Arial view of pond-smelt fishing on the ice of Lake Shumarinai

Pond smelt fishing tents dotted on the frozen surface of Lake Shumarinai. On some days there are more than 100 tents. March 13

One of Japan’s largest-scale manmade lakes, Lake Shumarinai in the town of Horokanai in Northern Hokkaido. In winter, pond-smelt fishing is popular on the frozen lake surface, which becomes lined with colorful tents. When viewed from a helicopter approximately 300 m above, the tents look like paint that has been dripped on a white canvas.

According to the Shumarinai Freshwater Fisheries Association, which manages the fishing grounds, “During the season, even when temperatures dropped below minus 20 degrees, many enthusiasts gathered to fish.” The lake is situated in an area with heavy snowfall amid one of Hokkaido’s coldest regions. As the ice fishing season draws to a close in other regions, pond smelt fishing can be enjoyed here until April 10, depending on the condition of the ice.


Lake Shumarinai