ido fishing

What is Ido Fishing?

Japanese Ido Fishing

Ido fishing is a unique fishing method that originated in Japan and has been practiced for hundreds of years. The word “ido” means “well” in Japanese, and the method is named after the structures used for fishing. These structures are typically built over ponds or streams and resemble wells with open tops. Fishermen stand on the structure and use a long pole to catch fish.

The poles used in ido fishing are typically made of bamboo or carbon fiber. They can range in length from a few meters to as long as 15 meters. The length of the pole depends on the depth of the water and the type of fish being caught. The poles are lightweight and flexible, which allows the fishermen to make precise movements and catch the fish with ease.

One of the unique characteristics of ido fishing is the use of bait. Fishermen use small live fish, worms, or insects as bait. They attach the bait to a hook and lower it into the water. Once a fish takes the bait, the fishermen quickly pull up on the pole to set the hook.

Because ido fishing involves standing high above the water, it requires a great deal of skill and balance. Fishermen must carefully balance themselves on the structure while also focusing on catching the fish. The structures used in ido fishing can vary in size and shape, but they are typically made of wood or bamboo and are anchored in place to prevent them from tipping over.

Ido fishing has a long history in Japan and is still practiced today, although it is becoming less popular due to the rise of more modern and efficient fishing methods. However, there are still many practitioners of ido fishing, especially among older generations who value its cultural significance.

Overall, ido fishing is a fascinating fishing method that requires skill, balance, and patience. It is an important part of Japanese culture and history and continues to be a beloved tradition for many fishermen.

The History of Ido Fishing

Ido Fishing in Japan

Ido fishing has a rich history that dates back to over four centuries ago in Japan. Initially, this fishing technique was used by Buddhist monks as a way of catching fish in rivers and lakes.

Historians agree that the name “ido” was coined from the Japanese word “idou,” which means to move or shift. It is believed that the name comes from the rapid movements of the fishing line that are made during the fishing process.

The method of ido fishing involves using a long and slender fishing rod, which is usually made from bamboo. The fishing line is made from hemp or silk and is attached to the end of the pole. The hook is also attached to the line, which is usually baited with live fish, insect larvae, or small pieces of meat.

As the fisherman moves the bait up and down in the water, the hook starts to move in a zigzag motion, attracting the fish. Once the fish bites the bait, the fisherman uses a quick upward motion of the pole to set the hook in the fish’s mouth and then quickly reels it in.

Ido fishing was initially used as a means of self-sufficiency by the Buddhist monks. It was a way of providing food for themselves and their fellow monks in the monasteries. Over time, ido fishing became popular among ordinary people in Japan. During the Edo period (1603-1867), it became a popular pastime for many people who enjoyed fishing as a recreational activity.

During the Meiji period (1868-1912), ido fishing underwent significant changes. Metal hooks replaced the traditional bone or wooden ones, and fishing rods made from bamboo became more refined. The introduction of synthetic fishing lines also made ido fishing easier and more efficient.

Today, ido fishing continues to be a popular recreational activity in Japan. It is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Avid anglers and beginners alike can participate in fishing tournaments and enjoy the beautiful scenery while fishing in rivers and lakes throughout the country.

In conclusion, the history of ido fishing in Japan spans over four centuries. What started as a means of self-sufficiency for Buddhist monks has evolved into a popular recreational activity enjoyed by many. With its rich history and tradition, ido fishing remains an essential part of Japan’s cultural heritage.

The Equipment Used in Ido Fishing

Fishing equipment

Ido fishing is a traditional form of fishing that originated from Okinawa, Japan. It involves using simple equipment such as a long pole called a yana, a small hook, and a small piece of bait. In this article, we will discuss the equipment used in Ido fishing and how they work.

The Yana:

Yana fishing

The yana is a long and thin pole made of bamboo or carbon fiber that can reach up to 6 meters in length. It is lightweight and sturdy, making it easy to maneuver and use. The yana acts as an extension of the angler’s arm, allowing them to cast the bait farther into the ocean. The end of the yana is equipped with a small tip made of metal or plastic, where the fishing line is attached.

