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Thread: Kaohsiung City Taiwan Lotus Pond Fishing August 9

  1. #1

    Default Kaohsiung City Taiwan Lotus Pond Fishing August 9

    I wrote this post yesterday but found out this this site has the same problems with a high speed connection as with a landline. It logged me out, and when i logged back in, all I got was a blank screen, so here I go again with fewer details about Kaohsiung, etc.

    We finally got a chance to go fishing on Tuesday, and got there at about 2:30 p.m. We didn't go at midday because it would be "too hot." Actually, Kaohsiung is hot day and night this time of year, so there is no getting around that.

    The Lotus Pond is actually about a 100 acre lake surrounded by Bhuddist and Confucian temples, statues and pagodas, with beautiful bridges over the lake and leading to some of the statues and pagodas. There are also lush green hills nearby. Lots of locals fish there, and often keep what they catch, so apparently the fish are safe to eat, although the city itself is pretty industrial.

    We found a likely fishing spot where an older man and a teenager were fishing, and went to ask them how they were doing. They showed us a bucket with 4 fish in it that well, i recognized as overgrown aquarium fish -- Tinfoil Barbs, to be exact. (I confirmed this with an internet search a while ago.) These were 6-7 inches, silvery with some red on their fins. Tinfoil Barbs are a food item here, bony but good to eat, and the website said they can grow as large as 14 inches.

    We didn't bring any bait, just our jigs, flies and a few metal lures, but no problem. The other people offered us some of their bait without us even asking, bait which also serves as people food -- bread, to be exact. My wife said it was "too hot" (which it was, and i sweated the entire time, but I would not be denied my first fishing trip ever outside of the U.S.) so she sat this one out in the shade, and watched me fish. I tried jigs at first, and fish kept following them, but I only had one good strike, which I missed. Thus, I went to plan B -- bread. I put some bread on a small hook, a couple of feet down from a bobber, and lo and behold, within a couple of minutes, my bobber went under and I caught a Tinfoil Barb, which we decided to give to the other fishermen. I continued getting lots of bites, but the bait came off very easily and they were difficult to hook. Eventually, I did catch 2 more barbs which I also gave to the other people. By this time, they were very impressed with my California-honed fishing skills, as they were not catching anything except for a couple of tiny 2 inch Tilapia which they put back. They told my wife that the baby Tilapia had actually been stocked there recently, which seemed strange to me. There were swarms of the little critters, as well as some larger ones in the 6-7 inch range. As with the barbs, the Tilapia very much looked like aquarium fish, such were their beautiful colors. There were red, gold, orange, and green ones, plus ones with a mixture of these colors and sometimes some black thrown in for accent. I was enjoying just watching them. They would eat the bread, but the way they bit seemed to knock the bread off the hook without taking the hook, so they were very difficult to hook on the bread. I did catch a little Tilapia eventually, but it was foul-hooked in the belly, so that doesn't count. Anyway, I think it was a Mozambique Tilapia, same as in the Salton Sea, so no new species there. However, my internet search revealed that Taiwan has 5 kinds of Tilapia. I wish I had worms or some such there; I think i could have caught a lot of fish with them. But oh well.. beggars can't be choosers.

    The older man was actually casting out quite far with a weight, and a drop-shot rigged tiny Tilapia for bait most of the time, hoping to catch something bigger. As I observed people fishing there, I found that this technique is popular there. Around 5 p.m., Eunice said we needed to leave, because her niece wasn't able to pick us up at the lake, so we had to ride the bus home. We didn't know where the bus stop was, either. As it turns out, we had to walk about 1/2 mile to a larger street and ask around to find a bus stop. As we were walking beside the lake, we saw a man taking a photo of a fish another man had caught. We went to look, and it appeared to be a large Goby, about 10 inches long. I identified it as a Marble Goby, which is sort of like a large freshwater Sculpin. I should have taken a picture of it too, but from the internet photos, I am pretty sure that is what it was. They are said to be delicious to eat, and the man kept it. He caught it on one of those tiny Tilapias fished near the bottom, so that is what bites on those. I also heard that this area has Peacock Bass, but i didn't see any. By the time we got on the bus, it was about 6 p.m. The trip home involved a stop at the biggest mall i have ever seen, the Dream Mall, and one of the best dinners I have ever had at a Japanese restaurant. By the time we made it home, it was about 9 p.m.

