line peeling off the reel I thought that these Japanes GTs were very strong for 30kgs!! After getting some more line back I could see the fishes number plate way down in the water, the fish must have been 40m away and you could see it clearly the water was so clean. I got the fish up to the boat and it was clear that the fish was way over 30kgs. An amazing fish for Amami and I was over the moon with my first Japanese GT!!

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    Loving every moment, MH80H in action!
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    Fighting
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    47kg GT
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    Picture with Fukui-san! A lot of congratulations going around!

    Now the interesting part came and something I have been wanting to see for a long time. Fukui-san while I was fighting the fish pulled a large long fish box from the stern of the boat and connected a pipe and used a saltwater pump to fill up the fish box and to create a current inside, he then with Taniy-sans help netted the GT and landed the fish, removed the barbless hooks and quickly put the fish into the fish box so the fish was in an upright position as if swimming, the current in the face of the GT to revive the fish. The fish was left in this postion for a good few minutes to revive. The fish was then tagged and removed from the box to measure and then onto a flat scale to weigh, I watched this with much interest and was very impressed how easy and accurate this method was. My fish topped the scale at 47kg!! A fantastic fish!

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    GT in the fish box reviving.
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    GT loaded onto the scale to get the weight. The good part of this system is that the scale is low on the ground and an accurate reading is possible.

    The fish was then returned to the fish box. Now the seat was positioned for the picture and I was put in position for the picture and then after a couple more minutes the fish was removed form the fish box water and straight onto my lap for a picture and then released straight back into the water! This method was quick, relaxed and expertly done and causing the fish minimal trauma! This method is about the best I have seen and something we will adapt for our boats in Northern and Southern Oman.

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    Another picture of the fish. Very happy with with this fish and it will go in my top 5 caught!

    I was over the moon to have caught such a great fish so early on the trip. So I took a few minutes while we did another drift to enjoy the moment and also to sit back and take in the environment and a great feeling of a long standing mission that has been accomplished! We set up for another drift and were starting the drift in 80ms of water, so Ajiti-san and Tanaka-san both changed to Pandora 155 lures and it was very interesting to watch them work the lures, on the 60m mark Tanaka-san had a hit and set the hook. With the Pandora being a sinking lure we could not see what the fish was but from the tell tail head shakes we were sure it was a GT, then from the back of the boat we heard a shout and Ajiti-san had also gone tight on a fish. A double hook up on Pandoras!! The guys fought the fish and got them up to the boat and the same procedure was followed. Two great fish of 33 and 30kgs landed and returned safely!!

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    Ajiti-san bending
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    Tanaka-san bending on the bow of the boat
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    Fukui-san getting ready to land Tanaka-sans fish
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    Double trouble!
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    Weighing one of the fish
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    Ajiti-san GT
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    Tanaka-sans GT

    We finished a few more drifts with not much luck and then packed away the rods and were told it was going to be a long hard 2 hour run out to Tokara Islands! The Big Dipper turned and headed out into the huge swell cruising at 22 knots. This trip is definitely not for the faint hearted and must be how a UFC fighter must feel after 3 rounds, beaten up! You are bashed around and there is no reprive! When you are fishing you are trying to balance and hitting the railing, when you are casting or working the lures you are leaning and trying to brace yourself against the railing and then when you are in the cabin traveling you are trying to hold on and not fly off your seat!! And to put it all in one word! Awesome! After about 1.5 hours I was watching the radar and could see something big coming up about 10 miles away, I stood up and caught my first glance of the Tokara Islands. A few more minutes and Fukui-san started to throttle back and said ready?? A quick scramble to get kitted up and we were back up on the fore deck of the boat ready to cast! The sea was still angry but the water was clean and we could see shallow sea mounts dropping off into indigo water and it just looked like a big flashing billboard saying here are GTs!!

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    Tokara Islands

    Konishi-san had given me a prototype Carpenter 80/40 rod to use with PE10. Extremely nice rod and very exciting to use a new rod that is not in production and I have not used before. I put on a Gamma 200 with 10/0 Decoy hooks and was ready to try hook the beast of the east! I was fishing off the stern on the boat and casting with the wind behind me, which was great and the rod had plenty of backbone to cast the heavy lure but a soft enough tip to work the Gamma very well. We had drifted about 250m when I saw a little green patch of shallower water coming up, I put a few casts at the area but fell short and then finally the green water came into range and I put a good cast over shallow reef. One and two pulls and a monster black GT came up behind the lure and smashed the lure but the hook did not set, the fish came in again and missed the lure and then from the side a smaller fish came flying in and took the lure right in front and the bigger fish, by now my heart was in my mouth and heart beat at about 300! I hit the fish and the fight was on, I lent on the rod and thought I would see what the rod had under the hood and I was not disappointed, the rod handled very well and I got the fish to the net in a short time. A very nice 28kg GT! A few pictures and the fish was released. Incredible day!

