Friday, January 30, 2009

Fishing for Shrimp on New Years Day

Day one of the year of the Ox was pretty good for us. Chris (Nancy's cousin) and Rachel (his fiance) invited us to go fishing for shrimp with them.

I had no idea what to expect for
this event, but I have to admit, I was pretty excited. Angel picked us up around 2 in the afternoon and drove us to the fishing spot: a big building connected to a shopping mall in down town Taichung! There she left us to go fishing w/ Chris and Rachel while she went shopping.

Inside of the building was something that looked kind of like a swimming pool with a bunch of people sitting around it fishing. It cost $100NT (about $3 US) an hour to partake in the fishing. This fee included a pole, some chicken liver and some shrimp (for bait), and some hooks. Every hour the pool is re-stocked with new shrimp and you can catch as many as you want while you are there.

Almost right away, Rachel caught our first (and her only shrimp). It definitely took some patience, but between the four of us we caught 8 shrimp in 3 hours (I caught 4 of them!!). I have to say it was lots of fun and definitely requires some skill and patience. I had quite a few nibblers that got away. You have to wait for about a minute after they first start nibbling until you're sure that they're hooked and you won't loose them, then you pull them quickly out of the water and they're yours to keep!

One thing I definitely had a problem with was getting the hook out of the shrimp's mouth. I just could not do it. First of all, the live shrimp completely grossed me out (it's just like a huge water bug...GROSS!) and you really have to work to get the hook out. I felt like I was torturing this big, fleshy bug, so I had to have Chris help me every time. (Nick wouldn't help because he thought it was funny to make me suffer through getting the hook out myself).

After we were done catching them, it was time to eat them! First you rinse them off (because the water that you catch them in is pretty gross). Next you cut off their tentacles and legs (while they're still alive) and salt them to taste.

Next, you skewer them (or impale them) so that they’re easy to handle. After they’re firmly placed on the skewer, you stick them into the grill (mind you, they are still alive at this point and while they cook you can see their legs squirming!!) And once they turn pink all over they are ready to eat. It's the freshest thing I've ever eaten.
They were delicious, but I wouldn't be able to go there without someone who was willing to do the dirty work for me (i.e. impaling them, and getting the hook out).

Chris even showed us how to eat their eggs: You carefully rip the head off and then suck out the red and yellow liquid that in the head cavity. It's actually very tasty.

They have a pretty good business model going on. Between the three of us we paid about $25USD for only 8 shrimp and then they also serve dinner, so on top of the $800NT for fishing we spent more money there to eat dinner, I'm sure its very profitable and it makes for a great afternoon activity!

Here are some more pictures of my fishing experience!

My first shrimp!

Me trying to get the shrimp off of the hook!

oops! I dropped it in the garbage can!!

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