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Winter campaign on Japan’s Lake Biwa

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I recently posted on another section of the forum and re-read all I wrote here. I had already forgotten some of the things I had learnt and so I think I`ll start this blog/diary again as a way to record things and to show people what carp fishing in Japan is like………my autumn and winter campaign starts next weekend. Having enjoyed the Kevin Ellis Rainbow Lakes blogs this summer I might try and get a bit of video in as well.


Hopefully I`ll catch a few like the ones i caught during a 10 day session in the late spring from Lake Suigetsu when I broke my length and weight PBs a number of times……


104cm / 14.8kg





i got the weight wrong in the youtube clip......



103cm / 15.8kg






107cm / 19.1Kg & 93cm / 12.9Kg






90cm / 11.3kg






104cm / 16.5kg





99cm / 19.9kg






89cm / 14.9kg






103cm / 18.1kg



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I did get out last weekend but didn’t video or write anything. Courtesy of my new van (no more hire cars!) I went straight from work as planned on Friday and was on Lake Yogo before dark at around 6pm. The plan was to fish one night, find a clear spot on Lake Biwa on Saturday to feed for Sunday-Monday with Chris.




Lake Yogo was really busy with all the good spots taken but I managed to get on the south end where there was enough room for me and my friends Chris and Mune-san who were arriving later. The lake got really busy over the weekend and basically there were no spare pegs; I can only assume that everyone was getting their fix after the typhoon the previous week and as the rivers were still over flowing. I didn’t get a bite on the Friday night and I couldn’t find a clear spot in the weed in Lake Biwa to pre-bait on the Saturday. The water on Lake Biwa was really high and dirty after the typhoon. We ended up staying on Lake Yogo all weekend with zero bites between us.




I had some new rigs on in Lake Yogo. After my August session when I was sure I was ‘getting done’ I tied up some rigs with stiff fluro-carbon. I tried these over the course of the weekend but they didn’t work! I did lose the bottom bait once with the screw rig which made me take the rig off; I guess that the pegs are made for softer pop-ups and rings/bait floss would be better for that type of rig.




I had an interesting experience on the Sunday whilst rigging up a long range rod intended for Lake Biwa the following week. I had 2 rods at around 40m straight out over smooth firm silt in 14ft and 2 rods off to the right about 15m out over gravel where a stream flowed in. The rods out in front came back with the baits smelling of that chemical smell you get when in the ‘wrong’ type of silt. We were messing around with the long range rod seeing how we could cast it and it hooked up on some dead weed at about 130m. We often see fish jumping at extreme range and always assumed it was due to the angling pressure, we had no idea about the weed and this weed, and the silt/mud attached to it, smelt like soil from the garden. It is the first time I have smelt this kind of decomposing matter in a lake and I can only assume this is the ‘good’ type of silt that people talk about. Needless to say I didn’t put that distance rod away, I got another 1 out and put 2 rods out as far as I could!




On the Monday afternoon I took a break to rest the peg and took another look at Lake Biwa. I found 2 clear areas and a couple of guys carp fishing without success. I christened 1 of the spots ‘party point’ as there was more than a few pieces of ladies underwear and other items scattered around. Perhaps I had found a Japanese dogging site!











The sub-battery in my new van wasn’t charging off the engine so I took it to the garage on Saturday morning and I was setting up on party point at lunch time. I spodded out about 5kg of hemp and birdfood, 0.5kg of Trigga-Ice 6mm pellets and 0.25kg of 20mm Trigga-Ice boilies to 70m in 26ft of water. The water had dropped about 50cm and the clarity had improved. 2 carp jumped whilst I was finding a clear spot with the marker float and another carp rolled whilst I was spodding out the mix!






I got the rods up nice and high to keep the line out of the weed in the margins. The rigs were fairly standard blowback rigs with line alligners. All 3 rigs were on 20mm Trigga-Ice bottom baits and 15mm pop-up; 1 was a Trigga-Ice pop-up, the other a pink pepper and the third was a pineapple and butyric acid. The Trigga-Ice pop-up wasn’t anywhere near as buoyant as the other 2 and I had to add some weight under the baits to keep them down.





I stayed right through to Sunday evening without success. A couple of fish jumped towards dusk but I could be sure they were carp. I’m going to try and take some holiday next week and get back for another go.




Lessons learnt from this trip:


The steep bank behind the peg makes casting difficult; the rig sometimes catches. I should have put the waders for casting.

The margin is a lot shallower than I thought, when the sun was right on Sunday evening I could see that it was less than a couple of feet deep until the weed started; the weed must be on the slope which must be steep. This could pose problems trying to land fish without waders.

I’m not whether the feeding was right or not; I think I’ll try a straight boilie approach next time.

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I`m on Lake Suigetsu this weekend. I thought I would edit the videos from last week whilst on the bank but I have been driven crazy by the Apple software. I`ll write more next week. I`ve had 3 bites today, the first was 96cm 31lb 4oz and the second was 40lb 1oz! I`ve just put the third one back at 85cm 8.2kg. Below are a couple of videos i managed to get onto Youtube.



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