If you’re the kind of angler who is always on the hunt for exciting new places to fish, places where getting there is almost as much fun as the fishing itself, then Hachijojima has everything you want.
Hachijojima is one of 11 islands found off Tokyo Bay, Japan. It’s part of a volcanic island chain offering a wide variety of wild and natural experiences. Hachijojima in particular is one of the farthest islands from the center of Tokyo, which only heightens the natural wonder that comes with a remote fishing experience.
There are two ways to find fishing peace in Hachijojima: fly or take a ferry.
Hopping on a plane will get you there in 55 minutes, while taking the ferry is a 10-hour experience. But then you’re not one for rushing things. And if time is no issue to you, the ferry is the way to go.
Crossing a large stretch of ocean on a boat is something everyone should enjoy at least once in their life. You see wildlife you wouldn’t normally see, doing things you wouldn’t normally see them doing, and it takes the already wonderful Hachijojima experience to another level.
What to bring
The great thing about fishing on Hachijojima is that you can rent everything you need when you get there. The Hachijojima Fishing Club (website in Japanese only) offers visiting anglers the chance to lease fishing gear for all kinds of fishing experiences, from off the shore to on-board a boat. Which means all you really need with you when you arrive is determination and an adventurous spirit.
Prices for boat charters vary depending on the kind of experience you’re looking for, and how long you’re looking to experience it.
Of course, if you have a preferred ocean rod and reel, you should bring it along with you. Having familiar gear can really help take the edge off trying to figure out new water, especially water as challenging as the Pacific Ocean. And if you’re really feeling adventurous, bring along your ocean fly fishing setup. With a handful of baitfish patterns and a dry line, you could find yourself hooking into the schools of tuna that can often be found within casting distance of shore—an experience that is just as exciting as it sounds.
Fair warning, though, the fish of Hachijojima will put an unforgettable bend in your rod and smile on your face.
What you can expect to catch
The beautiful thing about fishing in the ocean is that you never really know what you’re going to hook. It could be a monster tuna or a small, feisty bonito. The sea’s the limit. And the waters around Hachijojima are no exception when it comes to ocean diversity.
Anglers who make the trek from the mainland can expect to find horse mackerel, greater and yellowtail Amberjack, tuna, and bonito, among other species of seawater fish. No matter what kind of fish you get into while you’re there, they are all well worth the effort it takes you to catch them. All’s fair when you’re in love with fishing.
It doesn’t matter if you’re casting from shore of the island or floating on the open ocean, the fishing on Hachijojima will not disappoint.
What to do with your catch
Once you’ve had your fill and caught your fish, you have a few options open to you. First, you can let them go. Catch and release fishing is a growing trend among anglers who want to ensure that their kids can keep fishing the waters that they enjoy. The locals, along with the fish, are sure to show their appreciation.
If you want to enjoy your freshly caught dinner, however, there are a few places where anglers can get fish cleaned and cooked. Eating what you’ve caught yourself is an experience that just can’t be beat and makes the day spent fighting the sea seem even more rewarding.
You can even find places that will prepare your fish for travel, so you can enjoy your haul when you get home.
The choice is yours.