Rufus Starbuck

Yuzawa Fishing Park

Fishing, but not as you know it

Rufus Starbuck
Rufus Starbuck   - 3 min read

Yuzawa Fishing Park is one of a couple in town and located out in Iwappara. The fishing park experience isn't quite fishing as I grew up with but it is an entertaining day out none the less. Warning - fish were hurt in the making of this article.

The park is made up of several interconnected pools that flow into each other and each one is stocked with trout. Staff occasionally come by and throw more fish into the various pools increasing your chance of a bite. Each prospective fisherman is equipped with a bamboo rod, a length of line, some hooks and bait (either maggots or salmon roe.) If you fancy yourself a bit more of a pro there are other accessories you can buy to supplement the basic gear. Bait your hook, cast it into the pool and wait. The pools are shallow so you can see the fish swimming around and coming to have a sniff at the food on offer. If you get a bite, pull the fish out, take it off the hook and stick it in your net. [You can have great fun just going to the fishing park and watching squeamish people trying to remove a wriggling fish from a hook.]

The catching of the fish is only the first part of the experience. Once you have caught your fill, head to the sinks to dispatch and gut your fish. Skewer it and set it over hot coals to roast, and then enjoy a freshly BBQed snack. If you've never gutted a fish before there are instructions on what you need to do. If you are lucky (as I was) there is a bloodthirsty youngster in your group who takes great delight in this task.

If you don't like the idea of the hook, there is another area with shallow wading pools where you can try to catch fish with a small net or your hands. This is a big hit with the kids, with even the initially scared ending up grabbing fish with both hands and holding them aloft in triumph.

If a BBQed fish isn't enough for your lunch there is also a separate BBQ area where you can buy meat, noodles and vegetables for the gas hot plate, or a small restaurant.

It's a fun day out and judging by the weekend crowds, a popular attraction for visitors to try. And maybe it's just the escape from the Fuji Rock Festival you need to take a peaceful food break.

Rufus Starbuck

Rufus Starbuck @rufus.starbuck

Hanging out in the mountains of Niigata. Arrived by accident and yet to leave. Seem to spend far too much time eating...