Europe, Fishing

Streetfishing along the canals of Amsterdam

Where to go fishing

You may think that fishing is restricted to finding isolated spots in the wilderness and escaping the crowds. You’re not completely wrong. For some of us though this is not always possible. Some of us live in the heart of a big city and just don’t have the time to get away for a whole day or weekend to scratch the fishing itch. For those people lucky enough to be in a city with waterways, streetfishing is the way to go.

Eurotrip

My wife and I, fiancee at the time, spent two months traveling mainland Europe with backpacks in 2017. This meant no space for fishing gear! We also only spent a few days in each location so it didn’t leave much spare time to go fishing. This didn’t stop me from hopefully peering into every body of water we saw to look for signs of life!

Water, water everywhere, nor any place to fish

Considering how many European cities have rivers and canals I was quite surprised at the lack of streetfishing activity I saw. In Paris I saw a few guys fishing in one of the canals near a hostel we stayed at. In Prague I only met one guy fishing in the river even though I saw lots of fish activity on my morning runs along the bank. That was it!

streetfishing
Great stretch of river bank to fish

Apart from Amsterdam that is. I had been trawling instagram in every location we went to to see if anybody was posting catches in the heart of the city. I was lucky enough to make contact with Huib Lommers, aka the_streetfishing_activist, based in Amsterdam.  He graciously agreed to take me streetfishing along the canals one evening, he even lent me fishing rod!

Hitting the streets

It was still early spring and the weather wasn’t the greatest for streetfishing. Windy and cold! Nonetheless we headed out. Neither of us managed a fish but it was still a great experience, sidewalks crowded with cyclist and pedestrians, two of us with fishing gear looking for likely places that could hold some perch or zander. I was surprised at the number of people who asked us what we were doing and incredulously nodded when Huipie told them we were fishing. Even more so when he told them that there were actually fish to be caught. Some people even stopped for selfies!

streetfishing
Cold but happy!

Pack you gear everywhere

Next time you find yourself in Amsterdam be sure to pack some gear and go streetfishing! You do of course also need a fishing licence if you want to fish in The Netherlands. I will say that we were not asked for licences at any time during the evening…

Since then I have been following the streetfishing hashtag on instagram to see who is out there doing some exploring and fishing in the heart of big cities. It has been an eye opener! It has also become a goal of mine to at least have one fishing session everywhere we travel to from now on.

I did manage this in most places in the USA and there will be or have been posts about most of these on our blog or on my instagram account, @thelazyfisherman, so be sure to check it out if you want more up to date information.

Bonus fishing session

I also stumbled upon a lucky fishing session at a hostel in Ireland. We had rented a car to drive cross country and offered to drop off two girls from Canada at their next hostel as we were heading in the same direction. Upon arrival I saw two dams next to the building and trout rising all over the place! I promptly rented gear and fished for an hour with a can of corn as bait before we headed off.

streetfishing
In Ireland, somewhere…

 

 

Fishing, South Korea

소사소류지 a fishing spot in Ungdong

fishing spot
Catch a nice sunrise when you can’t catch any fish.

Fishing spot sweet fishing spot

Having a fishing spot close to your house is every fisherman’s dream. It means you can go there for an hour or two whenever you have spare time. Having to travel far to get to fishable water really limits the amount of time you can spend actually fishing.

During my first two years in Yongwon (용원) I was lucky enough to have a fishing spot within 15 minutes of my house. It really helped having a car as initially my fishing was limited to one dam that was reachable by bus.

Shattered dreams

On our return to South Korea I was really disappointed to find that this fishing spot was now closed to the public due to construction. On the upside this meant I had to go back into exploring mode to find somewhere to fish!

The search

I spent hours pouring over Google maps and Kakao maps (South Korea’s version of Google maps) searching for those blue spots that indicate dams. I needed a new fishing spot! This lead me to some interesting places in the area. I fought through thickets, traveled on little roads barely wide enough for a car and hiked through rice paddies to see if any of the dams held bass.

