Got a call while I was in the mountains last week. The cell phone kept cutting in and out, but I got the basic message and managed to get the minimum response across. Message: “Fishing… Tanabe-san’s boat… meet at Hisai Station (久居駅)… at 9AM Sunday…”. My response: “I’ll be there.”

A pleasant young lady from the Prefectural Offices joined us for a party of four and we headed out. We were setting up trolling gear on the ride to Kamishima (神島), which translates as God Island (but my loyal readers know that already.)

I was fascinated by the devices used for trolling. The line was long and had three leaders with hooks that attached to the main line. Long rods were set in brackets supporting them at about a 45 degree angle, so that they extended out from the side of the boat. The rods had a lanyard on pulleys kind of like a flag pole. There was a device on the lanyard with a pulley through which to run the trolling line. This pulley could be flipped open (which puzzled me at first). The non-business-end of the line was attached to an elastic band inside the boat. My description might sound a little involved, but it really turns out to be a fairly simple mechanism.

Fish taking the hooks will drag hard on the line, causing the pulley to release. Immediately the fisherman knows to reel in the line, which is done by hand. Waves will constantly be tugging at the line, but the elastic band absorbs that shock without releasing the pulley prematurely.

Our problems most likely started when we ran three lines out behind the boat before setting up the pole mechanisms. All three lines and the nine leaders that T off of them got completely tangled. My assumption is that it happened very early on, when we were moving slowly and changing course. When we realized it, there was a horrible mess.

We spent hours untangling the lines, winding them up, and stowing them away. About halfway through the untangling process, we arrived at Kamishima for lunch. If you like fish, I highly recommend going to a small restaurant on an island at the mouth of a large bay on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. We enjoyed amazing sashimi (刺身) of many varieties.

On the way back our Prefecture civil servant did some fishing with a conventional rod and got a big kiss. This is a silly joke, but it gets used a lot. Kisu (鱚) is a small ocean fish, which is very tasty as tempura (天ぷら). It’s pronunciation is almost the same as kiss in Japanese. I got a sharp reaction at a restaurant when I asked a companion if she desired some kisu, one time.

We docked in a small inlet to clean the hull and I jumped at the chance to go swimming. This was a blast and I learned an advantage of getting fat. All my life I have been unable to do a back float without sinking, but I had no trouble at all this time. Already, I am slowly trimming down; I will miss this ability when I get back in shape.


One Response to “Un-Fishing”

  1. The Palm of Mom’s Hand « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

    […] Japan, so I’ll assume there’s no similar duality here. A business card labels this as Kami Shima Homemade-Style Cooking. It was tasty and seemed healthy […]

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