Globetrotter TAKATOSHI MURASE, 30, is living the dream of every angler, making new friends and catching unique fishes as part of his Passion Makes No Borders tour.

“The die is cast.” I remember my good friend Aurel Hernyak from Budapest saying those words to me when I decided to travel to Hungary for my very first Passion Makes No Borders tour back in May 2012. I truly had the determination to start my own global quest. Once I was on my way, there was no turning back.

Looking at how it all started, a lot of credit should be given to social media for helping me make friends around the world. It is essentially the best tool for connecting the virtual world to the real one. Initially, it was bizarre for me when I started talking to strangers who love fishing through social media, sharing our favourite fishing adventures and pictures. It took some time for me to realise that we could become real friends at some point.

The thing is, I really didn’t want to make mere virtual friends. I wanted to go beyond that—to develop real friendships through the love of fishing. It may sound insipid, but I wouldsimply send them a message that sounds like this, “Let’s go hit the water. I’ll go book the flight.”

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Fishing with Team ima Singapore

Carving my own path

Since I started my journey in 2012, I knew I would have to go through a life that is different from others. I have since travelled to Europe (Hungary, Switzerland, Germany, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Portugal), United States (California) and Southeast Asia (Malaysia and Singapore). It was an interesting experience meeting new anglers and making new friends.

After studying in Southern California for nearly seven years, I decided to return to Japan to live my dreams of working for a fishing company, Megabass. I started in overseas sales before dabbling in warehouse and production. Being part of the company that I grew up loving, I kept thinking about what Icould do for it to improve. After all, Megabass played a huge role in brightening my childhood after I got hooked on their fishing products.

However, my mindset began to change. I left after less than two years working for the company. If there was one thing I learned during the stint with Megabass, it was to go out and create my own path. I have no regrets thus far. I am thankful that the company employed me, but I realised it wasn’t the right place for me.

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Caught my first peacock bass with the help of anglers in Singapore

Finding and spreading the love

I believe when others see a person like me flying around the world and fishing, they would probably think that I am a diehard angler with an outrageous desire to catch trophy fish. But I travel around the world simply because I love to get connected with people and spread the love for fishing.

Every time I visit a country, the local anglers would always be there waiting for me to have a good time and share a part of their lives with me. They would do the best they could to make me feel welcomed. They took pride in taking care of me, making sure I had fun during the stay. The more I travel to make new friends, the bond grows stronger. And it will keep growing as long as I keep going on trips.

I remember my good friend and brother in Berlin, Oliver Nail, who said these meaningful words to me, “I’m happy to make you happy. That is passion.” Those words struck a chord in me the moment I heard them. He literally defined what passion is really about. I believe it’s closely related to love— that loving people is what makes you passionate about what you are doing.

Believe it or not, I see positive energy resonating with other anglers as a result of my tours. I want to build on this and spread the word around the world by travelling and meeting anglers. My method may be a little ambiguous, but there is so much that it can achieve by simply connecting with people. As long as I receive support from like-minded anglers, I will not quit. I want to see what’s waiting for me and fishing in the future.

Follow Takatoshi’s adventures via his blog (www.takafishing.com) or Facebook (@Takatoshi Murase).

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