Flathead go prime time in Japan
THE FRASER Coast might be known as the whale watching capital of the world but come Christmas it could be another creature of the deep bringing a fresh influx of tourists into the region.
A Japanese film crew has labelled Hervey Bay the hottest spot for flathead fishing in the world.
Japan's top angler Mitsuya Hotta hit the waters off Fraser Island this past week to film segments for his popular television show Fishing Traveller, which reaches more than 500,000 viewers every week night.
A feature article will also appear in one of Japan's highest selling fishing magazines, Salt Water, of which Mr Hotta is editor.
While he is no stranger to spectacular scenery – his back deck has views of the iconic Mount Fuji – Mr Hotta still says Hervey Bay is one of the most beautiful places he has seen during his travels around the world.
He said fishing had become the second most popular recreational activity in Japan and he hoped the half-hour segments, which will air in December, would encourage Japanese tourists to experience fishing off Fraser.
“I like Hervey Bay very much,” Mr Hotta said.
“The flathead that I have been catching here are the biggest I have ever caught.
“My favourite thing about Hervey Bay is that great fishing is so close to the marina, harbour, hotels, restaurants and down town areas.
“In Japan we have to travel a very long way for great fishing but here it is so close.”
Crew cameraman Shoji Igrashi said he had filmed two episodes during his time in Hervey Bay and took particular care to showcase the flathead.
He explained that the Japanese people regarded flathead as a “very special species” and believed they wouldn't be able to resist after seeing what the region's waters had to offer.
“We have particularly enjoyed catching flathead in Hervey Bay and hope our TV show will bring many Japanese visitors here to the Fraser Coast,” he said.