Sweetfish Fishing Season Opens in Japan’s Northern Kyushu

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People fish in the Oyama River in Hita, Oita Prefecture.

Fishing season began Saturday for ayu sweetfish in the Chikugo River system in northern Kyushu.

Many enthusiasts went to rivers that flow through Hita in Oita Prefecture, such as the Kusu, Oyama and Kagetsu rivers, to enjoy “tomozuri,” a type of fishing that uses live sweetfish as bait.

The season lasts until the end of December.

Hisao Arai, a resident of Chikushino, Fukuoka Prefecture, made his way to the Oyama River at sunrise.

“The Chikugo River system has numerous fishing spots and the fish are generally a good size. So my goal this year is to break my personal record of a 33-centimeter catch,” he said.

According to the Hita fisheries cooperative, last year’s catch amounted to about 31.3 tons. Catches are said to have significantly decreased in recent years, due to construction to protect riverbanks in various places in response to successive disasters involving heavy rain.