Success, somewhat

One of my first outings was a success as I found a little dam and spotted a small bass almost immediately. I fished here a few times but it only ever yielded tiny bass and fishing got progressively worse until i stopped going there. Alas, it was not the fishing spot I was hoping for.

fishing spot

I tried quite a few other little ponds and dams scattered through the area but couldn’t find any that held bass.

fishing spot
Weird little red eyed bass

The holy grail

Finally on a day when I had had enough and was heading home I decided to try one more place. I met a fisherman as I parked my car and established that he was fishing for bass. Success!! Sort of. I hooked a bass on my first cast! Then lost it. Then, not a single bite for an hour! Three more trips at different times and still no fish. I often spotted a few bass cruising around and loads of bluegills. I just couldn’t catch anything!

One fateful morning after waking up late to go fishing with a friend we tried this dam again. I landed a small bass within a few minutes. A short while later I hooked and landed a 40cm bass, which is to date the biggest I’ve caught in Korea this time around.

fishing spot
Tired eyes, happy smile

Since then I’ve been back a few times and usually manage to land one or two fish. Haven’t caught anything decent again but I know they’re in there!! The dam is convenient to fish with easy access from the road. About half of the bank is a cement road and the other half is overgrown wilderness, only for the brave during summer when it is overgrown and teeming with all kinds of insect/bug life. I’ve also spotted a snake whilst fishing. I will definitely be back at this fishing spot a few more times before we leave South Korea again. Where is your favourite fishing spot close to home?

Don’t be fooled by the big dam to the left. It is inside a military base and has some formidable fencing around it. Park on the road under the bridge and walk down to the small dam.

Fishing, USA

Where to find a random freshwater fishing spot in Palm City, Florida

 

Are you looking for a random freshwater fishing spot in Palm City, Florida? Look no further. I am ever a fan of fishing less popular ponds and streams, especially in places that you wouldn’t think to fish. Read further to find out about a few places where I found some fish in Palm City and the surrounding areas.

 

Random Freshwater Fishing Spot #1:

I found this random freshwater fishing spot by pouring over google maps as soon as we arrived. I ran out there one afternoon to make sure it was accessible on foot and of course to see if I could spot any fish activity. I wasn’t disappointed on either case. Lots of easily accessible bank to fish off and I spotted a bass within a few minutes of walking the bank. There are actually two ponds here, I only got fish in the one, check the map at the end of the post for the location. This pond holds large mouth bass, mayan cichlids, plecis (armoured catfish) and goodness knows what else.

Random Freshwater Fishing Spot #2:

If you’ve been to Florida you’ll know there are retention ponds all over the place. This one is right next to a Ruby Tuesday restaurant. I stumbled upon this random freshwater fishing spot  when we took our rental car for a wash. On a quick walk around the pond I spotted fish activity and a few small bass hanging on the edges. I returned the next morning and managed to pull a few out. Nothing huge but a convenient pond to pass a bit of time. I also spotted more plecis as well as tilapia in the pond. I went early in the morning and parked in the Ruby Tuesday parking lot.

Random Freshwater Fishing Spot #3

This random freshwater fishing spot is actually a number of retention ponds in this suburb. They all seem to hold large mouth bass, alligator gar and some other unidentified species. I just drove from pond to pond and fished for a while in each one. Most of them produced at least one fish.

Random Freshwater Fishing Spot #4

I didn’t get the chance to fish this random freshwater fishing spot unfortunately as I only found it on the morning we were leaving Palm City. I spotted a small school of bass roaming the shallows as I ran past. They were at least 30cm in length so I would assume there may be some larger specimens in there as well.

There are of course a multitude of ponds/canals in the area to choose from. Most of the fun comes from finding a random freshwater fishing spot and seeing if it actually holds any fish! There is a map at the end of the post with the spots I’ve fished.

 

Have you fished this area? Do you know what other species can be found in these waters?

 

Fishing, USA

Bank Fishing Lakes in South Lake Tahoe

In the Tahoe area there are a number of alpine lakes to go fishing in. They are all impressive in their own way. Even though they are dwarfed by the sheer size of Lake Tahoe itself, many of them provide great fishing as well. Again, for a lot of them, fishing off a boat is the ideal. Bank fishing is possible at some of them though. Keep reading to see which ones I tried fishing at.

