Fishing in Jeju Island

Another thing that you can do on the island of Jeju, a destination where many married Korean couples flock to for their honeymoon (and you can avoid!), is that you can go fishing! Yep, while other tourists do their married couple or whatever couple thing, I’ll take it to the seas and try my luck in the waters to see if the fish will bite.

Most of the people in Jeju either fish off of the boats or off the harbor walls or even take a boat to a secluded spot on one of the smaller islands to try their luck. But as always, a boat is the best way to catch fish because if the fish are not there, then you can move to where the fish are at. I know there are a lot of non-Korean speaking people who have inquired about if there are fishing opportunities available on the island of Jeju. The answer is that there are! However, it’s quite difficult to do it unless you know Korean or know someone who knows the language. But if your heart, mind, and spirit are set on fishing, then obviously, you can find our way in achieving your goal.

The best way to go fishing while on the island of Jeju is go west which was where I went. The place to go to? Gosan-ri, which is a small town with a marina. It’s best that you have a car because I don’t think public transportation will take you there on time and efficiently.

map of where fishing is

There are other places to go fishing on the island of Jeju but I ended up going to this place to fish, on the western part of the island.

fishing sign up restaurant food meals korea jeju fishing boats western part

Ended up going to this building where you can sign up for fishing and later have your fish prepared for eating. Fishing is generally for about 1.5-2 hours starting at 10:00 AM at 2 hour intervals. There is night fishing but this is dependent on the season and what’s biting.

Once you’ve signed up for fishing and you are on the fishing boat, sit back and relax until you get to the fishing grounds. Depending on what you are fishing for, this might take a long time or a short time. For me, it was a short distance as most of the fish being caught were a variety of reef fish (small pint-sized fish not worth keeping) and mackerels. I must thrown out a lot of small fish which were mostly mackerels. What was funny was that other fishermen were getting annoyed with ability to fish successfully even though they were mostly tiny ones. My friend, however, ending up catching a real nice-sized fish that looked like a Jack that I caught in the Azores which surprised all the other people on the boat and ended up making them even more annoyed at our continued success.

marina fishing jeju gosan-ri south korea waters saltwater catch release keep

Leaving the marina to the fishing grounds. Time to catch some fish! The boat provides the rods and bait. However, the bait really sucked as thawed shrimp was used and wasn’t exactly the best staying on the hooks.

bucket of fish for eating korea korean fishing ocean salt water fun times how to go charter boat

It’s not a full bucket since I threw out all the small ones back into the water, but we had enough fish meat there for a meal.

If you like eating fish, then you go into the restaurant where for a price, the people inside will cook your fish in a spicy stew and cut up your fish for sashimi (raw fish but no rice like sushi).

fish korea sashimi plate jeju saltwater fishes raw meat

The first plate that came out was the sashimi. We had three different species on the plate. Surprisingly, the Mackerel sashimi was actually pretty good. And here was the best part about the Sashimi – why bother buying it in the market when you can catch it and save money? You also know where it comes from and have fun out of it!

korean fishing for fishmeat for spicy soup stew dish restaurant cookpot

And here was the Spicy fish stew. It wasn’t as spicy as I thought it was but pretty good since the stew had fresh fish in it.

Note: Without a boat, the fishing can be quite a challenge as the locals know what they are doing but even then, as I’ve observed them – they didn’t really catch that much. I’m sure they do catch fish but for a beginner, it’s probably best to go on a fishing boat.

Note: Knowing Korean is important on this island that even English is somewhat or rarely spoken. The captain of this fishing boat DID NOT speak any English. Only Korean. So keep that in mind. However, fishing is fishing and that is universal.

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Hunting in Jeju Island – Yes! You can hunt Pheasants in Korea!

This is the first time that I’m on the Korean island of Jeju, a destination where many married Korean couples flock to for their honeymoon. It’s great and all being on the “Korean Hawaii” but I need to do something… more interesting than simply go sightseeing. So after stepping foot on the famous island, I’ve got one goal on my mind: I’m going hunting for some pheasants! Well, it’s more like a pay-to-play hunting place but I still enjoy doing it as they will give you a shotgun, shells, some instructions, and let you have at it. The added bonus of doing it in a foreign country makes it even better if you ask me and it’s been awhile since I’ve gone pheasant hunting. So it was a nice change in harvesting some meat since I’ve been doing quite a bit of fishing in the past few years. It’s time to add in some hunting opportunities to my adventures.

The place that I went to is called Daeyoo Land. In order to do this successfully (especially if this is your first time ever doing something like this), I recommend getting in some shotgun practice prior to doing this trip whether it’s shooting clay pigeons at the trap/skeet range and/or shooting at live birds like quail, morning doves, and pheasants. I’ve done all of that before so I’m good to go especially since I’ve also gone duck, goose, quail hunting in the past which all requiring swinging the gun to make those bird shots count for the dinner table. One more thing that I should add in is the importance of knowing some Korean – the locals don’t speak a lot of English and most of the foreigners that do show up at this famous island are generally Chinese and Japanese tourists. That’s why I think the native islanders mostly cater to mainland Koreans as they are more used to explaining in Korean on what to do since most mainlanders usually don’t know how to shoot or hunt since most Koreans have grown up and/or are living in urban areas in today’s world.

shotgun shooting range trap korea jeju island tourism fun times target shoot

Before going to the hunting area, we get to practice our shooting skills to make sure that we don’t lose any pheasants.

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Once done with practice, off to the hunting area… taking the long way via ATV!

