If I join JGFA, am I supposed to release everything that I catch?

No! JGFA doesn’t pressure or force any members to release all that they catch. However, with advanced technique, tackle and information, if all anglers bring home all catch, a lot of harm will be done to the stock. That is exactly why we strongly advocate self-imposed bag limit. It is not legally binding, but if we limit our harvest we can improve the possibility of making angling sustainable in future. So, enjoy the catch, but remember to use the resource wisely.

Can anyone submit for a Japan Record?

Applications are open to the members of JGFA only. If you were a non-member when you catch the big fish, you can still apply for all-tackle Japan record on condition that you join JGFA when you make the application.

Can application for Japan Record be made on any fish species?

As long as it is caught in a manner that conforms to IGFA Angling Rules and if the weight of the fish exceeds 453 grams, it will be considered for All Tackle Japan Records. Line Class category records are given to select fish species.

Do I need license to fish Japanese waters?

Most rivers and lakes are managed by fisheries co-operatives (“gyokyo”) and you need to obtain an angling license at their local vendors. There is no saltwater license system per se, but there are certain areas that are closed to angling, so make sure you obtain relevant information before you plan to fish Japan.

Is it easy to charter a captain and boat to fish the ocean?

We must admit that the charter captains here are mostly for bottom fishing and they are not typically compatible to foreign languages. However there are certain operators, mostly light-tackle specialists, who have started to cater to anglers from overseas. It is a good idea to contact travel agents in Japan that specialize in angling for more information. Although we don’t know all agents operating here, but we can give you information of well-established ones.


Please send any question you may have on such topics as IGFA rules, records and ethical angling, and we will respond by email.
Questions and answers may be used in our publications or electronic media.