Sunday, March 21, 2010

Shrimp Fishing

(Post by Bacon)
Back home, I used to mock places that made you pay to catch stocked fish in a small pond. I believe it's a lame concept for two reasons:
1 - What's the fun in catching something that's already been caught?
2 - Everyone knows that hunting man is the ultimate game.

Well these rules don't apply to Taiwan shrimp fishing because it's awesome. In Taiwan, there are a massive amount of shrimping places that consist of a large grubby building and an indoor pool. The pool is about 10ft x 30ft, and the water is colored dark green so you can't see the shrimp (because that would make it too easy). You simply go into the building, pay for your fishing time, buy a few beers, and channel your inner Benjamin Buford Blue (Bubba).

Catching the shrimp is rather straight forward. On your pole you have two small hooks where you bait two small, dried shrimp. It was really fun to catch our first shrimp until we discovered you needed to grab them tightly to get the hook out. It's a little more difficult than unhooking a fish, and it didn't help that I hate touching crustaceans (the insects of the sea). These things aren't small either, and some of them had pretty big pinchers. But whenever we were having trouble, a local was more than happy to come over and help us out.

Probably the best part of Taiwan shrimp fishing is the locals. They seem to really enjoy this activity, and watching a foreigner struggle to do something they find so easy seems to be great entertainment for them. The atmosphere is very similar to a bowling ally back home. Some people take it extremely seriously and are very skilled. Others view it as a joke, and after a few failed attempts, just start to have fun with it. And like bowling, it's a popular thing to do on weekend nights for a group of friends, a family, or a couple on a date. After your time's up, you get to clean them, salt them, and grill them up right there for some of the freshest shrimp you've ever had.

So if you want to feel like a local while looking ridiculous, I would recommend this to get a taste of Taiwan.


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