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    Fish in the reviving box
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    Happy with another good fish

    We carried on our drift and ended up next to Kodakarajima island (small treasure island). Which had amazing shallow water, big current and crashing waves but we did not raise any more GTs. We headed towards Takarajima Island 9Treasure Island, apparently were Capt Cook burried treasure)where we were going to stay at a guesthouse for the night. We did some long drifts starting in about 80m of water towards the islands. And this was a new way of fishing, the guys were using pandoras and letting it sink down towards the bottom and pulling the lures up through bait balls which were marked on the depth finder. From the GPS I could see that this method worked very well as there were loads of points saved of fish caught but unfortunately for us we did not hook any GTs but Sami started to wrack up some species with a big bluefin trevally a good jobfish and a grouper on jig.

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    Sami with a good bluefin taken on the Gamma
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    Sami with a jobfish taken on Gamma.

    With the sun setting we headed into Takarajima Port and to stay the night at a small guesthouse. All the equipment was left on the boat and there is no safety worry which was amazing. We took what we needed for the night and drove in 2 cars left for us by the guesthouse owners. We showered and had another great dinner and as we were relaxing we were asked if we wanted to go and try night casting for GTs as the flyfish were being pushed into the port!! Now this is something that Sami and I had talked about for many years and hoped we could try! Both of us were up and changed back into our fishing clothes and were ready! We headed back down to the marina and went out on Big Dipper to the port entrance. Very strange casting into the dark and you cannot see what is happening or what is coming, felt a bit like Russian rollette!! Just waiting for the bullet or hit!! When the lights were turned on we could see hundreds of flyfishing but unfortunately we did not get any hits and finally after a few hours the our bodies started screaming for some rest and sleep!

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    Dinner before night fishing

    We got back to the guesthouse unrolled our bed rolls and fell into a deep sleep very quickly! Waking up the next morning a lot of aches and pains from the day before! Really new we were on a good fishing trip!! Now I really appreciated the late start in the morning, had time to wake up, have coffee, shower, have breakfast and get ready. After packing up we headed back down to the boat and headed out to start fishing. The islands of Tokara are really green and tropical with big mountains and beautiful to see.

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    Loading the gear for the night into the truck
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    Sami a very tired man!
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    Bed rolls on the floor, great for the back!
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    View from the toilet, got to love it!!
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    Catching a ride on the truck

    We headed out towards Kodakarajima and fished some deeper water leading up onto the island starting at about 60m. Took a few casts to warm up the muscles and we were soon back into action. We raised about 3 fish but mainly smaller fish that just swirled at the lures and did not show to much more interest but still good to see some fish around. We moved again and started in deeper water drifting towards the one of the islands when a fish came up behind my lure and smoked it! I hit it a good few times as the fish was right at the end of my cast! I worked my way to the back of the boat and got the fish to the boat fairly quickly. Another very nice 30kg Tokara GT. The fish was put in the fishbox, revived, measured, tagged, weighed, photographed and released.

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    Heading out the marina
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    One of the first point we fished in the morning.
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    Back in action with Arabic Dress holding up the name for Dubai and Oman! Arab Style!
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    Reviving the fish
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    Picture with Konishi-san, fish caugh on the MH80H and Gamma 160H

    We had found a little honey hole and next Ajiti-san went tight on a Pandora. Ajiti-san was using an Endless Passion 86/40, really nice rod with a great bend. He got a nice 33kg fish to the boat for a few pictures and then released. Then Sami was up on the bow working a Gamma 160H, when I heard a great big shout and looked up and Sami had a good fish crash onto his lure and Sami hit the fish several times and the fight was on. Sami put the prototype PE10 rod to the test and poured on the pressure, great to see Sami in action and he got the fish to the boat with a lot of celebration!! A really good 33kg fish. Really happy our mission had been accomplished to both catch GTs in Tokara! We got a good few pictures and released the fish!

