Kumjoo Lake

tumblr_inline_obmlbi3TZQ1usffzb_500

After fishing in Chilbongsan a handful of times, we decided it was time to branch out. So we set off to Kumjoo Lake. We had heard that you can catch huge carp and eels in this lake, so off we went to Pocheon. Wow, was this location beautiful. We pulled up and checked in at the tackle shop since we had rented a bungalow for the night as well as additional fishing equipment because we decided to invite a bunch of friends on this trip. This place was a bit more expensive than the last, ending up to be around ~40k per person. At this point, Dan and I had already gotten our own stuff (it’s worth it, if you’ll be doing a lot of it). There were roads to drive down to get around to the otherside of the lake and we were greeted by our little place of stay.

tumblr_inline_obmlbjwY9p1usffzb_500

This one was a bit bigger than the last, and could fit up to five people fairly comfortably. No beds or anything, just blankets, a TV and a minifridge. The toilet was decent. Only complain about it was there were spiders EVERYWHERE. I have never seen more huge spiders in my life. Had me on edge a bit. We got all our gear set up, and patiently waited… and waited.. and waited….

image

The bait we used this time was not the live worm bait we had used to catch catfish in Yangju. Instead, it was a mix of feed that you added water to and balled up around the hooks. We had a little trouble at first; the bait kept flying off and we weren’t exactly sure how big or small it was supposed to be. But regardless, the location was excellent and our floating bungalow allowed us to fish up until 1:00 AM, and wake up bright an early at 5:00 AM to continue. Additionally, if you called the number posted, they would deliver food and soju right to you so we took advantage of that and had some fried chicken. Eventually, it started absolutely downpouring, though.

image

But, I always say, being soaked alone is miserable… but being soaked with your best friends is an adventure. After 7 hours of hardly a nibble (it wasn’t just us, no one around us was getting anything either), we knocked out for the night. Well, my sister knocked out a lot earlier than that….

tumblr_inline_obmlbkJxmL1usffzb_500

In the morning, we woke up, went at it again until basically we just decided to clean up and leave. Skunked the whole day, but it was at least a good time with friends and an absolutely beautiful place. I think one or two people caught come morning, but we weren’t so lucky. A couple days later when we visited the fishing shop near where we live in Dongducheon, the owner told us this place is particular was a tougher place to catch with a lot of fussy carp. We also ended up realizing we still had our catfish hooks and setup, so once we fixed that, got a two small hook set up and measured it with bobber and stone to perfect balance, we figured we would have to come back and conquer this place again.

tumblr_inline_obmlbkHa9Y1usffzb_540

Chilbongsan Pond

image

The first fishing hole Dan and I visit is Chilbongsan Pond. We had been looking to take up fishing while living in Korea – I was expecting the good ole fashioned spin-fishing I had learned growing up, and was surprised to realize there is in fact a difference between the American fishing I’m used to and Korean fishing. The style is primitive– no reel. This location has overhead coverage in most locations, which is nice in the hot Korean summer. You enter by going down a steep hill, and parking in the lot. There’s a small tackle shop right in front of the pond area to stop in for payment and equipment rental if you need it (snacks and soju are also available for purchase along with all the tackle shop essentials). The people are very friendly and helpful from my experience.

tumblr_inline_obmldutz491usffzb_400

This location is a small privately owned pond in Yangju. It costs about 20,000 KRW to fish for the day. The owners keep the pond supplied with medium sized Amur Catfish (Maegi or  메기 in Korean). It’s a great place for beginners because they rent out all the equipment (poles, hooks, stands, bait, nets, everything) so you can get used to the style.

tumblr_inline_obmldv6YFE1usffzb_500

The first day, we rented out all the equipment and successfully caught one catfish the whole night, leaving around 11pm. Eventually, we got our own equipment, weighed out a stone and hook assembly and had much better luck – 5 catfish in a night– but this time we took advantage of the cute little bungalows they rent out here. They’re tiny rooms equipped with fans, a small T.V., and blankets/pillows to sleep on. They’re right in front of the pond and you can truly fish in your front yard.  Really convenient and cozy. They also have a screen door, so if it gets too buggy (bring spray), you can still see your lines easily from the screen. You can see the bungalows on the left of the picture below.

tumblr_inline_obmldvqT2V1usffzb_500

They have a fairly clean bathroom (by public Korean standards, especially) across a small bridge and up a hill a bit. Not too far at all, but bring your own TP! But the coolest part about this, especially for new fishers, is that using the catfish you catch yourself, the owners will cook them for you and make a delicious Maetung Spicy Catfish soup, complete with side dishes. Once you turn in your catches, they’ll announce on a loudspeaker your food is ready and you go collect it from the cafe on a tray with utensils and water, and a small ‘jet-boil’ type portable stove with the soup in a big pot. Best part of this little fishing hole, by far. They will also bag the fish if you wish to take them back with you.

tumblr_inline_obmldvtNjV1usffzb_400

Overall, a really fun place to learn how to fish in Korea. It was conducive to beginners, close to Camp Casey (15 minutes), and the fish bite like hell! If you want to ease into fishing in country, I would highly recommend this pond in Yangju. Directions on how to get there are on their website, or you can check out the nifty map in my directory. 🙂

image