Lakes with bank fishing opportunities:

Lake Baron

The first ‘lake’ I tried fishing was not a beautiful alpine lake. Situated in Meyers, part of Tahoe Paradise Park, is Lake Baron. It is regularly stocked with trout and has a catfish population. There is ample parking and bank fishing is very accessible. You can launch a float tube or kayak there as well. Fishing is free, two trout per person limit. You can leave donations if you wish. I didn’t have any luck here. I did however see a crawfish devouring a trout. This gave me hope that there were some trout in there!

bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoe, lake baron

Red Lake and Caples Lake

Off Highway 88 you can find Red Lake and Caples Lake. Red Lake is the smaller of the two. It has a lot of accessible water from the dam wall. I only tried fishing it once, late afternoon going into evening. I fished with a small spoon as well as a dry fly. The dry fly got a few hits in the corner near the outlet stream. I didn’t land anything. Lots of bank fishing access.

bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoe, red lake bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoered lake

I went  fishing at  Caples Lake twice. Once for a late afternoon/evening session that saw fish rising everywhere but where I was fishing! I was fishing with spinning gear. The second time I tried some Berkley Powerbait dough and Berkley trout worms. I landed one small rainbow trout drifting this rig off a bobber. Caples has a number of places you can fish from the banks or from the dam wall. Check out the map below. Bank fishing access at a number of places around the lake.

bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoe, caples lake bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoe, caples lake, trout bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoe, caples lake

Echo Lake

Echo Lake is also just up the road from South Lake Tahoe. I spent a few hours there but conditions were not great, the wind was pumping so hard it looked more like an ocean than a mountain lake. Fishing reports there are good though. Parking is limited so I would go very early or after 6pm when most of the day trippers have cleared out. Bank fishing from the dam wall near the parking lot or along most of the shoreline. There is a well used pathway to follow.The lake is accessible off Highway 50 heading out of Meyers.

Lake of the Woods

Lake of the Woods is also a hike to only lake. You can head out from Echo Lake along a very scenic trail. It follows the contour of Upper and Lower Echo lakes until you join up to the Pacific Crest Trail. There are a number of lakes situated off this trail. Currently a few a of these have had all their fish removed. This has been done to protect the habitat of the Yellow-Legged Frog. Lake of the Woods is also off this trail, about 8.5km along. It has ample camping space and still has fish in it. Bank fishing from most of the very scenic shoreline. We hiked out there but I only had about twenty minutes to fish before we had to head back. An overnight trip would be ideal.

bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoe, lake of the woods

Gilmore Lake

Another lake accessible via hiking is Gilmore lake. It is situated behind/above Fallen Leaf lake. If you drive all the way past Glen Alpine falls, a very narrow and pothole filled road, you will get to a trailhead. Get there early to find parking. Follow the signs for Gilmore lake. The trail will take you past a small creek, worth a few casts, before getting you to Gilmore lake 7km later. It’s not a strenuous hike. Lots of people camp on the lake shore as well to maximize their fishing time. I didn’t get a chance to fish here but I spoke to some guys camping and fishing there. They were bank fishing using worms and had landed a small rainbow in the time they had been there. We stopped there for snacks and a swim after a long hike to the Mt Tallac summit.

bank fishing, south lake tahoe, tahoe, gilmore lake

There are so many options in the area for bank fishing. A bit of hiking will get you to some out of the way and quiet spots where you can enjoy the fishing, scenery and solitude. As always, remember to check fishing regulations before heading out!

Have you fished in the Tahoe area? Do you have any spots to recommend?

bass, chasingkm, Fishing, fly fishing, travel, trout, USA

Alternative Fishing Spots in South Lake Tahoe

Fishing is somewhat of an obsession of mine. Few things beat the thrill of feeling a fish on the end of your line, or the satisfaction of figuring out how to catch one. Coupled with this is the spectacular scenery you often find yourself in. Whenever we reach a new destination I always spend ages looking at Google Maps, searching for any body of water that may hold fish. Then there is the exploring to find a way to get to the water and, of course, trying to figure out if said body of water actually has any fish.