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    Ajiti-san bending
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    Another good fish
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    Sami working his lure before getting hit!
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    Bang fish on! Sami in action!
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    Awesome fish reviving
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    Sami very happy with his fish! Being weighted
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    Now thats what we came for!! Nice 33kg GT!

    On the next drift Ajiti-san again went tight on a white Gamma160. Really great action and all in deep water. Ajiti-san put all his years of experience into the fight and had the fish to the boat in no time. Another great 27kg GT. A few more pictures.

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    Ajiti-san in action
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    Well fought fish.

    The fish slowed down a bit and also Fukui-san like us does not like to fish one point or area for to long and also after one of two fish moves away. This is to try and conserve fish and areas and not over fish a spot and chase all the fish away. We moved back to the point from the previous day where I got my second fish. Now the excitement was on as we new that there were some big fish in the area. We slowly drifted towards the shallow green area and we were all putting in casts towards the shallow area. The shallow area came into range and I managed to put in a long cast and pulled the one, two times and then as the lure was on top of a big swell a big black mamma came up behind the lure and smoked the lure, incredible hit with everyone on the boat seeing the hit clearly! I struck the fish a few times and the fish took off like a steam train! Line was flying off the reel even with high drag and me tying to palm the fish! Finally after about 80m of line being taken the fish stopped and I could feel that the fish was hooked badly and the back hook was in the mouth and front hook in the side. I let out a slow groan and new I was in for a lot of hurting!! The fish took off again and took about another 50/60m on line. Now I was worried both about the bad hook position and also getting reefed!

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    Trying to pull the fish!

    Finally I managed to turn the fish and thought just let the rod do the work and started leaning on the rod as much as possible, the rod was the 80/40 prototype and if it was going to be tested it was now! With muscles starting to burn, I bit the bullet and slowly worked the fish back towards the boat. Finally I saw a small silver number plate in the distance, the water is so clean that the fish must have been 60m away. Slowly I carried on working the fish towards the boat and when I got the fish to the boat, I could see that the fish had been hooked on the anal fin and I had pulled the fish in backwards and sideways!! My arms felt like they were on fire but I was very happy to have got a very hard fought fish to the boat and also put the prototype rod through a lot of pressure with no problems. We loaded the fish and another great fish pulling the scale to 43kgs. A good few pictures and the fish was released.

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    Very happy to have the fish in the boat.
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    Awesome fish!

    We fished another couple of islands including Suwanosejima island which is where the World Record GT was caught, awesome to now that you are fishing where there are 70kg+ GTs! But unfortunately we did not hook up any fish. We then fished Nakanoshima Island which is a volcanic island and there was smoke coming out the the volcano, first time I have fished in volcanic ash fall! The trip just seemed to get more extreme! We got out to the Northern most fishing areas and sea mounts which in the passed months had been producing very big fish but unfortunately the wind and current where in opposite directions and the conditions were not good for GTs. After trying hard in the afternoon fish deeper areas with pandoras we did not have any success except a couple of hits from sharks. Fukui-san finally called in a day and we headed for Kuchinoshima island to stay at another great guesthouse.

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    Coming into the port on Kuchinoshima Island

    We again got picked up by some small trucks by the owners of the guesthouse and were driven up over the top of the mountain to their guesthouse. Amazing scenery and very tropical with bamboo plantations, palm trees, banana plants and jungle plantation smells! We got to the guesthouse and all showered and had a few beers. Then had a great dinner which included young bamboo! Really tasty and after you peeled them it was like eating asparagus. We also had fresh squid sashimi along with fish and chicken! No shortage of very tasty food after a long day.

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    Bamboo for starters! Very nice!
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    Dinner
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    Myself and Taniy-san
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    Sami enjoying dinner

    It was also great as Konishi-san had bad flu and high fever for most of the trip so far and in the afternoon had started to feel better and started to fish, was great to see the legend in action. That night we sat and chatted through Taniy-san translating with Konishi-san about the rods we had been using, techniques, lures etc. Really interesting and priceless to get insight to why lures and rods have been built and especially how to use them. Really enjoyed the evening and will long remember sitting in the middle of a jungle in Tokara with Sami, Konishi-san, Taniy-sana and myself discussing GT fishing, Tokara, USA, Oman and Carpenter.

