After already spending all morning and afternoon at Biwako the day before, the return to this magic place was packed with great excitement, while spending the evening at the Budd&Joey workshop was again one of the highlights of the trip.

I know, I’m more than lucky to meet Hiroyuki Fujita again and I’m feeling deeply honored and truly blessed for this incredible opportunity. I would like to send a big “Thank You” to Taizo Shimazaki of Handsome Lures for his kind hospitality and his relentless efforts, which made my stay in Nagoya and these two days at Lake Biwa so special and memorable. ありがとうございます。

After half a dozen trips to Biwako within the last four years, I’m beginning to understand the huge attraction and appeal this lake bears for topwater anglers. Like any other lake or water in Japan, you can leave this place empty-handed, doubting your own fishing skills, but when you are lucky enough, the catch of a lifetime is just one cast away..

Lake Biwa
Hiroyuki Fujita and Taizo Shimazaki

Conditions where quite good, with cloudy weather and light wind. Equipped with my favorite lures by Budd&Joey Company and Handsome Lures, I felt more than optimistic to make something happen.

Lake Biwa
Familiar terrain and scenery…

Already on the second spot, I had a first strike in some distance that brought a small, but nicely colored fish.

Biwako Bass
First fish of the day!

Lure of choice was my beloved Nuw Mouse (color: GBLS – Grain Black Shore). Encouraged by this first fish of the day, we continued exploring the same area, just to realize that with increasing altitude of the sun, fishing became more difficult.

Wind came up and tore the clouds apart when we returned to a wide, yet shallow river entering the lake – a place we already fished a few times during recent trips. Encouraged by the two good fish caught the day before, we started exploring the same area again. It didn’t take long for me to realize, that both of my “fishing guides” where now trying to get me into the best possible positions and we covered a few promising spots in quick succession.

Lake Biwa
Perfect “fishing guides”!

Again it was Budd&Joeys Nuw Mouse, that produced a strong strike in shallow water and the following fight was intense and challenging. With perfect assistance of Taizo Shimazaki, I was able to land this beauty of a fish. Mission accomplished!

Biwako Bass

More than happy and relieved that the hard work finally paid off, we did a few more casts before we quit fishing to enjoy a well-deserved lunch break at a nearby restaurant. During lunch we decided to stop fishing and to spent the rest of the day at the Budd&Joey workshop in Suzuka. This was already my second visit to this remarkable place and spending the rest of the day listening to the inspiring lure-building lessons of my favorite lure builders was a fantastic experience.

At The Workshop
Inspiring lessons in great company

The most important lesson I’ve learned that day, is that developing your own tools and manufacturing processes is of huge importance. Not only to create excellent lure designs, but to shape an own visual language. A self-developed design vocabulary, that makes your creations distinct and unique.

It’s fascinating to see, how this insight is reflected in my daily work as a designer, where I’m constantly tweaking own processes and workflows, to create products and interfaces that are of catching simplicity, engaging and fun to use.

Thanks again for inspiring and cheerful talks, for perfect hospitality and memorable moments on and off the water.

Update: Find a great post and more pictures over at the Handsome blog!

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