In winter, men and women sheltered in strange shell-like tents patiently wait on the frozen surface of a picturesque mountain lake in central Japan. They come for Japanese pond smelt, a fish as marvelous to look at as it is tasty, especially in tempura. Catching it is not for the casual, but for the most passionate of anglers - those willing to meticulously craft their own rods or go as far as building a computer controlled fishing robot. Witness the mad enthusiasm of these innovators on ice.
Pond smelt's natural good looks have earned them the moniker of "winter fairies"
The exquisite taste and aroma of pond smelt make it a popular tempura ingredient
An expert angler skillfully wields 2 rods at the same time
The excitement of this fishing is in the creative methods of those who practice it, such as this homemade robot angler!