    Even though I didn't catch anything big, I had a great time on our "catching advantage" (fishing adventure) as my wife calls it. It was sort of like fishing in an aquarium. We may have a chance to go to a better fishing spot outside of the city tomorrow, so more fishing adventures to come.

    I took photos of two of the barbs, plus some of the lake, which I will post when I put them on the computer. I may need some help in doing that, so for now, I am trying to get the post successfully uploaded.

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php...type=1&theater

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    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...&id=1558185141

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php...type=1&theater

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    http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php...type=1&theater
    Last edited by Natural Lefty; 08-12-2011 at 09:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    The 1950's
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    Thanks for the great report, what a special adventure. Keep them coming, better then a National Geographic article.

  3. #3

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    Nice report. That place sounds very different and exciting at the same time. Cant wait for pics.

  4. #4

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    Nice report Robert. My son's wife is from Taipei City at the north end of Taiwan. She has some interesting things to share with us.

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    Thanks for the excellent report from a fairly exotic location-please post more fishing info from your trip if you go out again!

  6. #6

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    Thank you pudd fisher, fishmounter, Sir Bluegill, and carpanglerdude. We are forming a plan to go fishing outside of Kaohsiung somewhere tomorrow. Another relative, "Duo-Duo" just returned last night from a trip to mainland China, and he can drive us wherever we want to go within reason, plus, he is interested in fishing.

    I added 5 photos as you can see. The first one is a picture I took in Kaohsiung City with Eunice. The last one shows Eunice in front of the Lotus Pond, and the other 3 are fishing pictures, not that those little fish were anything to brag about, but they were colorful, and something different. As you can see, it's a beautiful place.

    Kaohsiung is the second largest city in Taiwan, with about 1.5 million residents. It is probably one of the larger and more important cities that most Americans have never heard of. Most of the goods from Taiwan are shipped around the world from Kaohsiung's port, which is a natural harbor. The city is in the southwest part of Taiwan, as Fishmounter probably already knows. Of course, Taipei is much better known. Best wishes to your daughter in law from Taipei, fishmounter! Some of Eunice's relatives live in Taipei, but Eunice is from Kaohsiung all the way. We are staying in her home which is really strange because it is where she used to run a mental hospital, but it's no longer run as a business. They paved over part of the yard, and run a parking business out of here, and another part of the former mental hospital has been transformed into an old folks home which Eunice's family is renting out, and they are renting another part of the property to a recycling business. Nonetheless, I feel at home here, except the driving scares me -- cars, scooters and bicycles going every which way and having to stop frequently to accomodate each other. They do have traffic lights which people obey, but the rest seems to rely on drivers being courteous to each other.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Where the fish are
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    Very cool NL. Hey the park looks cleaner than Legg Lake or Echo Park !

  8. #8

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    Ifishtoolittle, yes it is cleaner although that's not saying much. It's a fantastic setting with all the temples, statues, pagodas, and fancy bridges -- a very beautiful place.

  9. #9

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    Yesterday afternoon, we went on another "catching advantage" which turned out to be at Cijin Island, the island which acts to form a natural harbor at Kaohsiung. Our host, "Duo-Duo" doesn't fish, so finding the spot involved finding a fishing shop on the island, buying a plastic box of little frozen shrimp (like GhostShrimp) for 60 N. T. (about $2) and asking directions. The young man in the fishing shop said "the first pier" but we wound up in a steep area with coral rock (mixed with concrete, pavement, and some stuctures which appeared to be old military lookouts probably built by the Japanese during their occupation of Taiwan). This was just beyond the beach at Ocean Beach Park, which has dark volcanic sand, just after the island takes a right angle turn.