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    Sami in his "bed"

    Next morning we had our normal leisurely wake up and breakfast and then headed back toward the boat through a scenic drive of the island. Really breathtaking. We headed out towards some of the seas mounts that we fished the day before but did not have any luck. We then tried some other island and points but again not too much luck except for Sami the jigging pro who managed to get a nice grouper and bonito for sashimi that night. The currents were not correct and also there was some serious weather and rain heading our way, so Fukui-san made the decision to head back towards Takarajima island and fish where we caught the fish the days before and then back to Amami. This was a total of 93miles direct but on the boat would be well over a 100 mile run, but as normal the Big Dipper was up to the task and by now we were used to the pitch and roll of the boat.

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    Sami and myself on the front of Big Dipper
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    The team in good spirits on the return journey
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    Two legends Konishi-san and Fukui-san

    On the way back towards Takarajima Island we stopped at a few deep sea mounts that came up from 80m to 20m. This was prime Pandora country and Konishi-san fishing off the back of the boat hooked up to a good fish on the Pandora, really great to see him in action and with hooking the fish deep down it gave a good fight but Konishi-san got the fish to the boat and we got a few good pictures and released the fish.

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    Konishi-san in action on a prototype rod and Pandora prototype.
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    Very nice 33kg GT.

    We fished the same spot were we caught the 3 GTs the day before but had no luck. Finally we moved to our last spot of the trip where I had caught 2 of my GTs. Now it was a bit of a joke that this was Nicks Point, and the pressure was on to try and make it 3 out of 3! The sea had already started to pick up and fishing was tough, but we slowly moved towards the shallow green spot and now everyone was casting for the shallow area but I was right on the bow of the boat so did not have the angle so I cast out to the left of the shallow area. I was working the stickbait back and a massive shape came up behind the Gamma 160H. By this time I’m screaming and shouting, the fish looked like the Kraken coming towards me, the GT tried to hit the lure and missed, the fish then turned and came back towards the lure when all of a sudden a massive Doggy came from the side and hit the lure and cleared the water about 6ft into the air, total chaos! The fish came straight towards the boat and then under the boat, Fukui-san was moving the boat backwards and sideways to give me angle, the fish then turned and peeled off line at a very rapid rate with the Stella 18000 singing! After taking about 100m in 5 seconds the fish reefed me on the same shallow green reef that had been so productive for me!!! I was left holding my rod laughing and wondering what had just happened!! An awesome way to finish our trip to Tokara! The time was 16.30pm and we still had a long hard 2 hour run to Amami before it got dark. So with the last good byes to Tokara and a massive Doggy that will haunt my dreams we turned and headed for Amami.

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    A net got caught in the prop on the way back and no worries to Fukui-san he grabs his mask and fiuns and bails over the side of the boat!!

    I was glad to see Amami island come into sight as it was getting dark. Always nice to steam into calm waters. Fukui-sans wife and son were waiting for us at the dock and we quickly unpacked and headed for a public bath house, very interesting place. We all had baths and showers which soothed the aching bodies and left us felling very relaxed and clean! Fukui-san and his family then treated us to a Japanese BBQ at one of the restaurants. Really great food again and they also made sashimi of the grouper and bonito that Sami caught along with steaming the grouper, very tasty! Almost ate my fingers off! We all had a great night and when we got back to Fukui-sans house the rain and storm had already started and I was very happy to be in Amami.

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    Rods packed into the bus!
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    Japanese BBQ
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    Fresh Grouper and Bonito Sashimi

    The following day we packed up with driving winds and it was sad to be leaving Amami and Tokara but we will be back again. This trip was really amazing and something that both Sami and I have wanted to do for a long time together and we appreciate being invited to fish with Konishi-san. I have said it before and I’ll say it again when I found GTs in Oman and started GT charters I thought I new everything and now 8 years later I realize how little I now and how much I still have to learn. It is not all about power and high drag setting, there is a whole culture of how GT fishing evolved and a great history and it is great to be able to spend time with people like Konishi-san, Fukui-san, Ajiti-san, Taniy-san and Tanaka-san. It was also great for all of them to say that they had learnt from Sami and myself and paid compliments to the way we fish, so there is no right or wrong but just a chance to learn from other fisherman. I also look forward to Konishi-san, Fukui-san, Ajiti-san and Tanaka-san coming to fish with us in Southern Oman this next season! Now I just got to hope I can catch the a few fish like they did for me!!

