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Special feature

Wakasagi smelt in Onuma

Wakasagi smelt fishing is fun and the fish is delicious. Needless to say, wakasagi smelt is a popular local product in Onuma.

In Onuma, wakasagi smelt fishing begins around October every year. The fish is very popular with local residents and visitors alike as a distinctive local product. When the wakasagi smelt fishing season opens every year, local fishermen head for the area’s lakes before dawn and catch the fish from fixed nets. They use spoon nets to harvest the natural wakasagi smelt.

Wakasagi smelt harvested on the day are carried to processing plants, where the fish are processed into tsukudani (simmered whole in soy sauce), ikadayaki (grilled fish skewers), suyaki (grilled fish) and other products. When ikadayaki is made, several smelt are placed onto each skewer and carefully grilled by local part-time workers. The product is so soft that even the bones can be eaten. It is ideal as a side dish to accompany rice. There are three fishery operators engaged in wakasagi smelt fishing at Onuma. How about trying all of their products to see which is your favorite?

In winter, wakasagi smelt ice fishing can be enjoyed. This activity involves fishing for wakasagi smelt through a hole in the thick ice of the lakes in Onuma Park. You can even try deep-fried smelt cooked out on the ice. It’s a signature event of winter in Onuma.