Joy of the Spring

Winter is a boring season. Not only fishes but also anglers should hibernate. To console myself, I make lures with wood. Winter is so long that I have a tremendous amount of them. Those lures are for the black bass. Spring has come. I must go fishing to use them.

The black bass (Micropterus salmoides), or the large-mouth bass, was first imported into Japan in 1925 from the USA for fishing. After the Greater East Asia War, Americans planted the fish in many lakes and rivers. However, it did not cause any serious problems for long. In 1980’s, fishing for it by lures became explosively prevalent among young people. Befre that, the fishing was a play for the children and the elderly. All the concept of the fishing has been changed by the lure. Now, the fishing is very “stylish” sports.

On the other hand, in 1980’s, the destruction of ecosystem by the black bass was worried about. Especially, fishermen insisted that the fisheries were in danger because of it. Some scholars agreed with them, others disagreed. After many discussions, in 2005, the government prohibited raising and planting the fish by law.

I do not think the black bass causes the damage of fisheries. At least, as for big lakes, the decrease of fisheries is obviously related to the so-called “development”, which were and are severely destroying the natural environment. I suspect that the government are using the black bass as an excuse for its conduct. Some researchers wrote books on this theme, but the big media, which are under the influence of big companies, are not going to pay attention to those opinions. The black bass is now called the “fish pest” by them. Fortunately, it is not prohibited to fish for it although its population severely decreased after the law.

Biwako, “The Lake of Lute”, is the biggest lake in Japan. The north side of the lake is in beautiful and quiet countryside. I went there today, and borrowed a boat. I threw my handmade lures all day long. After all, I was not able to catch one. The water was too cold for the fish to chase lures. I was, however, very satisfied, as the cherry trees were in full blossom everywhere on the bank. The castle in the picture is in Nagahama city by Biwako.