Saturday, September 28, 2013


Because of the northern wind and radiation cooling, it was too cold this morning. I wore an under-shirt and pants, and a soft-shell jacket for the first time this fall season, but it sure was cold. However, the water was warm enough, and some active bass played with me.

While it was still dark, I cast a Heddon 210 in CDF, but no fish reacted. Then I tied a Gilmore Hoodler in a gizzard shad color, cast it, and gave it a quivering action on the water surface. Big splash suddenly occurred, and a good bass pulled the bait into the water. It was a good fight, though the bass was not so big, and I enjoyed a lot.  

I was very much pleased with today's fishing after catching this fish with one of my favorite wood baits, so I tried an unsual lure for fun. I've not used it for long, but I have many of them. Yes, Bomber Speed Shad. A prop is attached on the tail of almost all of my Speed Shad lures, and I like using them as a topwater bait. Its action is very shad-like, and some young bass could not but jump to it to bite. I caught a few bass and lost a few, too. I got completely satisfied and went home. 

Today's tackle: ABU 5000 DL, Fenwick Lunker Gear LGX 38C, Stren 14lb (Hi-Vis gold), Heddon 210, Lucky 13, Zara Spook, Gilmore Hoodler, Bomber Speed Shad (w/ prop on the tail), etc. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Different color pattern

I'd been looking for a lure, and finally got it. 
It is a Heddon Brush Popper in FRB color, Fluorescent Red Black Spots with sharp black bar eye-shadows (I was thinking a lady beetle color).

This lure is shown on a famous fishing travel book, OPA (written by Takeshi KAIKO), and I got interested in it when I read the book. Then, I got one in my collection, but its color pattern is a little different (usual black eye shadow). 

This time, I could get the same color as the book, and I'm very happy with it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Three-day weekend

Today was the last day of three-day weekend. I was going to go out for fishing again, but I could not get up early. I ran about 2 hours yesterday, and it seems I haven't been able to get rid of my fatigue. I prepared my lures late last night after cleaning and drying them on a newspaper, but they're just ready for the next time. 

As last year, we went digging sweet potatoes in the afternoon. The farm is near our place, and we took our dog with us. He wanted to dig some, too, but we ordered him to wait. It is very troublesome to wash a dirty dog with mud. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I recovered

After finishing the ultra-marathon, I suffered muscle aches on my legs, especially shins and thighs, and my feet terribly swelled on Monday (the next day of the race). I could walk, but the speed was as slow as a snail. I also felt difficulties to go downstairs. Then, I felt much better three days later, and thought I could jog (but I didn't because I was a little busy working). On Friday (5 days later), I believed I totally recovered and ran 5 km. Today, I had no strange feeling on my legs at all, and went fishing early in the morning.

The moon age of today was 15.64 at noon, one day after the harvest full moon. It was almost setting, and the sun was about to rise from the other side.

We had much rainfall on Sunday-Monday due to the typhoon which hit Japan. I was afraid the water got much muddier than previous weeks, so I made great use of fluorescent and black lures today. In the first pond, I caught one bass with a Bagley's Bang-O Spinner #5 in a hot tiger color.

I had chores today, but could spare a few more hours, so I decided to go another pond. The water there was very mucky, and I felt fish were very slow. I caught two bass, both with a Heddon Hedd Plug (FYB). They were not wandering around floating weeds, but were waiting in the wings near closed-off sections. Their body color went white presumably because of the turbid water. I used lighter tackle today, and could fully enjoy their fight. 

Today's tackle: ABU Royal Gold LE, Fenwick Lunker Gear LGX 38C (I replaced the grip), Stren 12lb (Hi-Vis gold), Bagley's Bang-O Spinner, Heddon Wouded Spook, Hedd Plug, Zara Spook, Chugger Spook, etc. 

Friday, September 20, 2013


Here is a personal memo after finishing ultra-marathon.

Muscle aches:
   Almost gone in 3-4 days. I felt like re-starting to run 2-3 days later.

GPS watch (Garmin 910XT):
   I should have locked the keys. When I went to wash my hands on the way, I stopped it by mistake and data of about 2 km were not recorded.

Change of clothes:
   It took about 10 minutes for me, but it was very helpful. I was so refreshed.