Fishing in South Lake Tahoe

Spending a summer in South Lake Tahoe, on the shore of Lake Tahoe has been a very exciting as well as frustrating “fishploration” for me. Lake Tahoe itself is, of course, a very popular fishing destination and can produce some record catches. It is, however, highly unlikely that you would catch anything fishing from the shore. You need to head out on a boat to improve your chances. (Here are the top fishing charters in the area according to tripadvisor). Not owning a boat nor wanting to spend too much money on a fishing charter (#travellerbudget), I had to search around a bit more.
Just a stones throw from the house we’re staying in is a small creek, aptly named Trout Creek. The river/creek fishing season on the Tahoe basin opens on July 1st. This meant I had to wait around for over a week before I could even attempt to fish this creek.

Naturally I had to find an alternative fishing spot.

The Tahoe Keys

A bit of Google searching and reading random fishing forums, I found out that ‘The Tahoe Keys‘, being shallower and warmer than the lake itself, had become home to bass, bluegill and even crappie. A small boat or kayak would open up all of this water to fish in quite easily. Not having these I had to hunt around for a few access points where you could get to the water (check the map below for these). Fishing in the Keys is not amazing. You can easily catch the bluegill and small crappie if they’re around. The bass are a lot more finicky but not impossible.

tahoe keys, fishing, south lake tahoe

Tahoe Keys Overflow

Situated behind the Keys is another body of water that seems to be a spillover for the Key’s canals. Here, there were also a large amount of bluegill – fun on fly tackle, as well as some cruising bass.

tahoe keys, fishing, south lake tahoe, bluegill

HINT: If you park at the end of the road near the water treatment plant there is a little pathway that will take you down to the water. I didn’t see any no fishing or private property signs etc. The path was well used. 

 

Trout Creek

The creek season finally started and I had my first attempt at Trout Creek early on a Saturday morning. I caught nothing! One flash at a dry fly and that was it. My next outing was late afternoon and also produced nothing. Tahoe had just been through a record winter and snow melt meant the rivers and creeks were all very full and very fast, bursting their banks in a lot of places, not ideal for fishing.
A week later Trout Creek finally paid off for me at about 7pm. I finally landed a brook trout on a dry fly. I’ve fished the creek few times since and found a few decent spots. I even found  bluegill in some of the slower bends. A lot of the bank is accessible from Railroad Trail. You can park in the cul-de-sac on Columbine Road. It is also accessible from Golden Bear Trail.
tahoe, fishing, fly fishing, south lake tahoe, brook trout, trout creek, dry fly

Upper Truckee River

A few days later I headed up Luther Pass, just outside the town of Meyer. The Upper Truckee river is accessible from here by taking the Upper Truckee Road South turnoff and traveling down into the river valley. There is parking near the bridge and quite a lot of the river is accessible from here. Hiking through the area is also very scenic and if you’re feeling adventurous enough you can hike up to it’s source to fish as well. The water was still very high and my morning out did not produce any fish. A few days later I tried the Upper Truckee again and landed two trout. One was very small, the second about  30cm. Both came as the sun was almost down on a dry fly. This spot produced another small trout for me a week later and every time I’ve tried it I’ve had at least one hit on the dry. There is quite a bit of river bank to fish there and ample parking at the corner of Elks Club Dr and Emerald Bay Rd. Check the map at the end of the post.
fishing, fly fishing, trout, upper truckee, south lake tahoe

Carson River

At the top of Luther Pass you will also come upon the West Fork of the Carson river. Quite a lot of the river is accessible. You can park near the bridge just before the t-junction. I’ve fished the area once just as the sun was setting. Lots of rises all over and hits on the dry fly. I didn’t land anything though.
An adventuring spirit and willingness to look around for fishing spots will eventually lead to results. The Tahoe area abounds with creeks and rivers and mountain lakes begging to be explored. Even if you don’t catch anything you’re bound to see some spectacular scenery or a breathtaking sunset.
sunset, caples lake, south lake tahoe

 Here’s a short recap of my alternative fishing spots:

Tahoe Keys – between the houses, lots of bluegill, some crappie and bass if you’re lucky.
Tahoe Keys Overflow – bigger and more aggressive bluegill, very fussy bass.
Trout Creek – small brook trout in most areas, dry fly and early evening has been good for me.
Upper Truckee River – bigger trout, also all on dry fly.
West Fork of the Carson – chances of Rainbow and Brown trout.

Don’t forget to get the right fishing license for the area. On Lake Tahoe itself you can have either a Nevada or California license. I bought a California license from Tahoe Fly Fishing Outfitters. The staff were very friendly and readily gave advice about the area and fly choices. Licenses are also available online or at most sports/tackle shops in the area.

