Tapering Off

Tapering Off

Martyn White | Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Last week I wrote about my worry at becoming over reliant on the rubber candy in my sea bass fishing around Tokyo bay.  On Monday Hawaiian Dave and I had another evening run, which gave me a chance to break my habit, so I stuck a 17cm hollow fleye on the 8wt.  I couldn't quite leave the silicon behind so although I didn't tie on a rubber candy, I put a 7.5 cm siliclone on the 6wt. Luckily the conditions helped quite a bit on that front.

As the weather was quite calm, we were able to head off shore a bit to fish the LPG platforms and around some cargo ships sitting at anchor in search of bigger bass.  It's a good time of year for it too  being catadromous they head out to sea enmasse with the inshore spots basically empty by Christmas. The big ones start staging off shore a bit earlier than the little guys as they pack on weight in preparation for the spawn. At the first stop by a a nearshore boat, Dave kicked off with an unusual catch; a scad about 15cm on a deceiver! Only the 2nd time this has happened to us, and  it definitely helped me feel a bit more confident in my choice of fly. Next stop we hit a platform and Were into some big, highly aggressive fish right away with both of us getting suzuki size fish within minutes of each other as well as a few small-medium before moving on. 


The sport didn't last though, and we moved back inshore and hit some seawalls.  I'm glad we did as the tide was running with the flow of the rivers emptying into the bay, creating a funnel effect. There were what seemed like millions of mullet cruising around and the bass were there to take advantage. Dave quickly hooked into another fish and Captain Masuda happily declared "it's abnormal!". Another species, a blackfin sea perch or hiresuzuki, his first ever and his third species for the night!  I have to admit, although I was happy for him I was a bit jealous as the backfins are much less common around Tokyo bay and up till that point I hadn't caught one either. But for whatever reason they were around on Monday and after switching to the 6wt and smaller fly, I managed my first too.  They're a deeper, thicker fish than the "normal" seabass and definitely better fighters.

On the way back to dock, we hit a few cooling outlets but there only seemed to be smaller bass around them, but that was pretty much as expected.  The final cherry though was Dave making another unusual capture, this time a rock fish or mebaru. They're strong for their size and it's a pity they don't get big.  But that made four species in four hours for him, is that a Tokyo super slam?  I'm not sure if we'll make it out before he leaves so that's a nice swansong for him.