RxL 5-finger socks:
   The best socks I've ever bought. I got almost no blisters.
CW-X Point Guard (calf and ankle guard):
   So so. The ankle part may not be needed for me.

DryLite Micro Towel:
   Towels were useless under rainy conditions.

Asics  Neck Cooler:
   I didn't use them, because it was rainy.
Salt supplements:
   I took one tablet per 10 km as usual, and I got no cramps.

Simple Hydration bottle:
   Very light and good to run with. I felt as close as I didn't carry it with me, though I didn't fill it up. It was my mistake to dropped it (twice), when I unbuckled the belt before holding it. It's better to hold it on front or left side of myself, not on the back so that I can't forget I run with it.
SPI belt (large) 
    The errastic belt and bag part were good to run with. The bag part seldom swung and I felt no frustration.

Monday, September 16, 2013

My summer was over

"Nobody Pounded the Table Anymore, No body Threw Their  Cups"
This is the title of 6th chapter of Haruki Murakami's book, 'What I talk about when I talk about running'. I seldom read his fictions, but this book is a collection of essays about running, and it is one of my favorite books. I have both English and Japanese versions of the book plus an audio one (CD). After reading this chapter (I've also heard it in my car plenty of times), I wanted to have a chance to try an ultra-marathon someday. Two newer books regarding long-distance running, "BORN TO RUN" and "EAT & RUN", also urged me to try at the earliest possible date.

Yes, yesterday was the day. I finally ran 100 km (= 62 miles) in a single day.

I got up at 01:00 AM, and ate a total of 6 pieces of rice cake, 6 fingers of banana, and 1 nutrition jelly and drank a lot of water before the race. I got my fuel tank full. This is what I reconfirmed after the race, it seems I have a strong digestion, maybe stronger than most runners.

While I drove to the starting point, it was already raining. Because of a typhoon approaching Japan, we had rain almost all through the race. Sometimes softly, sometimes heavily (mostly in the last half). I had been imagining a race under a hot summer condition, and had been training for the battle with the blazing heat, but anyone cannot control the weather. I didn't believe I would need rain wear in the first half when I would be able to run at a good speed, but was afraid I would definitely want one in the last half when I would slow down in the mountainous course. I decided to deposit my fishing rain wear (OR, Outdoor Research Gore-tex light jacket and Seattle Sombrero hat) at an aid station, and as a result I was strongly assisted by them. 

Here are my brief results.

0-10 km:  1h 00m
    It was still very dark and difficult to run fast. This lap includes a slap course with 150 m (167 yd) going up and down. The pace was a little faster than I expected, but I was still feeling good and comfortable.

10-20km:  56m
   Morning dawned. The course was flat and I ran at ease. The pace was much faster than I planned, but I kept the faster pace, because I thought it would get stormy in the afternoon. At the time, I didn't notice that 'savings of time are debts of energy in marathons.'

20-30km:  58m
  The course was still flat and I kept the good pace. I felt a little bid uneasy about the latter half of the race, but it was my first time to run an ultra-marathon and I was not concerned seriously about what would happen later.

30-40km:  1h 07m
   This lap included the return of the 150 m up- and downslopes. I slowed down, but the pace was still faster than I first planned.

40-50km:  1h 10m
   I ran on and on. After I passed the distance of a marathon (42.195 km = 26.2 miles), my legs were getting more and more disobedient. I took a longer rest at an aid station (46km, the first gate) and ate a cup of noodle. To tell the truth, I felt most terrible from this leg of the course to the second gate (56 km), and I was trying to find reasons to retire a lot of times. I had to be patient to pass through this step.     

50-60km:  1h 24m
   I got to the second gate. There, I exchanged my dirty wet shirts and socks, ate fruits and sushi, and thoroughly applied pain relief cream on my legs. I relived. I thought I would be able to run some more.  

60-70km:  1h 40m
   The hardest part was waiting for us runners. It was rather climbing than running to go up to a peak of 400 m (444 yd) mountain. I often walked, not being able to run. I was going to overcome upslopes, but the course was much steeper than I imagined. 

70-80km:  1h 27m
   I was almost out of breath, but could reach the third gate located near the peak of the mountain. I applied the pain relief cream on my legs again there. After the gate, the course was mostly downhill, and my legs got completely disobedient when I passed 80 km point.   

