Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fishing in the Far East



Recently I had the privilege of finding out about this blog, via Mr. Robbins, and couldn't help but want to share my own fishing experiences in the Far East. Recently I took a trip to China where I witnessed two methods of fishing I had never seen before, and one I had never even heard about. Neither method involved fishing in the traditional sense, with lures or nets, but both were intriguing none the less. Both were witnessed in the river and bogs of a rural part of China known as Yangshuo, about an hour and a half bus ride outside Guilin. The first involved the use of tamed Cormorants tied to a pole held on the back on the fisherman. The cormorants, while fishing, have two lines tied on them. One around their foot, to prevent escape, and a second around their neck. The line around their neck serves to prevent large fish from being swallowed, while allowing smaller fish through. Thereby, the bird feeds itself and the fisherman gets his catch. The second method is less noble. I witnessed it while riding a rented bike through the rice paddies surrounding the village. Riding along and snapping pictures, I was motioned by a local to come over and look. Camera in tow, I followed his hand signals up to the top of an embankment that looked down into a brown pool of water. For a brief moment I had no idea what was going on. There was a guy with a bucket, just kind of mulling around, and the another with two poles submerged in the water one of which was making intermittent buzzing noise. After a few moments, he pulled up one of the poles to reveal a net at the end, with a fish in it. A fish that was not moving. I peered closer to realize that the other pole had a wire running up it to the box on his back, which apparently is a large battery. Upon activating a switch, he could electrify the water, killing any fish within the immediate vicinity. I'd never imaged anything like this, but I guess when dinner is on the line, Man's ingenuity is limitless. I'm curious what would happen if he tripped and fell into the water with the battery...

2 comments:

pete said...

hell yeah baker. nice adventure. there are many cormorants around here, and the damn things are much better fisherman than i. thats not such a bad idea there...

Jesse Lance Robbins said...

baker, when you said you have some travel stories of fishing methods to share, i was very excited to read your words. thanks for the post.

really interesting stuff. great read.

the second method sounds somewhat like electroshocking - stunning fish to record their size. this is used for conservation work normally, but undoubtedly could put dinner on the table ha.