Fishing on the Ban Thach River

QUANG NAM – IN the early morning, the water of the Ban Thach River ran dry, so Mr. Pham Phuong and his son went fishing and caught fish, earning more than a million dong.

Leaving home to the riverbank, Mr. Phuong, 68 years old, residing in Tam Thang commune, Tam Ky city, and his son Pham Ty boarded a boat about 5 meters long. Standing at the end of the nose, he used a pole to push the boat across the water.

About 20 minutes later, the boat came to the familiar river, where there are many laterite rocks below. “The river flows through the locality for more than 3 km, but this section has many laterites and fish often hide,” said a man who has been fishing for more than 50 years.

Mr. Pham Phuong and his son are fishing.  Photo: Dac Thanh
Mr. Pham Phuong and his son are fishing. Photo: Dac Thanh

Choosing a suitable location, Mr. Phuong put a pole in the riverbed to keep the boat fixed. At the front of the boat, Mr. Ty, 37 years old, used his two arms to turn 180 degrees and let go of the fishing line made of lead wire below, weighing more than 10 kg. The 6 m long fishing rod creates a circle from the air, falling to the surface of the water, emitting a rumbling sound. In an instant, the fisherman dived to the bottom of the river, and Mr. Phuong pushed the boat to move along.

After a few minutes, Mr. Ty collected the fish. This job requires slowly letting the lead stay close to the bottom to prevent the fish from escaping. The second part pulls slowly to avoid the tree stump, the rocks below tear the net. Seeing that the net was jerked, Mr. Ty stopped pulling, let his father keep the fishing net, and then dived. “Big fish often get rid of lead, so they have to catch it first, while small fish are left behind when they collect the net to remove it,” he explained.

After more than 10 minutes, the net lying in the river nearly 10 m2 wide was narrowed, inside were many species of fish that struggled. Putting the fish on the boat, Mr. Ty removed the fish and put them in the compartment and poured some water to keep them alive. At the end of this net, Mr. Ty went to another river to continue his work until 9am when the water rose, then he took a break.

Mr. Pham Ty removed the fishing rod and put it in the compartment.  Photo: Dac Thanh
Mr. Pham Ty removed the fish from the fishing net and put it in the compartment. Photo: Dac Thanh

Also fishing on the Ban Thach River, Mr. Pham Can, 62, from Tam Thang commune, said that this river area has fresh water and the influence of tides rise and fall every day. When the water dried up and the fish gathered, he and his wife rowed the boat to cast the fish.

For more than 45 years with this job, Mr. Can is familiar with each section of the river where many fish live. “Everybody knows how to cast a fishing net, but not everyone can do it to make it round. The manipulation process requires the caster to have a good technique to do it,” he said.

According to Mr. Can, in order to cast a round and far-reaching fishing rod, the holder must know how to choose a convenient place and keep balance. When casting, spread the fish evenly with both hands, raise it to the chest, and then turn around to throw a strong momentum forward. The fishing net will expand to its fullest extent, snapping into the water into a wide space to catch fish.

Although Mr. Can was familiar with river sections, many fishing nets were still stuck with rocks and tree stumps and had to be dived to remove.

The caught fish are put in a water tank to live.  Photo: Dac Thanh
The caught fish are put in a water tank to maintain life. Photo: Dac Thanh

Each fishing takes place from 5 to 10 minutes, then the fishermen put the net on the boat and move to another area. Fishermen must invest in a net of 10 million dong, which can be used for 3 years. “This profession doesn’t require much technique, but you must know how to dive well and have good health. There are many rocks and tree stumps at the bottom of the river, which are caught in nets and forced to dive down,” Mr. Can said.

The fish caught are mainly copied and sold for 50,000 VND/kg; climbing fish 150,000 VND/kg; tilapia 20,000 VND/kg…, sometimes sold by giant freshwater shrimp 500,000 VND/kg. On a lucky day, a boat can earn more than a million dong, but there are days when only a few fish can be caught enough to feed the family.

(According to vnexpress)

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