    Finally as we drove away from Fukui-sans house Sami and I turned around and in true Japanese hospitality Fukui-san was standing in the pouring rain waving good by to us till be were out of sight about 1.5 kms down the road. We were both amazed but not surprised by Fukui-san a true legend.

    If you ever have the chance to visit or are invited to fish Tokara or any of the Japanese GT destinations, don't hesitate say yes it is an experience that you will never forget as a GT fisherman! Truly priceless!

    Cheers,
    Nick
    www.oceanactive.com
    Ocean Active | Facebook
     
  2. Nepptune

    Nepptune Senior Member

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    I've read some damn fine reports over the years. But few. If any, even come close to this one Nick.. Pictures, writing and adventure of the highest order..... Mad respect mate, I salute you!
     

  3. RAL

    RAL Senior Member

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    Hell Yeah! Big Dipper the legend in action :cool:... Thank you for sharing Nick, great fishing, great company and a great report!
     
  4. mtbrider

    mtbrider Senior Member

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    Awesome report!! Looks like a great trip
     
  5. mag

    mag Senior Member

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    Great read, thanks for shearing.
    Fishing at Tokara, visited Carpenter equals dream trip :)

    Did you try the new Monster Hunter , extreme rod?
     
  6. Nick

    Nick Site Sponsor

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    Hi Dre, Many thanks always appreciate your comments! Was a great trip and company and made the fishing and report easy! We going to see you in Oman this coming season??

    Hi RAL, 100% right? The Big Dipper is something else! Different league!

    Hi Mag, Many thanks! Was a dream trip for both Sami and I. Something we are very thank full that we were invited. I tried a couple of rods but I could not be sure if one of the rods was a Monster Hunter extreme, but I did use a 80/40 rod which was similar to the MH80H but a bit more power and better casting. Hopefully this rod will come onto the market as it will be perfect as a rod for both GTs and Bluefin. Enough backbone but still enough finesse to present good lure action.

    Cheers,
    Nick
     
  7. bay bruiser

    bay bruiser Senior Member

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    Thats a fantastic read Nic, thank you for taking time to write it, and post the photos which complete the picture.
     
  8. egluck

    egluck Senior Member

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    Makes me feel like I was there with you man!
     
  9. HWK

    HWK Senior Member

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    Absolutly sick report Nick !!! Thanks for sharing,..
     
  10. tightlinemike

    tightlinemike Senior Member

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    WOW! Thanks Nick. Love reading your reports. What a epic trip. 1st class all the way. I've been to Japan many times during my days in the Corps and the pictures brought back some great memories. Thanks, Mike
     
  11. tcastric

    tcastric Senior Member

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    Awesome trip! I have always had a soft spot for those boats. That looks like a killer platform!!!!
     
  12. Nick

    Nick Site Sponsor

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    Many thanks guys, was an awesome trip with the big bad Sami!

    Hi Evan, I was hoping that everyone would understand my South African/Middle East English!

    Hi Mike!! Must say Japan has grown on me and I love the place, food and people! Everything runs like clockwork!

    Hi Tcastric, I was close to asking if Fukui-san wanted to sell his boat.......awesome machine for its purpose!

    Cheers,
    Nick
     
  13. BigAnchovy

    BigAnchovy Senior Member

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  14. gt hunter

    gt hunter Junior member

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    Amazing report Nick! Fantastic reading!
     
  15. ugly

    ugly Senior Member

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    What a fantastic trip, always enjoy your reports! Thanks for sharing Nick! On the bucket-list for sure!
     
  16. Gotland

    Gotland Senior Member

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    Wow!
    Looks like heaven to me...
     
  17. johndtuttle

    johndtuttle Senior Member

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    Thanks very much for taking the time to share with us Nick. The Best of Japan is truly the Best. Hard to explain how free one feels in a completely safe country.

    best regards
     
  18. FishnTaiwan

    FishnTaiwan Senior Member

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    Absolutely amazing! I really want to go there! It's not too far from Taiwan...

    Thanks for sharing!

    Austin
     
  19. redrivermoon

    redrivermoon Senior Member

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    That's very good fishing report.
     
  20. blaasoppie

    blaasoppie Senior Member

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    Nick,

    Thanks for the excellent report, the Japanese have really got the home improvement neighbor pose down pat; love that last photo.

    [​IMG]

    Please remind Sami to bring my Wei World 52 back with him!!