Taitung’s symbiotic relationship with the sea is demonstrated by the many large and small fishing harbors that dot its extensive long coastline.
The Joy of Netting Fish on Summer Nights
During the summer in villages near the coast a long t he Sout h Li n k H ighway, t here is a n exciting night time activity that cannot be found on any website. Only if your timing is right and you meet the right person will you have the chance to participate in this special event with the locals.
After dark, adults from the villages, fishing nets on their backs, head to the riverbank with their young, excited followers in tow. After making sure the children are safe along the riverbank a nd set t i ng up t hei r e qu ipment, t he a du lt s proceed into the river and begin netting fishing. The children play in the sand on the riverbank, gaze upon the stars, and listen to older children’s stories while eagerly awaiting the adults’ return. Every few minutes, the net fishermen would come back to shore to empty their catch on the sand before returning to the river to continue fishing. The children converge as one and rush to pick up all the small lively fish, still hopping around, and put them in buckets prepared.
The catch in the buckets consists of transparent- colored fishes only three centimeters long. They only appear where the rivers meet the sea in the summer and fall before and after a typhoon and are best caught on a midnight high tide. During this season, when you see lights bobbing deep in the darkness along the coastline, the headlamps of locals are likely to pursue these small fish.
If you are brave enough, you can grab one of the flopping fish, brush the sand off and gobble it up. How’s it taste? You will know as soon as you try it!