The Hook:

Fishing hook

The hook used in Ido fishing is much smaller than traditional fishing hooks, usually measuring around 2-3 centimeters in length. It is perfect for catching small fish, such as sardines and mackerels, which are abundant in the Okinawan waters. The small size of the hook allows the angler to use a small piece of bait, such as shrimp or squid.

The Bait:

Fishing bait

The bait used in Ido fishing varies depending on the season and the type of fish the angler wants to catch. Small fish such as sardines, anchovies, and mackerels are commonly used as bait. Squids and shrimps are also used to attract different types of fish. The bait is cut into small pieces and attached to the hook using a small thread.

Final thoughts:

Ido fishing

Ido fishing requires patience, skill, and proper equipment to be successful. By using the right equipment, an angler can catch a variety of fish that can be cooked and prepared in a traditional Okinawan cuisine. Overall, Ido fishing is not only a recreational activity but also a way of preserving Okinawa’s cultural heritage.

The Techniques Used in Ido Fishing

Fishing at a Jetty

Ido fishing, also known as jetty fishing, is a popular pastime for many fishing enthusiasts. It is a technique where fishermen stand on a jetty or pier and cast their line into the water to catch fish. This technique is commonly used in coastal areas or near bridges where marine life is abundant.

There are various techniques used in Ido fishing to ensure a successful catch. Here are some of the common techniques used by fishermen:

1. Choosing the Right Rod and Reel

Fishing Rods and Reels

The right rod and reel combination is crucial for Ido fishing. The size and strength of the rod should be chosen based on the type of fish that are targeted, as well as the current and tide conditions. A longer, more flexible rod can help to cast the line further, while a shorter, stiffer rod is better suited for larger fish that require more power to reel in.

2. Selecting the Right Bait

Fishing Bait

Choosing the right bait is also important in Ido fishing. It’s best to use bait that matches the diet of the fish you’re targeting. Some common baits used in Ido fishing include squid, prawns, worms, and small fish. Before casting your line, it’s also important to check regulations regarding the use of live bait.

3. Casting the Line

casting a fishing line

Once the bait is attached to the hook, the line should be cast into the water. The technique used to cast the line will vary depending on the type of reel being used. One common technique is the overhead cast, where the rod is turned so that the reel faces upward, and the line is released as the rod is swung forward. The line should be released smoothly to avoid tangles or knots in the line.

4. Setting the Hook

Setting a fishing hook

Setting the hook is another important technique in Ido fishing. Once a fish takes the bait, it’s important to wait for a moment before reeling in the line. When the fish is felt pulling on the line, the angler should quickly lift the rod to set the hook and secure the fish on the line. The timing of setting the hook is important since setting too early may result in the fish not being properly hooked, and setting too late may allow the fish to escape.

Ido fishing is a relaxing and rewarding experience for both beginners and seasoned fishermen. With the right techniques, gear, and patience, anglers can enjoy the thrill of the catch and potentially bring home a delicious meal for their family and friends.

The Benefits of Ido Fishing

Eco-Friendly Fishing

Ido fishing is one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable fishing methods. It is a type of low-impact fishing that does not require large amounts of equipment or boats. This means that it does not generate a significant amount of waste or harm marine ecosystems. Compared to other fishing methods, Ido fishing is also seen as a more humane way of fishing since it involves fewer injuries and deaths to marine life.

Ido fishing is also beneficial in terms of the variety of fish species that can be caught. Since this fishing method is less invasive, it allows fishermen to catch a wider variety of fish, including those that are smaller in size and those that are not usually targeted by other fishing methods. This helps to maintain marine biodiversity and ensure that the fishing industry operates sustainably.

