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Back in the day, if you lived on the coast, it was fish or die. Luckily nowadays, most of us aren’t so hard pressed to earn our keep by the water. But it’s nevertheless fun to pretend with these four seafood-snapping activities where you can flex your fishing muscles and munch on your rewards afterwards. We think you just might get hooked…
Deep sea fishing
If you’re really serious about catching that big one but don’t know where to look, contact one of the city’s charter fishing companies, like Tailchasers. The firm will get you tooled up with all the necessary kit so all you have to do is show up wearing a hat, shades and sunscreen. Outings start at $2,300 leaving from the Aberdeen Boat Club and run from 7.30am to 5pm. With fishing season ending around October, you have plenty of time to catch the famous black marlins, mahi-mahi and sailfish. You might even be treated to spotting endangered beasts like grey sharks, whales and giant turtles along the way. If you’re lucky.
9122 0695, www.hongkongfishings.com.
Clamming season has just begun and, at Shui Hau on southern Lantau, you can forage for the bounty of the intertidal zone at low tide. And, in addition to clams ranging from pebble-sized to palm-sized, denizens of the mud flat also include crabs, hermit crabs and oysters. You can shell out a few dollars and rent the necessary equipment ($5-$10 depending on size) from Fung Wong Bungalow and, after a day of digging for your living treasure, they’ll even cook up your clams for you. Now that’s service!
Fung Wong Bungalow Centre, 44 Shui Hau Village, Lantau, 2980 2325. Take the NLB buses 11 or 23 from Tung Chung and exit at the Shui Hau Village stop.
If the deep sea is a bit too daunting for you, head to Tai Mei Tuk Fish Farm’s artificial ponds and reel in up to a dozen species including tilapia, carp and catfish. Set against the backdrop of the Pat Sin Leng Mountains, freshwater ponds ensure that the fish are fat and of superb quality. They also ‘restock’ ponds with fish regularly. Prices start from $50-$55 per hour, which includes a rod and a pack of bait. There are also designated ponds that are suitable for children, novices and experts alike. If you don’t think it’s cheating then neither do we.
Tai Mei Tuk 11A, Tai Po, New Territories, 2662 6351, www.tmtfishfarm.com.
This much-loved pastime of Hongkongers shouldn’t be missed if you’re seafood savvy. Since squid are attracted to light, junk-style leisure boats usually head out after dark and, once you’re in open water and docked, giant lamps on the sides of the boats are switched on. A simple line-and-hook device is all it takes to catch palm to hand-sized squid. On a good night, even newbies can pull in four or five of these squiggly little creatures. Just make sure to wear dark clothing as the freaked-out squiddies may squirt their black ink at you. Jubilee offers trips from $158-$178 per person with full catering including a fresh fry-up of your evening’s catch. Yum!
3555 5555, www.jubilee.com.hk.
If the summer’s just too darn hot for you to tackle, then wait until the off-season begins in November and head out to one of Hong Kong’s 17 reservoirs which are open to the public for fishing. Freshwater fish, the most common being sliver carp, big head, tilapia, mud carp, edible goldfish and wild carp can be snaffled here. These storage reservoirs are kept in excellent condition, containing a variety of microorganisms to mimic the state of natural waters and provide food for the fish. Fishing at such reservoirs – like Plover Cove or Shek Pik on Lantau – requires a licence, which can be obtained for $24 and is valid for three years.
Visit www.wsd.gov.hk for more details.