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Event Article: Fishing Tokyo Harbor

Guest Author Tsuyoshi Matsumura Shares With Us Fishing Adventures in Japan: Sea Bass

Date: 12/01/07
Location: Rod
Event Date: November 3rd, 2007
Guest Author: Tsuyoshi Matsumura, Japan Pro Fishing Shop



Introduction: Fishing for sea bass in Japan’s Tokyo Bay is a favorite endeavor amongst local anglers. Action can be fast and furious during the months of October to late November when the fish can be found in relatively shallow water (ten to sixteen feet). At this time of year, anglers take to the water using a variety of tackle closely resembling that of black bass fisherman. The primary difference here being the salt content of the water, otherwise, the average size of fish caught ranges from one to three kilograms (or two to six and a half pounds). It’s not uncommon for anglers, on a good day to catch anywhere from fifty to one hundred sea bass in one outing! Trophy size is considered six kilograms (thirteen pounds), and the rarest and most prized catches are fish up to one hundred centimeters (almost 40 inches) in length!

Off in the distance is Tokyo Disney


The Details: On a recent trip with local guide Bocchi we caught several fish up to 71 centimeters (~28 inches) on everything from a Megabass Doppler spoon bait to the saltwater lipless Range Vib 70 crank. Trip details and our tackle was as follows.


Trip Details

Location Northern Tokyo Bay (Near Tokyo Disney)
Method Boat Fishing
Hours 1:00pm - 5:30pm
Total Number fo Fish 104 fish for 5 people
Fish Size 40cm to 85cm



Setup One (spinning) Shimano Salty Shot 606ML + Daiwa TD-X 2500iA + 10lb Toray Sea Bass Raging Water + 18lb Leader
Setup Two (casting) Lucky Craft LC-63R + Daiwa Bay Casting Special + 14lb Fluorocarbon Line
Lures Bassday Range Vib 70, 90
Megabass Edonis X-92
Megabass Vision 110 SW
Megabass X-80 SW
Zip Baits Zabla Minnow 90S
Evergreen Sledge-6S SW
Lucky Craft B'Freeze 78EX (Extra Sinking)


The Fishing: Just like fishing for black bass, it is typical for us to spend up to fifteen minutes in each spot before moving onto another. With up to five people in the boat at one time, we work each spot pretty thoroughly, and when we find a good spot, it is not uncommon for all five of us to have fish all at the same time! Talk about confusion! But that is how good the sea bass fishing in Tokyo Bay can be.


The background of Tokyo Harbor is very industrial

I had my first fish (67cm or 26 inches) on a Range Vib 70. It was within the first 10 minutes of fishing on our very first spot. I cast the lure out as far as I could and started a fast, or I should say SUPER fast, retrieve. Later I found, stopping the lure and starting it up again was the most effective action. At times the sea bass destroy lures when the baits are stopped!


First fish of the day, a 68 cm Sea Bass


My biggest fish of the day came on a Megabass Doppler (21g or 5/8oz). This is an all metal, spoon type bait that can be fished like a normal lure or jigged up and down. Like all Megabass lures, it is a very beautiful bait but because it is metal, it is also very durable and can be fished hard. On this catch, the fish it as the bait was sinking. It measured 70cm (or ~27.5") and was great fun to catch!

A very modest Sea Bass caught on a different day

Our guide, Bocchi, actually ended up catching the biggest fish of the day. He caught this fish while demonstrating to us how to fish in open water. What a lucky guy!

My biggest fish of this day, 70cm


From there we contrast to one of my friends. It was his very first time fishing for sea bass. I gave him a setup with a Range Vib 70 in Iwashi color to try and told him to just cast and retrieve. He caught a fish bigger than mine at 71cm (28 inches)! Beginners luck.


Sunset at Tokyo Harbor


Conclusion: All in all, this was a relatively slow day, believe it or not, but it is always a great time fishing with friends. As the year draws to an end, sea bass spawning season begins. From late November into December, we expect to catch less fish, but the chance for that trophy of over six kilograms (thirteen pounds) lurks at each tug of the line. For those loving to fish for numbers with good sized fish, fishing for Sea Bass in Tokyo Harbor can be very rewarding and a great way to test new tackle. If you ever find yourself in the area this is a destination that you don't want to pass on. I hope to be able and share more fishing adventures from Japan with you very soon.










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