During my time spent living in Beijing I noticed that whilst sea-fish restaurants were few and far between freshwater fish species, like grass carp and small head Black bass, are commonly represented on Beijing restaurant menus. In fact carp quickly became my favourite Chinese dish when eating out. Using chopsticks meant that I could easily pick out flesh from between the bones of steamed fish without difficulty after a little practice.
While hundreds of tons of fish are supplied to Beijing’s 40′000 restaurants from out of town commercial stock ponds every day, local Beijing anglers prefer to concentrate their efforts, especially during the warm summer months, on catching tiny Crucian carp using whip poles and small floats from inner city canals.
Harsh winters don’t prevent local anglers bagging up from Beijing’s frozen canals and city park lakes. Bites are less frequent and ice fishing generally requires more patience and a sturdy constitution.The local hooch, baijiou (Chinese whisky is made from sougram) is sold in small bottles from corner shops all over China but here in Dongzhimen, anglers fishing the canal by the third ring road, swear that it keeps their spirits alive when temperatures plummet.
Visiting anglers will be surprised by the variety of fish species caught in Beijing. A local angler, expertly casting a large treble hook into the colourful canal in Andingmen district near the Confucious Temple on the second ring road was able to snag all manner of tropical fish, including many dozing goldfish, which had almost certainly been evicted from their owner’s comfortable living room aquariums by the arrival of the latest family pets craze, miniature Japanese golden killer poodles.
Fed up with catching hundreds of tiny fry, an enterprising angler returned his initial catch on a larger hook and recast by the sluice gate of the outflow pipe for the power station located in Sihui Qiao near the central business district (CBD). Minutes later he hooked into and landed a fair sized catfish (3 kilos) with an exotic strip appearance. The following week I ordered a similar looking fish, part of a spicy hotpot dish, spotted on an upmarket restaurant menu.
Soon after, I was taken to a fishing hot spot whilst visiting a friend’s home town, Changchun city in the province of Liaoning. China’s north east has a reputation for freezing winters.During the summer clean, blue skies hover over fish filled lakes enclosed by virgin forest plantations. These wonderful locations provide memorable fishing opportunities, and some of the least tampered-with countryside in China.
I fished the outflow channel of a large reservoir located approximately one hour’s drive outside Changchun. The canal contained around forty pegs used for match fishing. I used a light pole to float fish and caught five different small fish including a common carp, barbel and Rudd types.
The picture shows me holding an 8 kilo Big head carp (Robson Greene’s encountered the same fish species on his Extreeme Fishing TV show when he visited a lake near to Shanghai). The local workers had netted the large fish, many specimens were made captive in the canal because they couldn’t pass through a narrow sluice gate at one end, and then put a rope through its gills until needed for the pot. Workers sell the head of Big head carp to restaurants, it’s an expensive yet very popular delicacy.
For further information visit: www.spainfishing.com