About the Author:
John Merwin lives in Vermont, where, when he's not tying flies, building lures, or digging up worms with his backhoe, he writes the monthly Fishing Column for Field & Stream magazine.

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October 30, 2008

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Cermele: Japanese Rock Fishing=Perplexing

Here's the score. While perusing YouTube last night, I stumbled upon the video embedded here entitled "Extreme Rock Fishing: Made in Japan." This is absolutely one of the most bizarre fishing videos I have ever watched. From what I gather, these Japanese anglers get dropped off on a rock by boat and spend the night catching fish with a 20-foot pole that is disconnected from the reel, which, by the way, looks to weigh about 150-pounds and actually gets bolted to the rock.

I have viewed this footage many times and conclude that I have no idea how this method works. I'm totally baffled, but the terminal tackle involved is pretty serious. Is the pole more like a gaff? Are they hand-lining or reeling? I just don't know. So take a look and maybe we can put our collective blogosphere heads together and figure it out.

If the fishing isn't bizarre enough, there's some random samurai action going on and this whole menagerie is played out to Metallica's "Unforgiven," which, if you watch it a few times will become as hysterical to you as it has to me.

But one thing is for sure: Whether I figure out the method or not, this is an F&S feature waiting to happen. I want to party all night with the dudes in this video. So I plan to start a "Send Joe Cermele Extreme Rock Fishing in Japan" fund shortly. All I need is a plane ticket and a case of Miller to take out on the rock and I'll produce the greatest fishing story ever told. Something whacked out happening is beyond inevitable.



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Blue Ox

I like Miller too, but why drink beer when you can drink sake?
Whacked out happenings are sure to follow!

tim romano


I've heard of something similar in Hawaii. A friend of a friend was telling me about it at ICAST. Invited me to go. Sounded like very strange stuff. They fish off 50 to 100 foot cliffs. Very weird. Perhaps we should look into this... And yeah, my friend - when in Rome... You'd better be drinking Sake.


Let's go Tim


Hmmm, fresh sushi ... should get a few bucks for those fish. Whatever they are doing it seems to work.


I wonder if one person plays the fish on the rod while another one reels. Then once the fish is brought in close the reel is locked in place while the guy that was reeling then goes in to gaff the fish. A very different technique but looks exciting none the less.


Ill help pay for you to go, But you better be wearing the head band


Tyler...I'll go full Karate Kid style.

Dr. Ralph

I'm still trying to figure out how we came up with the A Bomb before these freaks... talk about wild imaginations. Seriously I think they are reeling the fish in and we just don't see it. The reel is too heavy so they just cast with the rod and drink sake till they get a bite. Looks a lot like something my friends and I would love to do. And we wonder why our wives think we're crazy...


looks like some very thick line is strung thrue the giant rod wich is bolted to the rocks with bait on the end wich is just flung out into the water while the hold onto the line ( no reel ) and they wait for a bite. i have a freind who lived in china and he tells me many of the locals there fish in a similare fashion


thats cool but why metallica's unforgiven

NH Philosopher

I've seen some Japanese fisherman in Alaska do this same thing for Kings. It's quite funny - since the power of the Kings typically results in some tired, wet and very excited fisherman. One guy had to be picked up via boat and brought back to camp because the king ran like hell and 1.25 miles latter up stream the dude landed the fish....It's funny, bizarre and dangerous....I'd like to try it!

Joe Mullins

It looks to me like the pole serves as a lever for fighting, as a guise for the line, and a gaff.. but the reel in the back just pulls in the slack as he tugs up then lets the rod back down.. like most people do with a single rod.. just looks like a two piece rod where thr od also has a gaff attached to the end..


Can I come? Looks like fun. I wonder if my Pinnacle 60 could take on one o' dos' muders... A smaller rod would make it even more fun... But it looks like they are using a lot of line...