2016/12/29 Top 10 Most Wanted Fish in Japan – 2016

Now it’s the season again to see the top 10 most wanted fish for this year.

According to Google Analytics tracking, this blog attracts variety of English reading audiences from over 159 geopolitical regions from Japan (#1) to Kosovo (#159). Considering the fact we are focusing on fly fishing in and out of Tokyo, amount of engagement to each fish species related article shows the level of interest to that fish.

Previously, we measured the popularity to fish by how many “page views” to each fish topic, but now we are measuring “active view time” of that fish (page view x average session time), so it is more accurate to reflect how much curiosity are given to that particular species.


#10: Blackhead Seabream (6 ->9)


He came back in 2015, but then… fading away once again…
Most commonly seen seabream in the main island and the most difficult seabream to catch amongst 5 species of seabream = acanthopagrus in Japan. It’s as wary as cherry salmon yet as aggressive as white-spotted char who live from brackish water to inshore saltwater area. Ninja of the sea worth the fight on your 8wt fly rod.

#9: Japanese Dace (19 -> 9)

King of clear water stream returns. Same technique you use to catch trout applies to acquire this fish.
Similar to its kin, Far Eastern Dace (to be posted) who is anadromous, but this species stay in freshwater. Good sports for 3-4wt river tackle for dry fly and nymphs.

#8: Pale Chub (15 -> 8)

He is back! Hardly any fight unless you own tackle 2wt or lighter, but absolutely fun fish to catch on midge dry fly and wet fly.

#7: Blue Mackerel (10->7)

Continues knocking out other pelagic fishes over the ranking. This pretty well-seen saltwater game is bigger than other mackerel and grow to the size giving you great fight on 8-10wt tackle. And it makes wonderful dish.

#6: Black Rockfish (4->6)

Entry fish for Japanese saltwater fly fishing best caught in winter season. Too bad they don’t grow too fast and they taste great, so that you won’t find big size fish from bank easily. Night time sports (in a sense of fishing of course) for 4-6wt depends how windy and how heavy the shrimp/nymph pattern you are casting.

#5: Northern Snakehead (5->5)

A hero since 2013 season. Both native and imported population  had its day of prosperity, then now becoming difficult to find big fish. If pike is mafia fish, then snakehead is absolutely yakuza.

#4: Sakhalin Taimen (5->4)

Legendary wild fish native of northern Japan now found in stock fishery as well. Hard skinned predator of the northern water will pull your heart out into the wild. Native fish in Hokkaido is mostly fished in spring time.

#3: White-spotted Char (3->3)

This Ice Age fish show so many variations on skin patterns.
Sea run fish are specialty of season in Hokkaido. Sometimes wary, sometimes aggressive. Fish with distinctive character. Unless it’s cold morning, you won’t even see him until he hits your fly hard from under the rock.

#2: Japanese Seaperch (2->2)

コピー ~ L1150643

One caught on boat in Tokyo Bay at night

King of Tokyo’s saltwater/brackish water fish continues to stay at the high position.
Solid skinned predators with unique character will give you tireless games to enjoy.  If you have tried European seabass, striped bass, or snook, you will love this fish with no doubt.

#1: Cherry Salmon (1->1)

Defending champion of 2011-2015 proves again to be invincible with nearly 4 times more viewership than seaperch in the 2nd place! Crown jewel of Japan stays unchallenged and Her Majesty’s rein continues.

No matter what you fish or what you do. You will agree with the beauty of this East Asian salmon. Landlocked cherry salmon gives you joyful time of fly selection and presentation. Sea run cherry salmon gives you fight which you won’t forget. Experience the beauty of this fish is what you are obliged to do as fly angler in Japan.

Off the 10

Following fishes are potentials for 2017 round.

#20: Chum Salmon (new)
#19: White Trevally (new)
#18: Lake Trout (18->18)
#17: Brook Trout (9->17)
#16: Big Eye Travally (17->16)
#15: Japanese Amberjack (14->15)
#14: Rainbow Trout (13->14)
#13: Giant Trevally (12->13)
#12: Marbled Rockfish (16->12)
#11: Common Carp (8->11)

TFFCC has been posting information about fish available in the waters of Tokyo from the mountains to the islands and surrounding waters of Tokyo only.


2011-2015 Results