Smelt fishing on Lake Gandoko

One of the premier smelt fishing spots in Tohoku

Every year from mid-January to late March, Lake Gandoko is full of people enjoying fishing for smelt. Smelt fishing involves making a hole in the surface of the frozen lake and hanging a fishing line, and you can rent a special drill to make a hole in the ice, fishing rods, and a tent for on the ice from the rest house. Don't forget to dress warm for the winter weather and bring your own chairs. There is also a smelt fishing school for beginners (fees apply, reservation required). The key fishing point changes depending on the season. In January, it is near the shore at a depth of 5-12 metres, in February, it is offshore at a depth of 15-20 metres, and in March, the fishing point returns closer to the shore.

If you use the rest house, you can ask them to cook your catch there. The recommended way to eat the smelt is to coat them in flour, fry them until crispy,  sprinkle some salt over them and enjoy! They are also delicious as tempura or a simmered in sweet soy sauce. If you like, you can take your fish home in a vacuum pack at the Gando Kasseika Centre near the rest house.

You can enjoy fishing in a dome boat even before the ice fishing season begins. (Reservation required)

General Information

岩手県盛岡市薮川字外山 24-12
1-day fishing ticket
Adults: 600 yen
Opening Times
07:00-17:00 (last order 16:30)
*Open from 04:00 during the ice fishing season only
● About 60 minutes by bus from JR Morioka Station
● About 60 minutes from Morioka Interchange on the Tohoku Expressway
Car Park
Reviews (TripAdvisor)


Gandoko Rest House
Telephone Number

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