Hello everyone. I’m Japanese Carp Angler. Name is Yoshihiro Mune. In the Kansai region of west Japan where I live, the best season for carp fishing is from early to mid May. I was originally planning to go to various prefectures and some lakes for carp fishing in the spring of 2020, but due to the worldwide spread of COVID-19, those plans were all canceled. COVID-19 infection has spread nationwide in Japan too. My plan for spring was canceled because some regulations were announced by the government, such as ban on crossing prefectures. I’ve been preparing carp fishing tackles and camping gear for the best months of spring for months. It was very disappointing that the carp fishing plan at Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, has disappeared. I hate COVID-19, but it is important to take the best possible measures to prevent this virus from spreading anymore. There is a risk that I will be infected with COVID-19, and if I will spread the virus. Considering that, it’s natural to stop moving outside the prefecture.
Urban Carp Fishing
I live in Osaka, Japan. Osaka City is called the Water City, and several rivers run through the central office buildings, and many carp live in there. The banks along the river are perfectly revetment work so we can easily enjoy urban fishing. This river flowing through the center of the city is the Brackish river. The temperature of the water is relatively high even in the middle of winter due to the effect of warm wastewater and seawater discharged from the factory. Therefore, I mostly enjoyed winter carp fishing on this river, but this spring I decided to do easy and short time carp fishing on this river in Osaka city near my home. In this familiar river, carp fishing as per the textbook is not interesting. I get bored soon.
I always think of some theme and go fishing. For example, I want to take a picture of the beautiful sunset in the background etc. and carp fishing tactics will be added to the theme. Nature is capricious, it doesn’t go as I expected. But when my plan is successful, I get a lot of satisfaction. It’s can’t buy it for money.It will be my own. The name of this river is Okawa. The following three areas exist in the section of about 7 km of Okawa River.
1. Commercial facility.
2. A lively downtown area.
3. An urban oasis with lots of greenery.
So I decided to make a short carp fishing movies of those three areas. Ordinary carp fishing movies are not interesting, so the main theme is each environment. Since it is basically one person shooting, it is difficult to shoot the desired movie. Most of them are fixed cameras and lack a sense of dynamism. I really want to use action cameras such as GoPro. My movies aren’t professional creations, they’re the cut-editing qualities typical of 90s skateboarding videos. But, I have continued to enjoy it for many years as a hobby, aided by advances in video and equipment technology. It’s very important to express the atmosphere of both the video and the photo according to my own image.
For that reason, I have chosen the background very carefully, and always try to create works that convey the atmosphere of the place. In some carp fishing photos, I sometimes see photos with intentionally hidden backgrounds to avoid location.I don’t like it very much. Each person has different values, but I think natural scenery matches wonderful fish. A portrait shoot has a subject and background, and a good work is born for the first time. I forgot about it someday, but instead of just want for only the big carp, I began to prefer to leave the mood and fun of that time in photographs and movies.
Of course, a carp that weighs more than 20 kg up is a special thing for me. but, I want to enjoy memorable carp fishing rather than records, which never fades. This pic of my friend holding a carp is my favorite one. At first time, I was conscious of the light of the streets when shooting. Somehow the bucket tumbled and the floor was flooded. At that time, I was inspired. Hurry I added more water. My friends was stunned my actions. They sad: What are you doing?!? The reason was to take beautiful pictures that reflected in the puddle on the floor. It’s easily reflects at the angle of the lighting.
As you can see, there are various ways to express carp fishing photos, and I also like artistic works. There are few carp anglers in Japan who are interested in visual arts. It will take a long time before these efforts are evaluated. In this article, I will report on the carp fishing and photo & movie shooting records in Osaka city spring 2020. Osaka has a population of approximately 8.83 million and is the second largest city after Tokyo. I avoid crowded roads and try to move at midnight when there are few people.
