Field report by Wataru Udagawa.
A good catch in Tokyo Bay.
Pacific Cutlassfish in Tokyo Bay are at their peak now. Usually they gather 80m (328 ft.) near the sea bottom off Cape Kannon. But, it’s different this year. They are flocking in the shallow area about 40m deep. In mid-January the fish actively fed off the coast of Yokohama and produced good results. They were mostly 4-finger-sized. The largest ones were over 50cm (20 in.) and overflowed from my cooler box.
I report below is on my first trip, January 15, and second trip, February 15th, where I hoped for the same good results.
On January 15th, eight of us Cutlassfish hunters gathered and set sail at 7:00 am. We slowly aimed at a point off Yokohama. My tackle on this day was a small electric reel on a special rod. I used a high-quality, trusted PE line — VARIVAS High Grade PE Marking Type II X8. For the rig, I used Y-Tenbin rig for the cutlassfish, No. 40 sinker. The leader was green color, Hard Top Fune Harisu Fluorocarbon which blended with the tide color. And a special 2/0 hook for cutlassfish.
After arriving 50 minutes by boat, off the coast of Kawasaki city, where you can see the Yokohama Bay Bridge in the background, I encountered a good bite after the first throw immediately after the captain’s signal. Those Cutlassfish from 35m (115 ft) shallow water were so energetic, so much so that when I turned on the motor reel right after a hit, I lost several of them. It was better to manually jig the rod first, wait a bit, then reel it in.
Also, no matter how many hits I got, if the bait was not straight, I couldn’t feel the hits, and missed the catch.
Despite a few troubles, we caught many by 12:30 p.m. and finished early.
The result for the whole boat was a total of 41 fish, ranging from 75-108cm (about 7-18 in.). We also lost many while reeling in. I heard someone’s line was cut six times. As for me, I caught eight fish ranging from 85-108cm (33-42 in.), which overflowed my 30 liter (7.9 gal) cooler box and went home with an additional plastic bag of fish.
On February 15th, we went for a deeper depth and hoped for good results. The point was off Yokosuka at a depth of 50-55 meters. I used a No. 60 sinker. This day I felt several bites around 5 meters from the seafloor. Despite several bites, they weren’t hooked. After 30 minutes I caught an unbelievably small, 2-finger size. I ended up catching several fish, but they are all small, 2 to 2.5-finger size. I was disappointed.
I saw people on nearby boats catching good ones, though; but nothing like the other day. We felt some hits, but none hooked. Around midday after moving to several different locations, we finally found a good point where I caught a 90 cm (36 in.) size while fishing at a depth of 10 meters from the seafloor. Unfortunately, however, we ran out of time.
The results this day were 0-24 fish. The person with 0 catches lost the rig and finished early. The next person caught 13 fish. I lost my concentration and captured 16. Despite finding a good depth point and experiencing several hits, I did not catch them. I shouldn’t have wasted those opportunities.
Pacific cutlassfish in Tokyo Bay is currently fishing well in the shallow depth of 50m near the old No. 2 Sea Fort.
Unlike other years, the fish are deliciously fat. Tasty, enjoyed as sashimi or salted grille. If you want to enjoy the dynamic, energetic pull of good-sized fish, this is your opportunity!
- Rod: Shimano Saber Master Tenbin M165
- Reel: Shimano Force Master 600DH
- Road Thread: VARIVAS HighGrade PE Marking Type II X8 No. 1.5, 200m
- Balance: Yamashita Tenbin Y type 30 cm
- Harris: VARIVAS Hardtop Ship Harris No. 8, 2m
- Device: Yamashita Light Tachiuo Device
- Hari: Yamashita Tachio Needle Worm Hook 2/0 etc.
- Sinker: No. 40/60
- VARIVAS PE shook [for mobile] VARIVAS “pin-on-reel”
- VARIVAS Dry Armor Combination Winter Rain Suit
- VARIVAS fleece
- VARIVAS knit casket
- VARIVAS neck warmer
- VARIVAS cap strap
- VARIVAS life jacket pouch type
- VARIVAS Stretch fit glove 5
- VARIVAS Hip guard
- VARIVAS Rod belt S
- Yamashita Rod
- Yasume Boat 2
- Yasuden Electric Fishing CUBE 12V 5A Battery