Pond-smelt fishing season begins at Mikasa’s Lake Katsurazawa in central Hokkaido

A family enjoying pond-smelt fishing at Lake Katsurazawa

The annual pond-smelt fishing season began at Lake Katsurazawa in the city of Mikasa in central Hokkaido on January 16, and families could be seen gathering there to enjoy the traditional winter activity.

 The ice on the lake is approximately 5 cm thick, with a further 30-40 cm of snow on top of the ice. Fishing enthusiasts dressed in protective clothing pitched tents on the lake amid occasional gusts of wind, before dangling fishing lines into 30 cm × 30 cm square holes in the ice.

 One man from Sapporo, who visits the lake every year, caught approximately 350 pond-smelt ranging from 5 to 7 cm in length, along with two friends. “Lake Katsurazawa’s water is clear so the fish are delicious. I’m going to deep fry them or make tempura,” he said.

 The fishing holes, with a usage fee of 300 yen, are available between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. until mid-March.


Lake Katsurazawa