All the tackle baggage needs to be compact, as I will need to use a bicycle instead of a car to get to the fishing banks. I usually use regular European carp fishing tackles, but in Okawa, I often use short 7 or 8ft rods and bait casting reels. This combination is the standard tackles and old culture of this river. Biking is physically tiring, but bicycles are far more useful than automobiles in urban rivers because of their superior mobility. But a bicycle on a rainy day is uncomfortable, and unexpected flat tire is the worst. I have had many of the worst experiences in the past. It’s a some risks to going fishing by bicycle.
The daytime noise disappears, and at night a brief tranquility comes. Countless trucks continue to carry luggage to the wholesale market at the opposite bank. I watch the working on the opposite bank from the darkness of the barge boats. No reply from carp yet. This night’s mission was to shoot a video of bite alarms run and the reverse rotation of the reel spool. I used LED lights tonight to shoot in the dark. Since there is a tall wall right behind, I didn’t illuminate the subject directly, but bounced light on the wall to create a natural light. This is a task to increase my satisfaction. Shooting video in the dark has a limit to the sensor sensitivity of the camera, and the problem is that the image quality is poor with the equipment I have.
Need to stay focused at all times. I will thoroughly simulate the procedure in preparation for a sudden bite from a carp. Turn on the light, turn on the camera, check the recording mode, and check the focus. So many check items just for a few seconds of video, and I spend a lot of time. To others it seems like a waste of work, but a hobby is the culmination of such a waste. My bite alarms are still silent. At my feet, many ants carry pellets and boilie chops that have spilled. Here too, small transport work by ants is performed. I look up at the city sky where only a few stars can be seen from the darkness of jet black and I take a sigh. Number of sighs increases with the passage of time.
Urban fishing looks good at night. The city lights make it even more attractive.
When I was looking at the two bobbins that were shining green, one of them dropped a few centimeters, and the alarm responded, and the spool of the reel began to rotate. Yes! Yes! I’ve been waiting for this moment at the expense of hours. I work calmly and follow the simulation procedure. Turn on the LED light, adjust the light intensity. Turn on the camera and press the rec button. Focus point is fixed. Okay Let’s go. I pick up the rod and start fighting. There are still problems, this fishing bank has barges bort on both sides and several anchors and ropes. If a fish gets inside a rope and chain, it will be very difficult to catch it. If a carp gets in an obstacle, do not forcibly pull it.
Sensitivity transmitted from the rodtip and main line and gentle and careful rod work is required. Because of the difficult mission, I feel joy regardless of the size of the carp I caught. I have finished all the work. When I noticed, the eastern sky was a little brighter. It’s about time to go home. At the wholesale market on the opposite shore, trucks were carrying in their luggage all night long…
The Okawa River flow through the central of Osaka. Commercial facilities, central office buildings, urban oasis parks. This river runs through many landscapes. and various people gather along the river. The central part of Osaka city is a center of business, with office buildings lined up and busy with businessmen coming and going. The public hall, built in 1918, and the 1920s bridge are still in use today, overlapping modern buildings to create a unique atmosphere. The theme of video shooting is modern. There are several small parks along the river in the city. One of them, I call it Love Park. Someone who reads, has conversations, and enjoys coffee. This is a public park that anyone can use, but this spring there were few people using this park due to COVID-19.
It’s a mundane sight during the day, but the atmosphere is quite different at night. People who have lost their homes for various reasons come to this park at night, and they use park benches instead of bed. They come to the park when it’s time for the last train. Then sleep on the bench in the park until morning. In the morning, brush teeth, wash face, shave, and go somewhere. It seems that they also live according to the set rules. While watching such a situation, I am waiting for a carp bite on a park bench. Sometimes talk to them during fishing. What are you fishing here? That is the template that starts the conversation, and some people talk about their birthplace and memories of their childhood. Their stories are often very interesting and can make me ponder about life. Of course under these conditions, we should on mask and keep our social distance.
One thing to watch out for when shooting videos and photos here is to make sure that homeless people aren’t reflected on the screen. There is also the issue of portrait rights. Many people basically dislike cameras. A mix of bright and dark ambience, this riverside park also has several trendy cafes and party halls for weddings. Tourist boats often come and go frequently, so it is not an environment for calm fishing, but this spring, due to the impact of COVID-19, all facilities in the park have stopped operating, and no one is using them. So there is only now time to fishing in love park.
