July 2

Getting to sleep the night before was pretty difficult as it was a nice night and there was quite a bit of commotion in our neighborhood at 8pm (imagine that). So I slept from about 7pm-830pm and then stayed up reading until 1am when I left for the lab to meet Watanabe-san.

To get to the catfishing spot, we drove about a half an hour east to a series of ponds created by diverting water from a nearby river. Watanabe-san had fished in this spot many times before, and his favorite method to catch these catfish was by using topwater plugs at sunrise. As fun as it is to use topwater for bass, it is even more fun when a catfish explodes on the lure as it really creates quite a raucous. Firstly, they are not very proficient at grabbing their prey (unlike bass that can create a lot of suction to draw in their prey), so they have a more prolonged attack sometimes with several different bouts. Unfortunately, I was not the best at the technique, so I only had about 15 strikes in four hours, and unfortunately none produced a hook-set. Fortunately, Watanabe-san was more successful.

Besides good fishing, another great thing about getting out early, was the sunrise. There is no daylight savings time here, so it gets light around 3-330am right now. Needless to say, I haven’t really been up for a sunrise yet in Japan, so this was a great opportunity. Luckily we picked a good day for it and I got some nice pics . . .

Catfishing Pics

We headed back to Sapporo around 6:30 and I was extremely tired. After making a quick call to the Steve-Jam, the 4th of July extravaganza (obviously held on the 2nd), I headed back home and went to bed for 5 hours.  The rest of the day was pretty lazy as I needed to recover enough to be effective in the field the next day.

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