Series 3 - Episode 8: Japan

Episode 8: Japan

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Robson starts his Japanese adventure with an early morning visit to Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji market – the largest fish market in the world. Ten per cent of all the fish caught across the globe pass through this vast emporium, which takes millions of pounds every day. Some 400 different types of seafood are sold here – amongst them the highly poisonous fugu, or blowfish. “It says a lot about the Japanese that their favourite delicacy is a fish that could send you six feet under,” reflects Robson. “And they’ll pay up to a hundred quid for the pleasure!”

Unfortunately for him, Robson’s experience of the iconic fugu does not end at Tsukiji. The following morning, the Geordie joins a local fisherman for a perilous trip into the unknown. “It’s bewildering and petrifying at the same time,” he says. Having donned several layers of protective clothing to safeguard against the deadly toxins in the fish’s skin, Robson helps prepare the lines. So valuable are the blowfish that Robson’s guide lays some 1,500 hooks to ensure he does not return to land with nothing. After a long wait on the calm seas, it is time to pull in the lines. Will Robson have caught his first fugu, and will he live to tell the tale if he does? “The suspense is killing me!” he says.

The next stop is the Kano river, where the intrepid angler prepares for a fishing trip with a difference. A popular sport in this region involves dressing in wetsuits and using live bait to catch ayu, a tiny but supposedly delicious fish. Using a method known locally as ayu-no-tomozuri, Robson and his guide hook a live ayu, then release it into the water. When the hooked fish encounters another, a fight will break out and the second fish will also become ensnared – or at least that is the theory. After four hours in the water, Robson has had no luck. “I’m reliant on how aggressive my little fish is feeling,” he says. “Unfortunately, this one seems to be a bit of a pacifist.” Half an hour and a change of bait later, Robson finally manages to catch a tiny fish – but promptly drops it when removing it from the net.

Having had little luck with the ayu, Robson moves on to the rich coastal area of the Ise-Shima National Park to try a fishing technique as old as the hills. Ama diving is a 2,000-year-old tradition that involves freediving to the seabed in search of snails and sea urchins. More comfortable fishing from the safety of a boat, Robson flails around in the water for a while, until his guides show him the ropes. Visibility is poor beneath the surface, but the Geordie lad eventually manages to collect a handful of giant snails – which he later eats with his guides.

The final day of Robson’s trip takes him to Suruga Bay at the foot of Mount Fuji – a mecca for sports fishermen from all over the world. “If there’s one thing Japan has plenty of, it’s wide-open seas full of huge fish!” he enthuses. However, a sudden change in weather means that this trip will be somewhat soggy. Undeterred, Robson and his American guide cast their lines and soon bring in a grunt and a horse mackerel. But having travelled thousands of miles to be here, Robson is determined to land a giant of the sea before heading home.

Long into the night, when the local fishermen have given up and returned to shore, Robson and his guide remain on the boat in the pouring rain, rods in hand. Eventually, the pair’s patience pays off as Robson gets a bite from what he hopes is an oilfish – a hefty species of horse mackerel that can grow up to two metres in length. But will Robson manage to land this monster of the deep, or will it be the one that got away? “Now then, we’ve got an extreme fight on our hands!” he yells.

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Comments (23)

  • callum lynch

    over 3 years ago

    callum lynch

    excellent series there should be more in places such as iceland and unknown resorts but excellent show keep it up!.

  • ross sims

    over 3 years ago

    ross sims

    lol this is a good programe and presenter i would wish i can do what he does travelling ove the world just to catch exotic fish :)

  • paul sanders

    over 3 years ago

    paul sanders

    why am i unable to view five player in my current location.

  • Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    Anonymous

    should be more programs like this on tv, makes a welcome change from reruns keep up the good work robson a brill show

  • naomi and dave

    over 3 years ago

    naomi and dave

    love the show me and my step dad hope i can get him the boxsets if i have the money from ebay from naomi xx

  • jordan

    over 3 years ago

    jordan

    what a great guy keep the show going love it watch it every week keep it up please!

  • adam

    over 3 years ago

    adam

    omg i whant the fish wagon. i whant to go fishing and catch puffer fish. The 1 thing i whant to do in my teens is go exteem fishing with robson and my dad

  • Dave

    over 3 years ago

    Dave

    Great programme, wish I was there with him, just have to get the gear out and fish the Severn. Looking forward to next weeks episode.

  • Daniel

    over 3 years ago

    Daniel

    I am addicted to this programme as much as I am to fishing. I love Robson's sense of humour - he is so natural. Keep it going Robson.

  • Simon

    over 3 years ago

    Simon

    I would like to know the whistle song aswell! The one playing whilst he was catching the fish he kept dropping! Cheers

  • mark

    over 3 years ago

    mark

    does anyone know what the peice of music is called that was played in last nights episode whilst he was fishing for the tiny fish (do excuse my ignorance im no angler)

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  • Ryan Fitter

    over 3 years ago

    Ryan Fitter

    Great episode Robson!!

  • SWfletch

    over 3 years ago

    SWfletch

    he is okay, but not a proper fisherman, he has the passion but i just personally am not his biggest fan, a great idea for a programme, maybe something like this with henry gilbey or ed schliffke. i spose you have to start somewhere though

  • freddie

    over 3 years ago

    freddie

    the funniest program ever, Robson Green you lad, his presenting is so unique.

  • Anonymous

    over 3 years ago

    Anonymous

    Haha the fishwagon! Classic

  • Yousaf

    over 3 years ago

    Yousaf

    The best fishing programme in the world. the way he presents his self is so good.i've seen every episode. I wish i could come with you. Brilliant work Robson keep it up.

  • ian davies

    over 3 years ago

    ian davies

    love the program, and he tells it has it is,down to earth lad and thats why you can relate to robson, great,great program

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  • ziad s

    over 3 years ago

    ziad s

    yeah it's a great programme to watch - it's not about fisging fishing n fishing - u get to see the place as well - well thought of approach

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • This comment was removed by a moderator

  • Frank

    over 3 years ago

    Frank

    What a great guy (and actor). Down to earth and swears-like me. Great programme, alwaya watch it. Keep it up!

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