Here’s something different to do, shrimp fishing. And I don’t mean off the coasts of Taiwan. This is done within the city, in buildings made for long hours of fishing fun. I just so happened to tag along with a company outing and I have to say, thank goodness I did. This pastime requires it’s own technique that I couldn’t grasp. I would have starved if it weren’t for the skills of others. Yeah, you pay to catch your meal here.
During the day, this hobby is enjoyed by families and people of all ages. Late at night, you’ll still find the place in use. More by men passing time with beers and their catch. It can feel a little seedy but it’s all safe. Things are monitored and people tends to themselves. We were probably the loudest people there and that’s not saying much. The girls only screamed when we were carelessly flinging the shrimp around unfamiliar with the fishing rods.
Shilin and Beitou are the popular areas for these shops. The place we went to was actually in Yonghe, a place for those who didn’t want to venture all the way north. And to make it more unique, this place housed more then just shrimp fishing. It had a bowling alley and airgun shooting in the upper floors. As nice as it seems the place wasn’t crowded at all on this Friday night. That could have been due to the rain. But hey, I’m glad this was an option in this part of town, where I happened to be staying. Bonus.
Verdict: Try it out. It’s an experience you won’t find too often in Asia and in Taiwan, they set you up right.
My buddy showed us the proper technique which involved proper placement, a little bait dance, and the intricate signals we should be paying attention to. I should have put my beer down at this point.
Yes, that's dried shrimp. Using shrimp to catch shrimp. Seems a bit odd, but hey, it worked.
Something I don't have here in the world of shrimp fishing. You really need to be aware of when the shrimp is eating your bait. Contrary to fishing, there's no tug to let you know you've hooked something. In fact, you almost have to deliberately hook the shrimp. Good thing we had experts.
Once you catch a shrimp, you drop them into this little contraption. Mine only had one.
There's a communal oven to cook your shrimp. Be careful, it's really really hot. Almost unbearable when you go in to flip the shrimp. It does help it dip your hands in water before going in. I should also mention that the salt seasoning was provided to us. But I'm pretty sure you can bring your own.
Once you're done cooking, load them up on your tray, find a table and eat till you and your friend's cheeks are sore from your gleeful grinning.