TackleTour in the JDM - Lake Biwa, Japan
Chris Zaldain : From what I've seen of Biwa, you need to be able and cover a lot of water and do it efficiently. That means I want to spend as little time as possible retying and trying different things, but with only five setups, you're killing me! Alright, I'm going to start with finesse fishing. You know, coming from California, I'm used to fishing pressured waters, and Biwa is no exception. There were a lot of boats out here the last couple of days and they were all doing the same thing. I'd change it up and start with finesse.
Chris Zaldain is the latest addition to Megabass of America's list of distinguished pros and already his autograph is in hot demand in Japan!
I'm going to bring two F3-611XXS Drop Shot Specials. I'm matching these rods up with identical, 2500 sized Shimano Stradic Ci4s spooled with 6 pound Seaguar Tatsu. This is by far, my go to setup for finesse fishing. I'm going to have one of these rigged with a super finesse wacky rig and the other with an eighth ounce weighted drop shot. Any time I'm facing heavy pressure in clear water those are the two setups I rely upon and Biwa definitely meets those criteria.
Zaldain getting some skips in before blast off.
From there, I'm going to change things up. With all of the high density grass, I'm definitely going to want two power fishing rods. My first choice in power fishing would be the Black Jungle F8.5-710XBJ Punching Swimbait Rod. I'm putting a Shimano Core 101 on this rod with sixty pound Seaguar 8 strand Smackdown braid. I'm putting a one ounce tungsten bullet weight on it and flipping the Strike King Rodent.
If he were to come back to Biwa for a tourney, Zaldain would be sure to include two finesse setups in his arsenal.
Next would be the Black Jungle F6-70XBJ Frog Game Special. I'm matching this with the same reel, a Shimano Core 101, and the same line, sixty pound Seaguar Smackdown Braid, and I'm throwing a black, hollow body frog on top over all these grass beds.
Zaldain took a rare opportunity to change things up, move to the shoreline and start punching some grass. What did he get for his efforts? A nice big snakehead!
Last but not least, I can't go anywhere without a swimbait rod to get me that kicker fish. I'm going with an eight inch Roman Made Negotiator in Ayu. I cannot tell you how phenomenal this bait is. I'm throwing the Negotiator on the F6.5-74XBJ Black Jungle Power Versatile rod matched with a Curado 301 and twenty five pound (25lb) Seaguar Invisx.
Zaldain and his closeup of a non-native Lake Biwa snakehead.
Conclusion: Our experience fishing the legendary Lake Biwa may not have been much to write home about, but almost better was the opportunity to sit in the boat with each of these Megabass of America bass pros, talk about tackle, and gain a little insight as to how they approach fishing areas of shallow grass. Some of their ideas are the same - like covering a lot of water with an effective search tool - and some are different - like using braid versus fluorocarbon versus nylon monofilament. Yet each of these pros has had their times of extreme success out on their respective tours. Which mindset do you more closely align with and which mindset do you hope to tap into on your next fishing trip?
Megabass Pros Chris Zaldain, Aaron Martens, Hikita Seina, Edwin Evers, and Luke Clausen on the shores of Lake Biwa.
We want to extend our gratitude to Megabass of America for the opportunity to accompany them on this trip and giving us the chance to spend time on a legendary body of water with four pros who exemplify the meaning of class, respect, and humble pride.