2009 Ice Fishing Festival Trip

2009 Ice Fishing Festival Trip

                   Written by Patricia A Skully

After boarding the buses bright and early on the Saturday morning, we arrived at the festival site just before noon, ready to fish. The group proceeded down to the frozen river in order to be paired off -- two to a pole -- to catch an elusive trout. While the ice was crowded with Koreans and foreigners alike, the odds of snagging some lunch were good -- fish being sotred in a large truck were regularly being introduced into the water, ready to be caught. After catching a fish, it could be brought to a grilling station to cook as Adventure Korea members warmed themselves, or it could be enjoyed raw. By taking your fish just a bit further, it could be prepared as hoe for the fisherperson. A light lunch of raw fish and soju on a frozen river might do nothing to warm your fingers, but it would taste good.
Whether having no luck in your fishing or just combating boredom that may arise from unsuccessful fishing, the festival offered a plethora of other ice- and snow-related activities to enjoy. From sledding to driving around the ice on ATVs, there were enough diversions to entertain Adventure Korea members as they waited to compete against each other in a sliding soccer match. However, the undisputed highlight of the festival was the bare-hands fishing event. As the the group changed into their orange t-shirts and shorts in preparation of lowering themselves into the freezing water, others prepared to watch the spectacle. The objective was simple -- catch a fish with your bare hands. Easier said than done, but all who did seemed to have a great time, celebrating by throwing their fish into the crowd. To do it once is a great experience to tell your friends about when you recount your time in Korea. Once, and only once.
After the bare-hands fishing, the buses laden with cold but happy Adventure Kore amembers went on to a market to stock up before heading to the cabins in which we would be spending the night. What with a delicious dinner of barbequed meats, a bonfire with marshmallows and new friends, Saturday night ended in a bit of a happy haze for everyone.
Sunday was met with breakfast, followed by a hike up a snowy trail in the morning. With a relatively easy ascent and obstacles such as a "trust pole" on which to play, the hike was enjoyable. Especially fun was the slide down to the bottom. Those who didn''''t wish to hike could relax in the cabins or play on the icy pond with the sleds available. After a quick group picture on the ice, it was time to head back to Seoul and start counting down the days to the next year''''s Ice Fishing Festival.-