I often prefer this search and all the frustrations that come with it to guided trips or charter boats. Call me crazy or call it therapy. Some days I do wish they would put up a big neon sign that says, FISH HERE, use this bait. But those days quickly fade from memory when I do find that perfect spot.

I’ll be posting on more fishing spots soon. Follow me on Instagram @thelazyfisherman for up to date catches.

What is your favorite way to fish? Guided, popular spots or out of the way and quiet?

festival, Fishing, Korea, life in korea, nature, outdoors, thelazyfisherman

Ice fishing

It took us almost two years to finally go ice fishing. Considering what a fishing fanatic I am this is actually ridiculous. Each time we planned to go our plans were thwarted by work (the Korean last minute “didn’t we tell you about it two months ago-you have training on Saturday”) or weather (the -17°C plus wind chill factor that us Durbanites just can’t handle).

Continue reading “Ice fishing”

Fishing, South Korea

Irrigation Dam/Tank

irrigation tank

Irrigation tank aka “The Secret Spot”

 
This irrigation tank has been an incredible and strange spot to fish. Not sure if it’s even allowed but there are no “no-fishing” signs and nobody has complained. But to be safe I won’t be sharing this location. 
 
I have seen lots similar irrigation tanks along all the big rivers in South Korea and I presume they just siphon water from the river and then let it flow into irrigation channels which the local farmers use for their crops. Bass and other fish obviously get trapped in there and it becomes an ideal spot for them to breed and grow! They are usually a good spot to try if you’re looking for somewhere new.

 

irrigation tank

Trying our luck

Son (my Korean friend) and I drove past the irrigation tank one day on the way to Hapcheon. He said he had always wanted to try this place so suggested that we do just that. We had already tried a random river along the way where he caught a crucian carp on his first cast, so his luck was in. 

Fish on

It wasn’t long till he hooked a fish in the irrigation tank and it turned out to be a 40cm plus bass. Needless to say, we spent quite a bit of time here after that. The day wasn’t so great for me as I hooked and lost a few fish in the thick weeds, I was fishing with mono and it just wasn’t up to the task. 
 

Gear upgrade

Later Son lent me his spare rod with braid and things looked up! I hooked a decent size bass which we lost trying to pull it up the wall!! I did land a few in the irrigation tank though and most were top water strikes which are just super exciting. 
 

We even caught fish in a narrow channel that was about 1,5m wide and water about 0,5m deep, covered in weeds.

irrigation tank

 

Perfect spot for lunch

By this stage our lunches had also evolved from cup noodles to barbecues in the shade with a few beers to wash it down. These really improved the mood as the days were getting hotter and more humid as summer took hold. The area next to the irrigation tank was nice and level and a great spot to set up.

irrigation tank

Record fish

We have since been back there a few times and I have caught my two record bass in Korea there as well as a number of other bass. The fishing conditions will vary as the seasons change. The amount of weed growth by the end of summer nearly covers the whole body of water.

irrigation tank

 

irrigation tank

 

The fish at the end of this video are a type of carnivorous carp called 강준치 (Gangchunchi). They are abundant in the river systems here in South Korea. Most fisherman are annoyed by them and I’ve seen many left to die on the river banks after being caught. They are not the most fun to target as they have very small mouths and although very aggressive its difficult to get them hooked. They also just go limp after being hooked. Not an ounce of fight in them.

Fishing, Korea, life in korea, South Korea

Yongwon dams: 두동제 1,2 and 3

 

 

***disclaimer: These dams near Yongwon are no longer accessible due to South Korea’s inexhaustible drive to build apartment complexes. I hope that when the construction finishes at least one of these dams will have survived destruction and be teeming with bass that have not been disturbed by a fisherman in years!

Yongwon

Yongwon is the town where I live in South Korea. It is right on the coast and at the very edge of the Changwon municipal area bordering Busan. 
I’d been pouring over google maps trying find dams that looked accessible by bus from Yongwon. I finally found these 3 dams situated very close to each other that could be reached by a few transfers and a 1km walk. However I never had enough motivation to actually do it! When we eventually got a car I was determined to go look at these dams. 

