ClockWednesday, 07/06/2023 07:02

Night squid fishing season

TTH.VN - Scarcely had the boats been pushed into the sea, touching the water surface when the waves, in turn, hit the shore. The wind and waves struck the boat sides, causing the boat to wobble. But a few minutes later, the muscular men with the help of the sea village women successfully started the boats for a squid fishing trip which would last more than 12 hours.

Fish Worshipping Festival and kicking off Southern fishing season ceremonyIncome of billions from offshore fishingOver thousands of waves

 Vinh Thanh fishermen preparing to reach out to sea. Photo: NGUYEN PHONG

Overcoming waves out to sea

The wistful eyes of the women looked to the sea as the boats and their men disappeared into the distance, which fluttered my heart. Witnessing with our own eyes the fishermen focus on operating the boats to ride the waves, we can realize the immense hardship of nearshore fishing.

Summer is fishing season, squid fishing season. This is the season of earning their living for fishermen but also the season of southeast windy days, so fishermen have to struggle with each fierce wave to steady the steering wheel, ride the waves, and go out to sea for fishing.

The harder the wind blew, the more the boats wobbled. From the shore, it looked as if the waves could have swallowed the wobbling boats. But with their experience and health, fishermen still firmly controlled the boats up against the waves, towards the sea.

Apparently, all fishermen with boats in Phu Dien sea village were operating at maximum capacity for fishing squid. They set sail in the evening and returned next morning. Despite the southeast windy days and stiff waves, they were firmly behind the wheel to reach out to sea for more income.

 Fishermen overcoming the waves out to sea

“Despite the giant waves and strong wind, the sea will be calmer when you overcome the waves that hit the shore. Although fishing alone, on our boats, at sea, we make frequent contact to prevent incidents, so there’s nothing to worry about," reassured Cang (Phu Dien, Phu Vang).

Then he stretched out his firm hands as the waves drove against the shore, took advantage of the water power to push the boat away, quickly stepped on the side of the boat, and started the engine out to sea. The luggage Cang brought with him included a pitcher of filtered water, a bowl of rice, some food, and a fishing racket and tackle.

Around 5 am, the boats would start to dock, but at less than 4, the sea village women called each other to the sea, waiting for the boats to return. The sea stayed dark, but the blue lights of dozens of fishing boats could be seen from afar.

In their stories, summer is not only the season when seafood achieves high prices and becomes delicious dishes for the husbands and children to take along out to sea, but also the season of worries and fitful sleeps when their husbands are at sea all night long.

Each boat docks when the tanned faces of the sea village women brighten like dawn breaking on the sea. Their joy is that the family breadwinners return safely after a long night at sea.

Manna from sea

For nearshore fishermen along the coast of Phu Vang, squid fishing season is an exhausting sea season but also days with high earnings, averaging 1- 1.5 million VND per night.

“It's arduous to overcome the waves, but it's only a kilometer away that you can fish. To sit fishing is not very hard, but the hardest is to spend a sleepless night. Sometimes fishermen can quickly catch fish swimming under the headlights. When the flow of squid is detected, it is great to continuously drop the fishing line, and pull it to pick squid.

Tools are bamboo fishing rods longer than arm's length. The lure is dropped; under it is a bunch of hooks. Seeing the light, squid will flock to it. The lures drift in the water; squids think the lures real prey, so they stick and get hooked.

Squid like light and prey. Whenever they see the light, they will flock to it. Seeing the prey, they never give up, so we just need to drop the hook, and occasionally jerk the line to let the hook up and down, like a fish swimming. Squid fishing is so simple. Luckily, squid will stick after a few minutes of dropping the hook. Otherwise, we can wait an hour," uncle Thang (Phu Dien) cheerily shared although back after a wakeful night.

 The fruit brought back after a wakeful night

Looking at the flickering squids arranged neatly in each rectangular basket, according to size, you can see how the fishermen appreciate their labor. It is because earning money from the sea has never been painless, whether the sea season is calm or windy.

At 6 am, the sun also radiated blazing rays, brightening the whole beach. The squid fishing boats finally docked. Some fishermen caught 3kg of squid, others around 5kg.

After helping her husband turn the boat ashore, the women were busy carrying baskets of fresh squid to sell in time for the morning market while the fishermen also leisurely packed their tools and strode with sturdy steps across the beach, back home to have a sleep so that they could have energy for the next fishing trip.

“The nearshore fishermen in our Phu Dien sea villages also get “middle-aged"; there are also many young successors. However, our generation has no job other than going out to sea. Continuously reaching out to the sea unconsciously leads to sea love. Not going out to sea makes us unhappy.

And now, they have more choices. We don't know whether they stick to the year-round job at sea, struggling with waves, wind, and water.

The sea has each product in each season, . Now win, now loss. But it’s quite possible to live by this job. ”Little and often fills the purse”. It’s normal to earn millions per day.

Every job is the same. Manual labor is hard, but it is really happy to see the daily fruit - the green and flickering products brought back. Yet more happily, when the boat docks, I promptly see my better half waiting with a bright smile !"

Just like that, the life of a fisherman, though very hard, is also peaceful and happy.

Story and photos: Thao Ly
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