Starting from May and lasting until August each year, it is the best season to watch sulfuric fire fishing in Jinshan. At the end of June, the TC team under the leadership of Captain Huang Qing-De took the editors of the magazine Seven Seas Sailing to admire this ancient fishing technique that is almost dying.
In the afternoon that day, the group headed out on a speed boat from the TC dock in Bali Township and sailed along the river banks, passing by the estuary of Tamsui River, appreciating the beautiful ocean along the way before arriving in the Jinshan ocean area. From there, the group rode the speed boat to admire the splendid fire and the jumping schools of fish, seeing with their own eyes the beauty demonstrated by this ancient technique. The excited shouts were non-stop.
Sulfuric fire fishing was a fishing technique that completely depended on manpower, using the so-called “fire stone” to produce gas acetylene upon contact with water, and then lighting it up with fire to produce a big “boom” and a bright fire spark on the ocean surface, attracting the scaled sardines swimming near the surface to gather and jump out of water.
Due to its heavy reliance on the captain’s experience and large amount of physical labor, this fishing technique is gradually dying and only seen on four fishing boats in Jinshan on the North Shore now. In recent years, as the sulfuric fire fishing boats have gradually gained reputation, every year during the fishing seasons more and more people gather on the banks or around the river mouth to wait for these boats. However, as the fishing boats go where the fish go, one must have experience and luck to be able to take a peek at the beautiful Jinshan sulfuric fire fishing boat, says Captain Huang with a smile, who knows everything about the ocean.