Monday, September 22, 2014

Fishing with the father-in-law

The weather of late in Korea has been great. The sky has been blue, the mornings are nice and cool, and the light breeze has blown a lot of the pollution away. This weekend my father-in-law invited me to go fishing with him on a lake in Chungju, about an hour north of Daejeon. Jihyeon and I got up early and set off on or adventure. 

We caught the local bus to the inter-city bus terminal.

This is one thing I really like about the buses in Korea (take note Australia). In the major cities, every bus stop has a display showing where exactly the bus is and how long you have to wait for it. There are also large maps stuck on the wall of the bus shelter showing where the bus goes. 

At the intercity bus terminal, we made a quick stop...

To buy some fresh donuts^^. nom nom nom.

On the bus.

Because of noisy neighbours at home I took some sleeping tablets the night before. Initially I felt OK, but soon I was fast asleep on the bus. It took all Jihyeon's willpower not to giggle while taking this photo.

We eventually arrived in Chungju where we met up with the in-laws and went to lunch.

The chef here used to work at the the Blue House, which is the residence of the Korean President (like the White House is the residence of the American President). 

I forgot to take a photo of the food when it was first brought out. I think it is safe to say the food was good given the empty plates at the end of the meal. 

A short drive out of Chungju was Chungju Dam. The dam serves three purposes. Flood control, water supply and hydroelectric power (400MW) and holds back 2700 million cubic meters of water. 

We wanted to ride the ferry up the lake to check it out. Unfortunately ferry number 1 was out of order, so we had to settle for ferry number 2 which followed a much shorter rout. 

There were a few people camped out and fishing on the bank of the dam.

Unlike in Gapyeong (where we went a few weeks ago) the water way was almost deserted. This was the only other boat we saw on the lake.

We sat on the top deck of the ferry to get a good view. 

In the distance is the tallest mountain in Korea.


My father-in-law. Happy as always. 

We then jumped back in the car and headed to where we would be fishing. We would be staying on a small pontoon overnight while fishing. 

I was the only person on the boat that could swim. Luckily, the water wasn't very deep. 

This was the first pontoon we were on. They were all pretty much identical, but my father-in-law decided he didn't like this location and asked to move to a different pontoon. 

Each pontoon was equipped with all the comforts of home. Small pillows that like bricks, some questionable bedding hung over a rope, a window that didn't open...

State of the art under floor heating, battery powered LED lighting system...

And a thunderbox that I was happy I wouldn't need to use while we were there. 

My father-in-law setting up the fishing line.

And showing me how to put the bait on the hooks.

This was the bait. I'm not sure exactly what it was made from. I had to break pieces of it off and...

make a small ball of it around the hooks. I was skeptical about how well it would work, but decided to give it a go anyway. In the end, the bait would disintegrate in the water (maybe I was doing something wrong) and I would have to put fresh bait on the hook every 5 or 10 minutes. Kind of annoying. 



It was a nice place to sit back and spend an afternoon. Nice and quiet. No noisy neighbours. 

Dinner time. Kimbap, pork cutlet, rice, apple and instant noodles. 

By about 9pm, it was getting cold and I was sick of the bait falling off the hook, so I retreated into the hut to play go-stop (a Korean card game) with the women folk. 

My father-in-law soon joined us. I didn't feel like getting my ass handed to me in go-stop, so I decided to watch and maybe learn something. 

The next morning I was up early to enjoy the crisp morning air. 

How many fish did we catch? I caught none, my father-in-law caught one small fish late at night after the rest of us went to bed. 

All up it was a good weekend. I've never been fresh water fishing before, but next time I'll be bringing my own bait.

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