ClockFriday, 05/07/2024 09:00

The joy by the shore

TTH.VN - Groups of young people walk along the shore, watching the waves crash. Each person finds a spot and waits for the right moment to cast their line.

Shrimp, fish backNight squid fishing seasonBeholding the moss by the sea

 Fishing along the shore is a favorite pastime for many coastal youth

1. In the scorching sun, Vu wears winter clothes, covering his face, and sits by the edge of the waves, waiting for fish to bite. To fish along the shore, Vu invested in a fishing rod worth 1 million VND. Except for rainy days, Vu spends his weekends fishing as a hobby. On his 5-meter fishing line, he attaches 10 hooks. Every 10-15 minutes, he reels in the line. That day, despite his efforts, he only caught about 10 small fish, each having the size of two adult fingers.

Coming from a fishing family, Le Van Vu (from Hamlet 10, Dien Hoa, Phong Dien) did not pursue a career at sea. He wandered across southern provinces and cities to make a living. When resources ran out, Vu returned home to work at a company in Phong Dien Industrial Park. For Vu, shore fishing is just a leisure activity.

In the shore fishing group with Vu, Ho Luong is the most famous. Known as a master fisherman, every cast he makes yields a catch. At times, Luong's hobby earns him several hundred thousand VND a day. Luong, originally a fisherman, followed his father to sea about ten years ago. But as the waves aged, he left the family trade. Familiar with the sea, Luong is well-versed in shore fishing.

 The catch after a fishing session

Initially, Luong’s fishing gear was simple: a 5-meter bamboo rod, some hooks, line, sinkers, and a float. “Shore fishing requires patience and endurance with the weather,” Luong says. “When I first started, I could sit all day by the shore and only catch a few fish.” Now, Luong is a professional fisherman. He knows the tides and seasons well. “In calm seas, you catch fish like eeltail catfish, snapper, and crescent grunter; in rough seas, you catch mullet,” he shares.

According to Luong, the type of hook and line depends on the season and the size of the fish. For small fish, use small hooks; in rough seas, use larger hooks. Despite his natural talent for fishing, Luong considers it just a hobby and not a source of income for his family. “I left the fishing profession long ago,” he says. “Now I run a small business. I fish for fun during my free time.”

It's not just Vu and Luong; along the shores of Ngu Dien (Phong Dien), Quang Cong, Quang Ngan (Quang Dien) ... young people can be seen finding joy by the shore. Some invest millions VND in fishing gear and spend hours each day along the coast, finding spots to fish. At night, they gather to fish along the shore, their calls echoing across the area.

2. Every time I go to the sea, I sense the many feelings in the eyes of seasoned fishermen. Along the shores of these coastal areas, traditional wooden boats have gradually become scarce. The remaining boats, either old and worn out or only used in season, are a testament to the changing times.

The veteran fishermen, with their bare chests and sun-drenched faces, seem lost in memories. Few young people now follow the sea. “It’s understandable; they find other jobs with stable incomes to support their families. Fishing is too hard now,” says Le Van Hoa, a fisherman, (from Hamlet 10, DienHoa, Phong Dien).

Young people losing interest in fishing has become common in coastal areas. But saying they have abandoned the sea is not entirely accurate. Occasionally, they still fish along the shallow coast, catching mackerel scad and crescent grunter with colorful lines. Some say this preserves the fishing tradition. To me, it is just a rhythm of life amidst the vast ocean.

The fishing techniques mentioned above are mostly ancient trades of coastal fishermen. These trades once brought high incomes to fishermen. For example, during the net-pulling seasons in the coastal areas, the shore would be crowded with villagers; husbands, wives, and children would line up, pulling in nets to catch fish like herring and rays. Today, young people pull in nets for the love of the sea. From the hobby of shore fishing, fishermen developed the longline fishing method, setting hooks in long rows on the water’s surface, much like net fishing. This method proved effective for many. "In the summer, we set lines for mahi mahi and sailfish; in the winter, we fish for mackerel and tuna as large as a person’s calf," Mr. Hoa said. 

Leaving the sea as the evening breeze blows and the silver waves lap the shore, a group of about ten young people goes out to fish at night. They hope to savor the salty taste of the waves and feel the cooling sea breeze on their skin, easing the summer heat.

This is part of the new rhythm of life amidst the complexities of modern fishing. 

Story and photos: LE THO
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