Night Squid Fishing

Spring is here in Hong Kong, and it’s the season for night squid fishing! Prompted by a recent Groupon Hong Kong deal with Launch Travel Services, I decided to head out for the open waters and partake in one of my few “adventure” outings in Hong Kong.
The evening began in Tsim Sha Tsui where I met with my fellow night squid fishers and Launch Travel Services guide. I was surprised that almost all the participants were locals as I had some misguided idea that only tourists went night squid fishing. I suppose with the trip being offered via Groupon Hong Kong, the Hong Kong outpost of the international discounted deals website, it makes sense that it would be locals aboard the boat. Unfortunately, they were two large groups of friends who didn’t speak much English (the Launch Travel Services guide included), so my companion and I were limited to entertaining ourselves and each other for the night.
We hopped into our boat and rode for 45-minutes into a less populated area of Hong Kong. It was a beautiful night and the cool breeze was a welcome change from the stifling weather we’d been having in Hong Kong recently. It was also lovely to see a different part of the city and from an alternate perspective.
Once we arrived at our destination, dinner (included in the package) was served. For a Chinese tour company that clearly catered to a mostly Chinese clientele, I was surprised at the spread of very basic, and truth be told, bland Chinese food. Plenty of good local restaurants offer catering; there’s no reason why the food we were served had to be as disappointing as it was. I was glad that I had eaten a rather large meal just prior to departure.
Soon I was given a hook, some fishing line and what I think is a kite handle. The guide showed us how to squid fish: a relatively easy task of throwing the hook out as far as you could and then yanking the line back in intervals to try to entice a squid to bite. Easy enough, okay, let’s do it!
With the exception of the excitement surrounding several catches made by the others, I found squid fishing boring after about 30 minutes. It was just a series of throwing, yanking, and repeating. For the most part, nothing happens, other than getting myself tangled up in the fishing line that is! I gave it my best attempt, but I soon went back in the boat and tried to not get sick from all the rocking and swaying.

I wasn’t the only one who soon tired of squid fishing, as several others had retired back to the boat as well. To entertain themselves, they were now singing Cantonese karaoke. I often find public karaoke singers a funny thing. I enjoy a night out with friends and destroying some good songs with our bad singing, but on a boat with strangers? No, thank you. These people, however, weren’t the least bit shy. Good for them, though it wasn’t helping my seasickness.

After an hour or so, the boat had a small, but sizeable catch of seven squid in total.  One of the crew members quickly set to work in preparing the fresh squid for cooking. I don’t think I’ve ever seen squid so fresh, so raw before and I found the amount of ink in a single squid fascinating.

Each of us were given a small sampling of the sauteed squid. Right out of the water and into the frying pan, the squid had an incredibly fresh taste. It was extremely good!

Despite my night squid fishing complaints and fail, I’m glad I gave it a try. It was definitely an experience. Eating such fresh squid made the entire night worth it. I would even go again, but with a group of my own friends and with better food. The karaoke, though, we’d probably leave on dry land.

*Disclaimer: My night squid fishing excursion with Launch Travel Services was sponsored by Groupon Hong Kong, but all opinions are an accurate and honest view of my experience.
© Connie Hum 2012
Categories: Hong Kong

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