HOME Fish Finding Lab Team FURUNO just launched! Go hunting yellowtail!

Fish Finding Lab

Team FURUNO just launched! Go hunting yellowtail!

Today's Game – Yellowtail

Early Autumn, 2016
Game Field
Wakayama Prefecture in Japan
Clear and Sunny
Armed with
Autopilot NAVpilot-711C

Off to Tomogashima-island!

Chart map captured by GP-1870F.
Tomogashima-island—You gotta love this place if you are a true fisher. Here you will see drastically changing water depth of this area. What more could we ask for?

It's 5 o'clock in the morning in the middle of September. Team FURUNO departed from Nishinomiya, Japan, Marina and arrived at the Tomogashima-island area. We felt the intense sunlight baking on our skin. “We are going to hunt yellowtail today,” muttered the captain.
We made this journey for a good reason. Tomogashima-island is well known as a fishing hotspot where a large variety of fish gathers. This island stands in the middle of the current from Osaka bay to the Pacific Ocean, with some other small islands, sandwiched between two coasts. Because these islands are stucked between the two coasts, a very strong and fast current occurs during the times of high/low tides. The current surges plankton to the sea surface, making this a good place for lots of fish to feed. However, since it is such a rich place for finding fish, it requires that you pay careful attention to the operation of your boat, especially since the drift of the tide is rapid and you might hit shoaly water. If you want to take advantage of this rich area, you must be an intermediate or an advanced fisher.

Formulating your strategy

We used this Sabiki rig to attract huge yellowtail with live bait.

Almost in the same breath we settled into a fishing hotspot and got ready to fish. We started by checking the seabed structure with our Bottom Discrimination feature and monitored fish echoes on our Fish Finder. We targeted a school of fish near a rise in a reefy shallow. We turned on the ACCU-FISH feature, but no fish size data appeared. This meant the size of each fish in the fish school was less than 10 cm. We set up our fishing tackle and dropped in our lines, some of this fish school would be our bait for the bigger fish.

This was all part of our strategy for the day’s fishing. Before we started fishing the small fish for bait, we had already found a point with individual fish echoes at the sea bottom. We were preparing to catch those bigger fish by catching the bait first. Soon after getting some Japanese horse mackerel, we rushed to the point where we found the echoes of the individual fish.

  • When the size of fish is less than 10 cm, no fish size data will appear on the screen. Therefore we could assume that the echoe is the school of small fish less than 10 cm.
  • We can see two arch echoes here. SABIKI mode was off at this point, but you would have seen fish size shown on the screen if ACCU-FISH mode had been turned on.

Utilizing “SABIKI mode” to stabilize the boat

It is almost the nature of fishing, but typically the wind and drift of the tide are pretty fast when you are fishing at a rich point. Obviously it is diffucult to enjoy fishing without worrying about your boat drifting the wrong direction. THIS is the time to utilize our “SABIKI mode” on our NAVpilot. With the SABIKI mode turned on, the boat’s direction can be kept just by adjusting the srottle. The SABIKI mode maximizes the steering function under strong winds and the rapid drift of the tide. SABIKI mode lets the AutoPilot take control while you are drifting astern, so you can focus on fishing instead of steering. SABIKI fishing under tough conditions, such as in strong wind and current, requires a bit of technique even if you are an experienced captain.

Click here for more information about our SABIKI mode.

  • Drifting over the point we found an echo of individual fish while in SABIKI mode. At the same time, we felt the fish hitting our lines under water.
  • SABIKI mode lets the autopilot take control while you are drifting astern, so you can focus on fishing instead of steering.

Excitement in victory utilizing your own strategy

For some time we felt something playing with the bait on our lines. We could sense that the mackerel was trying to escape from something. Suddenly, strong hit could be seen from the end of rod. Right at that moment, we saw the shadow of a big fish swimming around with sunlight on its back. It was just a few moments later that a beautiful 50 cm young yellowtail jumped into our boat from the water. The day’s catch consisted of 1 young yellowtail, 1 amberjack, and 1 cutlass fish. Even though we did not catch as much as we wanted, we fully enjoyed the excitement of winning victories with our own strategy. Looking into the water and analyzing targets using a Fish Finder, making judgments, and building strategy: that is the most exciting part of fishing in your boat.

  • Jigging near Osaka bay on the way to Tomogashima-island. We caught a cutlass fish.
  • A beautiful 50 cm yellowtail we finally hunted, this is completely wild yellowtail!

Text/Photo : FURUNO Fish Finding Lab Members