Isles of Tokyo – Day 1: Mikura Jima

07 Oct Isles of Tokyo – Day 1: Mikura Jima

1. Arrival

Ferry arrived at Port Mikura around 6am. With still feeling lots of alcohol from the night before, we stepped onto Mikura Island for the first time in completely blurry mind.

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This small port is the only place built near water in the entire island who is surrounded by high cliffs as tall as 500m from sea level. The lowest cliff holds a small village where we checked into a small lodge managed by Mikurajima Tourist Information. 2 guys at the desk with Mac in neat office welcomed me with full instruction.

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2. About Mikura Jima

Mikura Island, with population less than 300, is built by volcanic activity in ancient time and now covered by heavy forest which produce plenty of water and nutirent. Well known amongst divers for good location for dolphin watching and hikers by place of wild bird sanctuary. Mikura has very good nature preservation program which forbids any coastal commercial fishing except few designated points.

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It’s a shame that we intended only to visit waterfront while there are so many spots on the island carrying full of wildlife. You need a certified guide to gain full access to the wonders of Mikura jima which is definitely worth looking for.  We spotted pair of wild dolphins swimming near the shore while taking just a glance at sea, so think of how many you can encounter if you put your time to it.

3. Fishing at Port Mikura

As for fishing, Hama-san slept too deep into his dream, so Andy and I went on for morning fishing. Main pier where ferry docks, the best location to fish in the entire island, was off limit due to the ongoing cargo arrangement for the whole island which takes place every Thursday. Instead, we tried the fisherman’s dock.

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Very first fish of this trip turned out to be this needlefish on metal jig. I retreived the lure very fast, but this needle fish chased hard as if it did not have any meal for days. Open sea was turning stormy, so I suspected there are many fish escaped insid the port.

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As I checked inside the port, I found a school of small fish escaping from flashing shadow of predators. In very familiar sight, I switched to a 8wt fly tackle and the very first fish on this island caught by fly tackle turned out to be this bigeye trevally around 20cm. Small, but the first step.

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Kept catching bigeye trevallies after the first fish and the largest was this one about 25cm. Same size chased metal jig too, so I presume this is the average size of trevally of this season.

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Andy’s first was longfin trevally about 30cm caught on soft lure. There seemed to be many fish waiting for weather to turn nice out.

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We fished til noon then it started to rain hard, so we headed back to our basecamp to prepare lunch and wake up Hama-san. We had warm pasta with cheeze sauce brought by Andy while waiting for rain to clear up, then we headed back to port for afternoon fishing.

Same fishery changed to bitter place for it was receiving more tide from outer ocean and big wave was breaking into crevice creating random turbulence. I knew place like that would be a best time for blue runners who demand good amount of oxygen, so I casted a jig into the turbulance and caught this small amberjack around 30cm. This one was kept for dinner for broiling fish.

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I’ve added another amberjack about 40cm kept for sashimi. 2 amberjacks turned into very good dinner later for our first night on the island. Thanking to the great nature offering, we went to bed early to prepare for early morning possibly with good chance for big game.

Results by Fly

Bigeye trevally x 5: 20-25cm

Results by Lure

Needlefish x 1: 30cm
Amberjack x 2: 25-30cm
Longfin trevally x 1: 25cm

Sighted Wildlife

Indo-pacific Bottlenose Dolphin
Green sea turtle

> Continue to Day 2