After two relaxed days in Osaka and still slightly jetlagged, we took the highway in direction Shikoku, crossing the famous Akashi Kaikyō Bridge – linking the city of Kobe on the mainland of Honshu to Iwaya on Awaji Island. After a 3-hour-ride and plenty of fishing talk, we arrived in Tokushima to meet Taro Nakano of Anydope for lunch at a popular ramen place. Taro and I are in touch since a while, but I was more than happy we finally met in person. I’m a big fan of his lure creations and was lucky enough to get hands on the just released “Dopey” in my favorite color pattern (MFF) just two days before my arrival in Japan.

After stopping by at local fishing shop Wild Fish and meeting some fishermen from Tokushima, we went to the nearby Yoshino river to meet Kenji Naito – creative head behind Topwater Junky.

Yoshino River

Topwater Junky
Mr. Kenji Naito

I’m following his lure designs since a while and was happy to be able to meet him too. Fishing on the same boat was fun and I really enjoyed the afternoon we spent together. Catching a fish on my new Ok.Luck – a lively moving pencil – really was the icing on the cake! (see cover photo)

Topwater Junky
Sneak peek into Kenji Naito’s tackle box!

Yoshino River
Shingo and Taro in good mood.

Later that night, I had the pleasure to meet more local fisherman (hello Bootless Boys!) at a fantastic Okonomiyaki place in Tokushima. We had a great evening with lots of delicious food and some drinks – ending up in a cosy and well designed bar run by Yaz – passionated barkeeper and of course topwater plugger.

Tokushima

Tokushima
All smiles…

We parted ways in the early morning hours and I was more than glad that next days fishing trip to Masaki Dam would not start before midday.

More on that and our short visit to the Anydope workshop to follow soon.

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