Had a chance last week to head down to a chain of islands in southern Japan, off the coast of Kyushu. We had some stuff to field test and the timing was perfect to catch some "Hiramasa" which are Japanese kingfish, a cousin of the Pacific yellowtail. We flew down to Fukuoka and stayed overnight, then took a short ride in the morning to our first spot . It produced nothing after a few hours of casting so we made another two hour run to the Goto islands. I immediately liked what I saw when we arrived, there was a ton of bait and we could see fish boiling periodically. The kingfish were eating small mahi that were feeding on anchovy. Outside of 2 or 3 small mahi for the boat, we really were not getting bit. We ran different islands, set up different drifts and it was just brutal for the most part with a front blowing through. In the 11th hour, a bomb went off on my topwater and I was hooked up. I didn't really know what I was in for, I had no idea the chaos that would ensue when I hooked one and that fish just absolutely kicked my ass. I had my drag locked down on 55lbs and the fish still managed to pull me down into the rocks and break me off after about a 1 minute fight. We had to fish at max drag because you have to get the fish turned away from the rocks immediately or else get busted off, it was relatively shallow water (50FOW). I was amazed at the power, we estimated the fish was probably in the 40lb class, which is pretty much trophy size. Shortly after, a coworker got blasted and hooked up, his fish promptly snapped his braid. I got a look at his fish when it bit, and it was another good fish in the 40-50lb range. It was dark shortly after and we headed to a small island inn for the night to lick our wounds and drink too much. Day 2 started off much differently. We arrived at the same area where we got the two bites the night before and there was even more life than before. I got bit almost immediately, but the fish completely missed the bait. One of the other guys quickly hooked up with a 15lb fish and boated it. Action was pretty consistent throughout the morning as there were a ton of mahi around to keep us entertained in between bites from hiramasa and the quality of the mahi was much better. We hooked 6 hiramasa on day 2 and boated 4, much better execution than the previous day. I managed to boat one about 18lbs after I threw on top of a boil. Fish crushed it when it hit the water. When the topwater bite slowed, we did some vertical jigging and caught a variety of species. I only caught 6 fish, but it seamed like 100 compared to not boating anything the previous day. All in all, I am pretty lucky to be able to experience trips like this, that fact is not lost on me. The fishing culture here is pretty awesome and fascinating. I spent the entire two days throwing a Shimano Ocea Pencil 220F on an Ocea Plugger Flex Limited 8'3 Heavy and a Stella SW 18000 spooled with 100lb Power Pro and a 170lb leader. It was some serious exercise!