Fishing can be a relaxing addition to an otherwise hectic, but it’s one of those kind of activities – either you’ll love it or you’ll hate it. Regardless, if you keep an open mind, you can really have some mind-blowing experiences. Asia is not well-known for fishing (except perhaps the overtly commercial kind), but there are plenty of authentic experiences for those that look hard enough.
Shurakuen Fishing Hole – Tokyo, Japan
This is truly one of those “only in Asia” moments – amidst the soot, steel, and glass of modern day Tokyo lies the last thing you would expect: a quaint and unassuming fishing hole. The name ‘hole’ suits, without a doubt; old men sit around the small but busy pond as still as the breeze while waiting for a tug on their fishing line. They say this pond has been here since the 1600s and the current owners have had it for nearly a century; it’s best to visit with a guide, as the owners don’t speak English.
Lei Yue Mun – Hong Kong
It’s hard to believe that you could find any fish not scared away by Hong Kong’s towering skyline, but there are lots of things to do in Hong Kong other than shopping and fishing is one of them. Exploring the fishing villages around Hong Kong Island can be a lot of fun, but a local favorite to fish is Lei Yue Mun, which is a narrow channel on the eastern edge of Victoria Harbour. The two best spots are said to be the rocky shore just in front of the lighthouse, or the area behind the Tin Hau temple. The closest MTR station is Yau Tong.
Andaman Sea – Phuket, Thailand
If you want to get away from the Phuket crowds and can tear yourself away from the picture perfect beaches, then head out for the fishing areas on the Andaman Sea. There are plenty of tour providers offering tour options of all shapes and sizes, and the list of fish you can find here is just as long: Wahoo, Dorado, Rainbow Runner, Tuna, Trevally, Cobia, Narrow Barred Mackerel, Black Marlin, Sailfish, and Barracuda – not to mention sharks!
Mekong River – Cambodia (and elsewhere)
The Mekong is an incredible river – one that provides a major economic force for several countries in Southeast Asia, as well as being a popular tourist attraction, particularly the floating markets and villages. There are some incredible fish in these stocks, including the Giant Mekong Catfish that can weigh up to 100kg! The nooks and crannies are endless – Nam Ngum reservoir in Laos is a good one. Ask your local accommodation in any of the neighboring Indochina countries for a recommendation.
Borneo is the third largest island in the world, and the South China Sea waters surrounding it are teeming with fish waiting for some action. The nice thing about the diversity of the island and area means you can have a number of different types of fishing experiences. There are the deep sea fishing expeditions around the reef areas (known for tasty fish such as group or cod), or you can charter a boat to head further off shore to go exploring.
Now, I don’t proclaim to be an expert in all-things-fishing, but I would like to share a few common sense tips with you if you book an Asian fishing tour:
• Now is not the time for bravado and getting lost on the high seas; do your homework and find a reputable provider to assist with your fishing expedition.
• Consider a catch-and-release option given that many fishing areas are overfished and the locals are very dependent on this for economic stability.
• Be sure to consider the time of year; while some sun-kissed hot spots are year-round favorites, the rough seas might be a different story. Do your homework!
About the Author. Andy Hayes. Andy Hayes is a freelance travel writer and photographer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. When not crossing the world to have his next Asian travel adventures, he is hitting the walking trails near home. To get in touch or see Andy’s other travelogues, visit his website, Sharing Travel Experiences.
Make sure that your holiday is more fun and your life much easier by choosing the best car hire company. They offer great deals.