The Shimada family is one family I truly admire. A Japanese family that meets every year around New Year time to have a fishing reunion. They would wake up early in the morning, take a van together to a pier in Si Racha and fish off a boat for about six hours before coming back to Bangkok, going to their usual restaurant, Don Don Japanese restaurant in Sukhumvit soi 39.
Almost four years ago I had the lucky chance of meeting this family through another family friend. They asked if I would like to join them for their annual fishing trip. Now in 2012, I’ve been fishing with them four times and every time it’s been a blast.
Our boat takes us just off the coast of Si Racha and anchor us around various spots in the Gulf of Thailand where artificial reefs have been created. There we each baitfish with a rod using deap guppies as bait for small fish all the time. The fish usually ranged from about 100g to a 1kg so picking the lightest possible set up for this fishing made it a whole lot more fun.
There are three daughters in the family with Mei, the youngest, being the most talented in fishing. Her form, technique and stamina at the sea has allowed her to outfish everyone, even someone who does it fulltime like me. My nickname for her has always been “Fishing God Mei”.
This year was no different, Fishing God Mei did what she did every year: she continued to pull out fish at an accelerated rate and managed to do it continuously without tiring until the very end. It was completely stupid to try and challenge her to a numbers game. But at the end of the day were all winners. The challenge made us fish harder and we were also fortunate enough to be blessed with lots of fish this year, which made the dinner that night all the more enjoyable.
That night we celebrated with a feast of sashimi, baked fish and a miso garlic tataki all made from the fish we caught along with some pork hot pot and some of the home-made udon noodles the Don Don restaurant was famous for. All this went down beautifully with copious amounts of sake and beer.
Thank you once again for such a great time Shimada family!
Anyway here are some pictures.