Disappointment

On our first trip there I was turned away by an old Korean man who was sitting in a little hut on the access road, presumably watching for fires as it was late fall. I drove off rather crestfallen and parked down the road out of sight where I had seen a small footpath leading up the steep dam wall. Upon reaching the top I was greeted by a beautiful view and was certain there would be bass in this dam!

Yongwon
My first view of the dam

 

Vindication

It was only months later that I finally fished there after speaking to a Korean fisherman at the Ungcheon dam who told me that fishing was definitely allowed there. 

I made my way back to the dam near Yongwon in due course and it has since become my go to dam for a quick outing after work or before work in the summer. 

Yongwon
Some of the fish caught there

 

The technical stuff

There are three dams very close to each other and all three have produced fish ranging from 10 to about 40cm. Through most of the summer they consistently fished well. I even ran there one morning before work, 3.5km from Yongwon, fished for an hour and then ran home. I took only one rod and a few soft baits and caught a few fish.
They are however also irrigation dams for the farms in the Yongwon area and the levels fluctuate dramatically through the planting season. 
The dams were heavily fished at times by catch and keep fishermen so tended to go quiet every few weeks. I had one great week of fishing there when I fished every morning and evening and managed about 6 fish per session with a few fish over 30cm which is quite a decent size for these dams.
I have seen only bass caught in these dams near Yongwon but have spotted a few blue gill hiding amongst the weeds as well as the odd carp cruising around. 
In the summer the two small dams get very choked up with weeds and become difficult to fish, especially when the water is low!

All three are relatively easy to fish off the bank as you can walk around most of the banks. There are lots of well worn paths from other fishermen. The small dams do have a lot of vegetation on the banks and by the height of summer some areas were inaccessible. In summer I also found there to be quite a few ticks around as well as hordes of mosquitoes so plan/dress appropriately. 

Yongwon
Few more fish, the two in the right were caught at night.



Mark Scrooby

beach, Camping, Fall, Fishing, Korea, life in korea, nature, outdoors, South Korea

Namyeol Beach Camping

beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea

Korea has been blessed with a few things – endless mountains immediately spring to mind. But they also have an incredible number of islands and peninsulas scattered along their coast line. Some of these are absolutely stunning! You could almost believe you were on a tropical beach anywhere else in the world. What better way to enjoy them than with some beach camping?

Beach Camping

We had, due to the weather, again, and some prior commitments, missed out on camping on Namyeol beach with a group of friends at the end of summer. After seeing photos from their trip we decided we had to go there. The beach itself is situated near the eastern tip of the Goheung peninsula. Clear blue water, white sandy beach and a backdrop of rice paddies terraced up the hills.
beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea
We went there towards the end of September, which is after summer has officially ended in Korea. This means that, even though the weather is still very good (probably better for camping than during the heat of summer) the beaches are almost deserted. Also, what used to be a pay-to-camp stretches of beach are now free. Our best kind of camping! There are still public bathrooms to use as well as a small convenience store to stock up on basics, like ramen and makgeolli. There were showers but they were locked due to the season being over. The outdoor washing up areas had no water. There was, however, a hose outside the bathrooms and some basins in the toilets for basic washing up/brushing teeth etc.

Camping Spots

After a bit of scouting around we settled on a spot under the trees at the edge of the beach. Initially the only other people around were a few groups set up in the parking lot itself, tents pitched on the paving stones. Namyeol Beach is also a popular surf spot in Korea and there were a few surfers around (although the waves were pretty intermittent and small). In the summer there are surfboards and wetsuits available for rent if you’re interested in that!
beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea
beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea
beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea
beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea
beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea
beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea
beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea

Afternoon Hikes

As we had gotten there quite early we had the beach almost to ourselves. Later in the afternoon a few other families set up camp just for the day. A large hiking group came to celebrate their hike, but left as soon as it got dark. We spent the day lounging around on our inflatable “sofas”, sipping on local makgeolli and taking dips in the ocean to cool off.  This led to us hiking up the side of the small cliff next to the bay to watch the sun go down. Excellent idea as it was an absolutely stunning sunset. The beach is also referred to as sunrise beach – they are quite impressive there. If you’re not to keen on waking up early the sunset is a great alternative…

beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea
beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea
beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea
beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea

 Campfire Burning

The stunning sunset meant we stayed up there for quite a while drinking in the tranquility (and the makgeolli). We may have spent a bit too long up there, only to realise we hadn’t yet collected firewood for a campfire. Definitely can’t go camping without a campfire! The evening was pleasantly warm and we certainly didn’t need a fire other than for ambiance. A few trips down to beach with torches soon remedied this. Our campfire was soon lit and we were ready for a very lazy dinner of ramen and spam under the stars.