Low-Impact and Sustainable

Low-Impact and Sustainable

Ido fishing is considered a low-impact fishing method because it does not cause significant harm to the environment. With this fishing technique, fishermen try to minimize their impact on the ocean and its ecosystem. This is achieved by using a small boat, as well as using traditional hand tools to catch the fish. This low impact is especially important since it helps the fish population recover, which is excellent in maintaining marine biodiversity. By not overfishing, the oceans have a sustainable population of fish for the future of this industry.

Cultural and Traditional Value

Cultural and Traditional Value

Ido fishing is a cultural and traditional way of fishing that has existed for decades. This fishing method has a unique history and serves as a source of income for local fishermen in many countries. The technique involves a dance-like movement that allows fishermen to catch fish one by one in shallow water. This dance-like movement is an integral element of the fishing technique that has been passed on from one generation to another, making it an essential aspect of local culture.

Enhancing Food Security

Food Security

Ido fishing plays a significant role in enhancing food security by providing a source of food to local communities. Since this fishing method minimizes waste and generates fewer byproducts than other fishing methods, it allows local communities to have access to fresh and sustainable seafood. This not only helps to improve the nutrition of local populations but also helps to stimulate the local economy. With unemployment rates soaring, sustainable fishing can be an essential aspect of job creation and economic development, providing a livelihood for fishermen and the surrounding community.

Reducing Carbon Footprints

Reducing Carbon Footprints

Ido fishing is also a sustainable fishing method that helps to reduce carbon footprints. With this fishing technique, fishermen use traditional tools, so the process requires less machinery, making it less costly and creating less pollution than modern fishing methods. Small fishing boats are used to move around, and the boats’ engines consume less fuel, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As there is a growing demand for sustainable fishing practices, Ido fishing contributes to reducing the carbon footprint by limiting the hazardous effects of modern fishing on the ocean.


Ido fishing is eco-friendly, sustainable, and contributes to the well-being of marine life and the fishing industry. It plays a crucial role in enhancing food security, boosting local economies, promoting traditional cultures and values, and reducing carbon footprints, making this fishing method both ethical and beneficial.

1. The physical demands of Ido fishing

Ido Fishing physical demands

Ido fishing is not for the faint-hearted. It requires a great deal of physical strength and endurance to remain balanced on the platform for hours at a time. Fishermen must navigate slippery surfaces and rough waters while standing up, ready to cast their nets at a moment’s notice. It’s not uncommon for fishermen to experience muscle fatigue and cramps, particularly in their legs and lower back.

2. Navigating the unpredictable weather conditions

Ido Fishing Weather

Ido fishing takes place outdoors, and the weather can be unpredictable. Strong winds, waves, and rain can all make it more challenging for fishermen to cast their nets and catch fish. It’s important for fishermen to keep an eye on the weather forecast, and to know when it’s safe to fish and when they should stay on shore.

3. The potential for injuries

Ido Fishing injuries

Because Ido fishing involves standing on a raised platform above the water, there is a risk of falling or slipping. Fishermen must be careful to wear appropriate footwear and to stay alert at all times. In addition to physical injuries, fishermen may also experience eye strain and other health problems as a result of prolonged exposure to the sun and salty air.

4. Dealing with changing water conditions

Ido Fishing water conditions

The water conditions in which Ido fishing takes place can change rapidly and dramatically. Fishermen must be prepared to adapt to these changes, adjusting their techniques and strategies as necessary. They must also be aware of any potential environmental threats, such as pollution or algae blooms, that could impact the fish they are trying to catch.

5. The mental challenges of Ido fishing

Ido Fishing mental challenges

Ido fishing is a mentally challenging activity as well as a physically demanding one. Fishermen must remain focused and alert at all times, ready to react to the movements of the fish they are trying to catch. They must also be patient, as it can take time to catch a sufficient number of fish to make it worth their while.

6. Working with limited resources and technology

Ido Fishing resources

Unlike commercial fishing operations that use advanced technology and large fleets of boats, Ido fishing relies on traditional techniques and limited resources. Fishermen use simple equipment such as nets and fishing poles to catch fish, and they must rely on their own knowledge and experience to be successful. This can make it more challenging to compete with larger, more well-equipped fishing operations.

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