    Once again, Eunice said it was "too hot" although actually, the weather by the ocean was the coolest I had experienced here, with a semi-cool ocean breeze. I suspect she was waiting to see if anything decent size was biting. Eventually, she did come and try fishing for awhile, but came up blank. The place did have a tropical feel to it, with the coral, the steep, heavily forested hillside, and the nice turquoise colored waters. Lots of people were fishing there, but I couldn't tell if they had caught anything. I found a nice spot, and within a few minutes, some little critter bit and I caught what appeared to be a small rockfish or sculpin, only about 2-3 inches long. My fishing neighbor also caught one virtually simultaneously. I was using the shrimp on a jig, and he appeared to be using something like a bloodworm. I put the little critter back quickly, having forgotten to take a picture. A while later, I decided to use a salmon egg hook, split shot, and float the bait under a bobber about 4 feet up from the hook. This seemed to work a bit better, as I caught another one of the little rockfish or sculpin quickly, and later, caught a little fish with fancy red stripes that appeared to be some sort of Grunt. These two fish, we got quick pictures of before they were released.

    Most people were fishing just next to shore among the coral. A few feet out from shore, the current was very heavy, making it harder to fish there without a heavy weight. I did see a few people fishing farther out, with heavy weights to keep the bait in place, but didn't see any of them catch anything. Some of the people fishing by shore also seemed to be coming up blank, but as usual, I am "an expert of catching small fish." There was one guy who was there for about the last half hour, who caught about 10-12 little silver disc-shaped fish with prominant dorsal and anal fins, and he put all of them on the rocks, so I guess he was keeping them. These weren't any bigger than my fish -- only about 2-3 inches long. He appeared to be using something like the tough part of mussel or clam for bait, and I suspect he was going to use them for bait somehwhere else, but in Taiwan, those could very well have become fish chips.

    I was having trouble, once again, keeping my bait on the hook. The shrimp was very soft, and even the current seemed to be ripping them off the hook, plus I think I was getting some imperceptible or barely perceptible bites. I did have one probable bite that I think was from a larger fish in sort of a little cove among the coral. I saw a silver flash of a fish when I tried to set the hook, but I couldn't get it to bite again. Around 5:30, Duo-Duo said it was time to go for dinner, so I fed the remaining shrimp to the fish and packed up.

    We had a delicious dinner at one of the many mom-and-pop seafood restaurants on the island, where we got to eat some unusual clams, plus oysters, octopus, and a large wrasse-type fish (similar to a Sheephead but not the same) that I picked out from their seafood display in front of the restaurant. It was interesting how my wife Eunice just pointed to seafood they had on ice in front of the restaurant, and ordered before we even entered the place. At least the commercial fisherpeople were having more luck at catching dinner than I was.

    Anyway, it was another really fun "catching advantage" and I caught another 2 new species, small as they were. I tried to identify them on the internet, but came up totally blank on the rockfish/sculpin, while the Grunt might have been a Chicken Grunt although its colors didn't quite match the photos of Chicken Grunts that I saw. Fortunately, all 3 fish were lip hooked and easy to safely return to their homes, and I am guessing they were just babies or juveniles of species which grow larger. I am sure there are larger fish around there sometimes, but maybe they get caught quickly.

    By the way, I was thinking of going to Taiwan's largest reservoir, Tsengwen Reservoir, but Duo-Duo found out that it has been closed to fishing "because of drought." Huh? It has rained heavily 5 times in the ten days I have been here, and in 2009, typhoon Morakot dumped about 2 meters of rain on the Tsengwen drainage in 2 days. Maybe the flooding messed up the reservoir with a lot of siltation. Now that the water is lower, it's probably a big mudpuddle. The tragic thing is that a village of about 600 people was buried in a landslide from typhoon Morakot, upstream from Tsengwen Reservoir, I think, and there were only 42 survivors. The strength of the typhoon is being blamed on global warming by climate scientists. The strange thing about Taiwan is that you apparently don't need a fishing license, and there are not a lot of regulations as far as bag and size limits, but there are lots of restrictions on where people are allowed to fish. This afternoon, we are planning to go "shrimp fishing" which is very popular here in Taiwan. You heard that right.

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php...type=1&theater

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    Last edited by Natural Lefty; 08-12-2011 at 09:28 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Where the fish are
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    lol in China any fish is dinner. Once again nice work on the little fish lol. Oh and why not try a dropshot rig? Or a reverse dropper loop when fishing those rocks. I've had some success fishing like that especially when I use some small size 12 hooks and a 3/4" piece of squid.

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