Photography: Eel Fishing

I was taken eel fishing a few weeks ago along the Kiso River in central Japan. Eel fishing involves baiting a line with numerous hooks at dusk, wading out into the middle of the river and laying the line, and then returning around midnight to check the catch. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t.

It was difficult to shoot in the conditions and I want to try a reshoot someday but in the meantime I’m content with these frames.



Based in Japan since 2001 I spend free days adventuring into the mountainous regions of central Honshu and occasionally Hokkaido. In 2021, I plan to slow down and talk to more people. Feel free to email me.

4 thoughts on “Photography: Eel Fishing

  1. A unusual and rare experience to be sure. Living in Gifu, almost every guy I know fishes. Never met someone who does eel fishing though.

    Now, I want to know if you ate “unagidomburi” afterward. Love that “tare.”

  2. When I first saw the photo, I thought the person in the water might be seining for elvers at a river mouth. I’ve never encountered this kind of hook and line fishing for eels in Japan. Interesting post.

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