New Friends

The following morning was spent lazing around again and making friends with somebody’s collie dog. He was super friendly and loved fetching pine cones, even ones we hadn’t thrown. I also tried a bit of fishing of the rocks on the far side of the bay but no luck. We packed up just before lunch and started heading back home. The reason we left early was so that I could try a few dams on the way back to see if they held any fish. This led to an entertaining meeting with a local farmer but, unfortunately, no fish.
beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea
beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea
beach camping, namyeol beach, south korea
As a beach camping spot this one is great. There are good facilities, even in the off season. The beach is very nice and the water temperature was bearable. There is lots of space to set up and the beach camping is free in the off season. Camp sites in Korea can get very crowded and camp sites on popular beaches even more so!
 
Has anyone been to Namyeol during the summer, does it get busy? Or has anyone surfed there? Let us know in the comments.

Here’s a quick video of our weekend in Goheung!

bass, Fishing, fly fishing, Hapcheon, thelazyfisherman

Hapcheon Dam 합천

bass fishing in Hapcheon

 

 

Bass fishing in Hapcheon (합천)

bass fishing in Hapcheon
Some fish and the view
 
As mentioned in a previous post I met and became friends with a Korean bass fisherman. His name is Son and he has become a good friend as well as given me loads of advice and tips on how to catch more fish. 
 
My first trip with him was to go bass fishing in Hapcheon, which is inland from Changwon, about 90 minutes by car from Jinhae. Son’s father retired out there on a small-holding and Son visits him almost every weekend. The first I’d heard of this area was when Son saw me at the Ungcheon dam flailing away and catching nothing. He told me about this magic place where him and a friend had recently caught nearly 50 fish in one outing and he had photos to prove it!

Invitation to go bass fishing in Hapcheon

I half jokingly asked him to take me bass fishing in Hapcheon when he went again. I was quite surprised to receive a message later that week asking if I was free on Sunday to go bass fishing in Hapcheon. I had to cancel plans with my girlfriend (now she’s my wife) but the trip was worth it!
 
I was a bit hesitant at first as we barely knew each other and I was in a strange country and couldn’t speak the language (still can’t apart from a few words here and there). But it all turned out well. We were joined on the day by another Korean fisherman I had met at the same time. We got through it with some broken English, sign language and my limited Korean. Definitely one of my most memorable days in south Korea.

I have pinned a location below, most of the dams in this area are fishable. Bass, bluegill and even snakehead in some. The one closest to the pin has been the most consistent and is the biggest in the area. It’s with driving around the area and investigating any of the dams you see.


 
 

My first day bass fishing in Hapcheon

We set off at about 7:30 am and hit the first dam just after 9. It was late spring so the weather was great. I caught nothing for the first 2 hours and I could see Son was getting worried after telling me amazing stories about this place. He was giving me lures to use, pointing out all the spots where he had caught fish and let me have the prime areas first. I did however, eventually hook into a very decent bass and ended up with 8 fish by the end of the day. 
 

 

bass fishing in Hapcheon
Some of the bigger fish I caught
 
 
We had fished in 5 dams all pretty close together and bass were caught in all of them. Biggest pushing 40cm.
 

It was but the first of many

I have subsequently been back there many times with my biggest haul being 20 fish in one day’s fishing. 
 
As mentioned in other posts all these dams are also irrigation dams. They suffer the same dramatic fluctuations in water levels during the planting season. 
 
One trip out there we found all the dams to be almost empty or completely empty. We had to drive around for hours looking for a decent spot to fish. This led to us discovering a very strange fishing spot. My biggest in Korea was caught here.
 
bass fishing in Hapcheon
Few fish from the area. My Korean friend Son in blue.

 

 

 
 
 
Mark Scrooby