On the pier in the park, the thick poles that fasten the boat create an ideal gentle reverse flow. I set my rig on the border between the thick pole and the reverse flow. I used ground bait, boiliechops and the source 15mm boilies. The water depth is about 2,5 m. Since there is also a flow, the underwater image is important. Don’t need a lot of baits for short time fishing. Prebaiting several days ago is more effective than using a lot of baits on the day. Is the liquid-coating special hook bait boilie a way to reassure myself? or induce carp? I don’t know the truth until I ask carp, but I’m getting stable fishing results with this hook baits.
Compared to Europe, Japan has fewer carp fishing markets, but The Source Boilie of Dynamite Baits is probably one of the most used boilie in Japan. I often use a snowman system in this river. It’s no clear reason. In my case snowman system, bottom baits and pop-ups use symmetric colors to give a strong contrast. By doing so, it will be possible to appeal the hook baits even under various conditions where the sunlight reaches the water. It had been raining since this morning. The highway runs just above the love park, so I don’t have to worry about getting wet even on a rainy day. After a while, my friend Daisuke came by bicycle. He is an old friend, but we didn’t often fish together. I invited him and have been enjoying urban fishing together since last year.
The first run was on Daisuke’s rod. His reel spool spins violently from, pulling out the main line. He came late…It’s unfair, but that’s carp fishing. A few minutes later he caught a very nice common. Congratulations! This river is a brackish water area affect by tide. Due to the tide, the timing of carp eating baits is limited. If I miss the opportunity, I will have to wait hours and hours until next chance, but impatience depresses normality. As time goes by I will be quiet. This angling sick is a world wide phenomenon? Depending on the situation, I thought it would be better to be patient and wait instead of trying another approach. It’s no clear reason, but I think it’s something like the sixth sense and a few minutes later, proved my sixth sense was not wrong.
The main line pull out of my reel and the carp makes a powerful fight and I felt nervous. I felt like I was fighting for tens of minutes, but I think it was actually less than half that time. Finally the golden-body fighter was in my net. Got it! When the sun goes down, the buildings around are lit up. Illumination colors the central area of Osaka. In that light we had a photo session. Behind the camera, one homeless was watching us like a movie director. There is a shadow in the light, and behind the glitz is the world of darkness. I got to know it here.
Urban, green, and oasis were the theme of video shooting on this day. There are many cherry trees planted along the river, and the promenade is many people often jogging and taking a walk. It’s a so-called urban oasis. I got over the fence from the promenade and secured my fishing space on a small road along the river that no one else would use. The weather was fine on this day and I sometimes want to enjoy relaxing 24hours carp fishing, so I brought a small bivvy and a compact bed. As expected, moving a lot of luggage on a bicycle is difficult, but when going fishing, it does not feel strange or difficult. If this was a my company job, I would be more than twice as tired.
As an aside, many Japanese carp anglers stay in a car without using a bivvy. As a result, Japanese carp fishing will be limited to places where we can park car. I think using bivvy away from the parking lot will give better results. This place is a famous cherry blossom spot in Osaka city. Every April, the riverside is dyed in beautiful pink and attracts many tourists. The best time for carp fishing here is when the leaves of the cherry blossoms are scattered and the trees turn green. I set rods in the gaps between the cherry trees that are crowded along the river. A 12ft carp rod is difficult to handle due to the influence of trees and branches. So a 7 to 8ft short rod is more useful here.
Due to the vertical seawall construction, there is a water depth of about 2.0m from the shore. In most cases, the position where bait and rig are set is near the seawall, so there is no need to cast long distances. Even in the case of a sudden big carp, I can catch a short rod without problems if I take time slowly. And the reel may be spinning type, but I use bait casting reel at here. The metal sound of the line alarm on the abu cs pro rocket gives me the same excitement as the electronic sound of the bite alarm. There are advantages and disadvantages to bait casting reels and spinning reels, I use it properly depending on the situation.
