Crowd start to gather, excitement is in the air and an odd silence of masses as they line up at the doors as snow falls around them. The first public day of the Yokohama show is about to begin.
|The queue an hour after opening was still hundreds of meters long and 6 deep|
Although not as big as the Osaka show the Yokohama show hold its own with the public day's. The queues were still long and the excitement was just as high. As the doors open the crowd busts into the building and quickly fills the arena. Being from Australia we are more conditioned to being restricted from the only tackle show that exists, our industry likes to control the tackle game by restricting access to the end user. Over here the end user controls what they want to see in stores and it works.
|does not take long to fill up|
Rather than retailers visiting a show where they look at fishing tackle and decide what you as the end user will ultimately buy the public is given access to the manufacturers. In turn the retailers can then see what the end user want to buy and then build their orders based on what the public want rather than what the retailer wants to sell you. Why is this a good thing? Simply the end user looks at the gear decides what they like, they tell the the retailer what they want, the retailer then orders what their customers want and the manufacturers make what is ordered. This has a profound impact on the sales chain. The customer gets what they want, the retailer sell what the customer wants and has less dead stock and the manufacturer has less waste and increases profit. This keeps all parties happy and every one gets what they want. For 5 years I have been preaching this to our industry and resistance is met at every turn. Allowing public access to a fishing tackle show in Australia is a long way off even though it was promised in a video interview last year. I guess our industry is happy living in the past.
|kids fishing for toys|
I spent most of the day today looking at and discussing the promotion of rec fishing in Japan. They have this part down pat. The rec fishing promotion and community engagement is of the highest level and it works. The shows are set up with serious education and customer engagement at all levels and for all demographics. Starting at the youngest level of the scale, a row of tables is set up where toddlers can touch and feel live baits, they are given a sticker for each one they play with, as they move down they are given colouring sheets to take home with a rec fishing message then they move down to small pools that are set up with small fishing related toys whirling around with the assistance of a pump. They are given a small rod to hold with magnet on the end and they can fish out a toy that relates to rec fishing. The flow in the pool offers some resistance giving the rod a bend and a feel for a fight. This section is very busy and runs flat out all day. As the kids get a touch older there are pools set up with small fish including Carp, Ayu and Meddika. Kids are given
|Live bait catches more than fish, it has also caught this young one|
a short rod with no reel and a small bait to catch these fish giving them the feel of biting fish and also a fighting fish. The fish are very small so the fight is not that great but its all a part of the education. As the kids get a bit older they move on to a large pool set up and full of Trout. Each young person is allocated a guide/teacher and they line the edge of the pool, the teacher shows them how to tie on a hook and how to put bait and a float on explaining the rig and how it all woks together, the young person is then shown how to place the rig in the water and then they wait for a bite and are taught how to strike and land a fish. Once the fish is landed they are taught fast dispatch of their catch and it is put in a bag for them to take home. Fish in hand they then have the option of taking the fish to a group who teach them the old art of fish printing or they can take the fish to another booth where they are taught how to prepare the fish for a meal. As the kids reach teen years they have a handful of programs they can join, the stand out one for me was the
|one on one fishing education|
Daiwa Young Fisher Club. Once they sign up they get a hat, a sticker, a spool of leader and a lure. They all go through a few small education programs with Daiwa pro staff where they talk about getting the most out of their fishing experience. Once they have compeated these small programs at the rear of the booth was an area set up with prostaff that specialise in various species. The youth them choose which section they want to sit at and learn more about that particular species. The program comes to an end with all participants from that group getting together for a group photo. The DYFC does not finish there, they have a dedicated web site to rehash everything they learned at the show and constant communication is maintained. As the youth reach their mid to late teens they can then join
|Daiwa Young Fishers Club|
up with a college run by Nippon Bass Club where the kids are taught advance lure fishing techniques and advanced stream craft and habitat. Once they are old enough and skilled enough to understand every thing then the talk shows held at various parts of the show by fishing professionals are attended by big numbers of people young and old. To get more participation from females they run a program called Fishing Idol where young women are pitted against each other in a competition to become the Fishing Idol. Its a role model program that encourages more young women to become involved in the sport. If they win the title of Fishing Idol they will attend various fishing events throughout the year working with young women in rec fishing, many of these Idols go on to host their own TV fishing programs and join companies as pro staff or employed in the rec fishing industry. This plan is a long term program that works, there are no short cuts taken and it is done properly. The reason why there is so much excitement about going to a show is because they have been coming to these shows for years and it has always been a fun learning experience from when they were a toddler holding their parents hand and now they can do the same with their kids with the added bonus of playing with all the cool new toys that the tackle companies have on hand
|Jackall Tungsten free slide kubara|
Funny enough I actually looked at some tackle today, although there was nothing that made me all giddy I have to give an honourable mention to the new Twin Power by Shimano and in my best Borat voice it gets a "Very Nice!!!" vote, gonna get myself one of these, I also ordered my collection of Yamashita Collectors Gold edition jigs, 3 in total I am not gonna tell you how much they are worth but they were not cheap.
|Mr Ed (Horse meat) on a plate with a raw egg yolk|
After the show I joined the Gan Craft team for a feed at a BBQ restaurant where we cook our own meat on a charcoal grill built into the table, the normal tasty morsels from sliced beef tongue, chicken guts, pig intestine and wagyu we topped it off with a plate of raw horse with a raw egg yolk on top. Just when we thought we were done the President of Fish Arrow was sitting at a table nearby and suggested we try the pumpkin ice cream. To my surprise it was awesome and served in an actual pumpkin. Great night out with some good friends finished off with a walk (yes I walked) through the Train Station/Mall/high rise to the hotel. I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story for me.
|Nippon Bass Club and Japan Bass tournament college|
|The trout pool|
|Awesome fish print skills|
|Hand made cane rods for Hera|
|Erik from Palau|
|Serika EGIPARA host|
|the hockey mask seems some what out of place|
|DRESS Stand talk show|
|Japans most famous egi fisherman Mr Norihiro Shigemi.|
|Yuu Yoshida Snipeer president with a gift of a Gan Craft Snipeer Collaberation lure.|
The OSA 115 and OSA 80 Poison frog
|Pumpkin ice cream|