80-90km:  1h 34m
   I can't recall this leg of the course well. I passed through the fourth gate, ate bread, fruits, and fish soup there. It got very stormy and much cooler than before. I decided to wear a rain jacket and hat to warm myself, because I had not extra energy to rush. When I felt I could not run, I often walked at a brisk pace. I walked, but my pace was sometimes faster than running speed of other exhausted runners.
90-100km:  1h 34m,  Total (100km):  12h 51m 43s
   When I reached 90 km point, I thought of a familiar course around my place with the same distance left (10 km). I got sure I would be able to finish the race under 13 hours, 1 hour before the limit time. I ran extremely slowly, or walked on quickly. It was raining like cats and dogs, so my rain jacket and hat were really helpful. I finally reached the finish line at dusk and was really happy when I was given a medal. I called my family telling I finished the race and thanked them.

On the way back from the race, I got starving to death and went to a noodle restaurant. I ordered triple of Japanese noodle with tempura of chicken and fish sausage. I quickly finished them up. I hear most runners have a poor appetite during and after ultra-marathon races, but it seems I'm exceptional.  

Anyway, I could finish the race. I'm not sure I could enjoy the race fully under the terrible weather condition, but I'm now totally satisfied with what I did. 

From the book I mentioned in the opening sentence:
 "For a runner like me, what's really important is reaching the goal I set myself, under my own power. I gave it everything I have, endure what needs enduring, and am able, in my own way, to be satisfied.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Never give up

I'll go on a trip from tomorrow to attend an ultra-marathon, and I took a day off today to prepare for it. In the morning, I could spare time, so I decided  to go fishing in the ponds near my plave. Some small fish bit my lures, but I could not catch any in the first and second ponds.

I almost gave up catching a fish today, but tried the third pond (I did not want to give up anything before the ultra-marathon race). Anyway, I drove half an hour and got to the third pond. The water level was high there and it was full of muddy water. When I find the water having got muddier than before, I often choose chartreuse-colored lures, and this time I tied a Heddon Chugger Spook in YSL, Yellow (chartreuse) Snake Line color.

When I first cast it, I got a reaction from fish and the water blew up. However, I could not set a hook, because the fish was so small that it could not pull my bait into the water completely. After retrieving the bait, I thought, "This pond may be good." Then, I swam to another point, and long-cast the YSL Chugger Spook to a shore spot under a tree. I waited for a couple of seconds, and slowly but steadily retrieved it. When I reeled 4-5 yards from the shore, this fish suddenly grabbed away my bait with a big water explosion. I did set a hook hard before I knew it, and started to enjoy the fight. It was a very fat fish (4 lb or so), and fought very hard. I was very happy to be able to catch it and laughed.

As I expected, fish in the third pond were very active and I caught several more. Some attacked my lure like volleyball, and even tried to hold it a few times to bite. I first planned to spare only a few hours for fishing, but I enjoyed fishing on the water for longer than 5 hours. Although I have to have a rest today for the marathon...

Today's tackle: ABU 5000 DL, Fenwick 2053 (Fenglass Lunkerstik), Stren 14lb (Hi-Vis gold), Heddon Chugger Spook, Wounded Spook, Zara Spook, Pico Pop, etc. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ready to go

Here is a memo of items that I recently purchased.

RxL 5-finger socks
RxL Wrist and Leg band
CW-X Point Guard (calf and ankle guard)
DryLite Micro Towel
Asics  Neck Cooler (discontinued?)
Salt supplements
Simple Hydration bottle
SPI belt (large) 
number card clips
2 Swayback Zara Spooks (I like the strange eyes. Of course these two are for fishing, not for running activity.)

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Vintage ABU items

As well as fishing reels and rods, ABU sold a lot of fishing items such as sinkers, nets, parts, etc. Some vintage items are now very difficult to find. One of my good friends in Germany kindly found some for me. Thanks, T.K!

ABU Fishing Pliers (made before the mid 1970s): The grips of these pliers are gold and fish-like scales are engraved for slip-proof. Very beautiful pliers made in Germany, and I can't believe these were made about 40 years ago. These are very difficult to find, much more difficult than later ones (see below).

ABU Fishing Pliers (made after the mid 1970s): Very similar to old ones, but the grips are blue.