A fence is installed along the river. Can use a bankstick or rod pod, but I use a mini boat rod holder. It may be limited to this river, but It’s a very reasonable tackle combination. This tackle don’t support European bite alarms, so I use Japanese style hit alarms. It is a simple mechanism that a small clip connected to the switch of this item is sandwiched in the main line and the buzzer sounds when the fish pulls and the switch turns on. This is a old times alarm traditional to Japan, but many Japanese carp anglers still use it.
My urban carp tackle look like trout fishing from a boat, but from the leader to rig and baits I use a standard Euro items. Feeding about 500g of only the source boilie (20mm) along the vertical seawall. Most carp are moving along a vertically protected wall. It’s a very simple approach. Most Japanese carpfishing stay by car, so I had a hard time setting up a bivvy, which I’m not used to, but I was able to finish it. Set the two rods as usual and then just wait for the alarm from the receiver. This day was another plan for shooting real metal alarm sound video of Abu reel.
There are some insects on this bank. Most of them are pests. A big centipede under my feet!! I was surprised and screamed loudly. There were no people around, but I was a little embarrassed. Various creatures inhabit the waterfront. The giant nutria and even the snakes live here. Many citizens do not know that.
I have been asked a passerby here before.
Q. What fishing here?
A. It’s carpfishing.
When I answered, he looked into a small water bucket next to my 42 inch landing net… A little late, my friend Daisuke came over. He likes talking anyway, and once he starts talking, he never stops. About His job, about overseas carp fishing on SNS, about japanese economy, etc, anyway It’s many topics. You first have to prepare for fishing. I always think so. Well, when his talking peaked, my receiver sounded a happy alarm. The line alarm of metallic sound is vividly ringing. The cherry trees and branches interfere with the rod work, but, with the short rod, It’s not a big problem. Slowly spending time I got it.
Carp also has various body types. There are fat type and smart type in this river carp, but neither is a muscular body. Perhaps living environment problems are affecting the carp. When shooting carps here, may be surrounded by passersby. Now we need to avoid it. We secretly shooting. Lighting was necessary at night, so it was a lot of work. I felt like I was doing something bad. Even at night, we successfully managed to catch some carp. When I try to sleep and a hit alarm sounds. It was repeated many times. Japan style my landing net frame was broken due to many carp catches.
At dawn, colors come back to the city. The surrounding plants also produce vivid colors.
It was 2 days and 1 night, but I felt like a very long time fishing. I was very happy to catch many carp. It’s a forecast of rain from the afternoon. It’s a little earlier than planned, but I decided to finish fishing here. We loaded a lot of luggage on the bicycle and I went home at a slow speed, just like a turtle. Urban fishing has various dramas that can’t experience in everyday. Everyone has different values for fishing, but I want to leave urban fishing in Osaka as one culture. Carp fishing is a part of my life. Various stories are always born in the corners of the city. Urban fishing is one of several stories.
This is my street carp life.
June 19th. In Japan, the COVID-19 declaration of emergency has been lifted. Big chance of spring has passed, but I went to Lake Biwa in Shiga prefecture for carp fishing. Lake Biwa is the largest lake in Japan with a circumference of 241km and a maximum depth of 104m. At Lake Biwa, we can enjoy fishing in a vast atmosphere unlike urban fishing. In the case of this lake I use my two days holiday on weekends for fishing. My bad premonition became a reality. The seasons went smoothly and big spring chance was already over. This time, I catch a few carp that seem to have recovered from the after spawning, but that was not strong and fat carp I was looking for. This is also a law of nature, so I will try again next term.
In this way carp lives in various places such as lakes in the mountains and rivers in the city, and I enjoy carp fishing in various places according to the season. Japanese carp fishing is a little different from European carp fishing culture. I think it’s good to incorporate each other’s good culture.
For more enjoyment of carp fishing.