Goby fishing in Halong – A New Experience


Halong Bay is not only famous for its beautiful green islands in different shapes reflecting on the clear water, but also for the fishing grounds with many kinds of fish, shrimp, crab, squid and many precious kinds of seafood like peanut-worm, clam, geoduck. As well as the fishing industry has long history in Halong, goby fishing has been born and familiar with the people here for a long time. Fishermen in Halong have been good at seafaring, especially fishing for goby in the tidal and coastal areas.

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Today, goby fishing is still maintained and developed by fishermen in Halong. Come to Halong, visitors should not miss the opportunity to enjoy stewed goby with sour-soup creeper that is so delicious with unique flavor. Visitors will not forget this traditional and unique dish in Halong.

1. The time of fishing goby in Halong

Goby fishing season in Halong starts from March to September in lunar calendar. In the past, people have been fishing in mangrove forests around Ha Nam, Hoang Tan and Tuan Chau islands, to the beaches of Hong Gai. Today, when the number of gobies has been exhausted due to fishing too much, and reproduction of this fish is not as much as others, fishermen often go to tidal areas or mangrove forests to catch more fish.

Goby has many types, living in salt water, brackish water and fresh water. Fishermen in Halong distinguish and name the goby fish based on colors, shapes on the fish skin: black, brown, white,…

2. Techniques to catch goby in Halong Bay

The fishing gears of goby fishing are quite simple, only about 200 fish-pots bought from Hung Hoc fishing gear knitting village in Nam Hoa ward for 15,000 VND each one and a bamboo basket in a duck shape to store fish.

Fish-pots via Dan Viet

Previously goby fishing requires only a boat, paddle to go from home to fish yards for 2-3 days. Today, the tools and fishing gears have been improved to be able to “fight” with the sea so the boat is now much bigger, and only need one day to arrive at the place without having to paddle for many days as before.

The fishermen familiar with the goby fishing often wait for water to waist and waft along the tidal flat, take a foot under the ground into a small hole, then put the fish-pot into it. In the fish-pot, there is a pre-set of minced shrimp in small pieces. Set aside the fish-pot then take a branch and make a mark to remember. Wait for a while for the fish to crawl into the pot, the fishermen just pour into the basket. So keep doing again two to three times on a tidal flat.

The goby fishing in Halong Bay looks simple, but it is really difficult. The fishermen have to expose to the sun, suffer hard to keep the water flow and go around the beach. They also have to stay up early to check the bait, set aside the holes to put fish-pots, and come back and sell fish. Especially, there must be a technique to keep the fish in the duck basket to ensure goby fish fresh for good prices.

3. Enjoy Halong goby

Goby can be processed into many delicious and nutritious dishes such as stewing with peppercorns, cooking soup with piper lolot, which are favored by many customers. It is delicious and clean food being hunted in the market. Fresh green goby stews with sour tamarind, little peppercorns … that is delicious! The tourists come to Halong Bay is fascinated with stewed goby fish with sour-soup creeper with many praise.

Stewed goby fish with peppercorns via Me vao bep

The restaurants in Halong always reserve the goby that is fresh with green color to serve customers.

The dish of goby fish and sour-soup creeper is not too hard to cook, but it need time and efforts to find, prepare raw materials and make sophisticated process. To make this dish as good as in Halong, you need to find the sour-soup creeper growing on the slopes of Tuan Chau island, Halong. However, finding this leaf is quite difficult because it is rare and the taste here is very specific and unique. Indispensable ingredients are dry onion, tamarind to help the fish with added flavor.

Halong Bay is famous for fishing activities on the sea. Come to Halong, visitors should not miss the opportunity to experience goby fishing of fishermen and enjoy the goby dishes. Certainly, it will bring visitors unforgettable feelings and an exciting journey.

4. Income from catching goby in Halong

One kilogram of goby has prices from 80,000 to 100,000 VND. Every month, each family catches from 100-120 kg, except for expenses, each family earns 10 million VND. Each fish season, they can get is 60-70 million VND, so the life of fishermen living by catching goby is also okay. Today, catching goby in Halong is difficult because the source of goby has been exhausted so the fishermen living in this industry is also very precarious.

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