So going to Daeyoo Land was more of a process since you cannot just show up and go hunting. No, instead, you have to setup an appointment at least 2 days prior to the day that you want to go. And if it’s raining heavily on that day then forget about it – you have to come back another day. One thing to note is that I thought that there would be a hunting dog involved but due to the heat, they don’t do this kind of hunting until November-February when the weather is a lot cooler. It reminds me of California’s pheasant season during the winter months so it makes sense in a way. Instead, this was more like a Pheasant Tower Shoot but more from the ground level so it wasn’t really hunting despite being a pay-to-play place. But for my friend who came with me, it was a great experience for him as he’s never shot any real live birds – I actually had to hold back on one bird because I was gunning them down too quickly.

loading bullets shells shotgun 12 gauge for pheasant hunting birds korea

It was like a Pheasant Tower Shoot except on the ground. Here I am getting shotgun shells to load up the over-and-under shotgun.

shooting at pheasant in korea asia asian hunting pay to play

If you look closely, I take aim at a pheasant flying up in the air. That’s the hunting area.

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My friend and I showing off our pheasants after a successful hunt. To me, it wasn’t really hunting but it was great experience overall.

And here’s another great part about shooting pheasants in Daeyoo Land is that the employees there will clean your birds for you! So awesome about it! Why do I say that? Pheasants can be a pain to gut, pluck, and clean so if someone else can do it quicker and more efficiently then great! And if you want to cook your pheasants there then for a fee, it’s possible to cook your pheasants Shabu-Shabu, a Japanese style of broth cooking (kind of like Chinese hot pot cooking).

Pheasant Shabu Shabu meal meat broth korean food hunting hunted afterkill

Here’s what our plate looked like before we started adding in vegetables, mushrooms, the pheasant meat, and later some ramen. It was really nice to have this meal.

pheasant meat dark white shabu shabu japanese style with soup broth korea hunting bird meat cook hunt kill harvest dinner korea jeju hunting tourism

The top plate was white meat coming most likely from the breast area which also cooked the fastest while in the broth. The bottom plate was the dark meat, coming from the legs which took longer to cook in the broth. Either one was great along with the sauce that was given and along with the vegetables and mushrooms given.

Note: I highly recommend bringing someone with you to do this hunting trip because otherwise going solo will cost you double the price as they want a minimum of two people. Also, make sure that other person can speak Korean because the people there don’t really speak English. Unfortunately, that’s just a fact of life but if you like traveling and hunting, you can overcome these obstacles to say that you’ve hunted in KOREA! They provide the guns, ammo, the birds, and land to do it on so go out there and have fun with it.

BIGGEST NOTE OF THEM ALL: When I first arrived at Daeyoo Land, it was not possible to go hunting right away. I’ve stated this above but I’ll say it again: you have to call and make an appointment at least 2 days in advance. I think this is to get everything setup. To go actual pheasant hunting with a dog, the time to do that is during the winter months of November to February.


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California fishing in the Pacific Ocean for Rockfish

After having fished for Rockfish and Lingcod for years and years on party drift fishing boats, I should know what I’m doing out there on the ocean. Well, I think it’s time to catch some fish! I’ve put quite a bit of my time and effort learning how to fish this style that I’m not going to lose any lines or hooks. Well, maybe… no one’s perfect since an odd rock or hole at the ocean floor will get me snagged and break off my line but then again, that’s fishing. At the very least, I’m going to get my limit of Rockfish and I usually do it pretty early compared to other people. But catching a Lingcod? Heh, that’s a different story altogether to where they get really picky at times that they don’t always take the hooked bait on the first cast or drift. Something has to really catch their attention to get it bite, kind of like Pike in freshwater. For years, I never caught a double-digit pound Lingcod as they’ve always been in the 2-8 pound range until last year when I reeled in a 14 pounder! Maybe now I can catch them more consistently… since I finally caught a double-digit Pike this year!

The good thing about Rockfish is that there are plentiful numbers of them so taking some to harvest is not entirely a bad thing. It also helps that they taste great for the dinner table so it’s not a numbers thing at all but it’s more of a taste and food aspect. Some people enjoy Rockfish sashimi which is quite good as well if you’re into that kind of thing. Freshly caught is the best way to enjoy them. And there are some people who cannot wait to go back home that they will eat fresh fishmeat on the boat! Just minutes after catching a fish, the crew will bust out the soy sauce like they did in Costa Rica!

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I know that it’s kind of hard to see but there’s a day’s limit of 10 Rockfish in there in that bag. Some fairly big.

On this trip, the sun was not out but it was more cloudy and some wind which was bringing in the swells in the waves which made this trip a real fight with your mentality and balance. I think having that hurricane down in Baja California was bringing these odd conditions which really should have been sunny and calm. Instead, people were puking left and right due to the rocking of the boat making it a real challenge for everyone to maintain their composure on both their feet and stomach. Nevertheless, I limited by quickly catching 10 Rockfish within 1-2 hours so it was like second nature to me. Got food for the dinner plate so I basically finished the day helping other people catch fish.

Tip: Take anti-motion sickness medications or patches the day prior and the morning of. I forgot how rough the ocean can be after mostly fishing in freshwater or in ocean conditions which were light on the swells. People were vomiting and/or passed out in the cabins. Even I dry heaved a few times with nothing but air. I immediately felt better but other people – man, they were suffering badly.

Tip: For cooking Rockfish fillets, put some flour and black pepper on both sides and cook them on high for about 2-3 minutes on each side (depending on how thick the fillets are). The flour helps keep the moisture inside and the black pepper adds a bit of flavor. Because these are ocean fish, there is no need to add any salt because in a way, they have their own internal salt to them. The meat should be soft and moist. If not, then it means that you cooked them too long.

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San Francisco Bay Fishing for California Halibut and Striped Bass

I’ve done this type of fishing before in the San Francisco Bay Area where I’ve caught fish there. It seems like a lot of people don’t really know about this type of fun despite the thousands of people moving into the San Francisco Bay Area each year. However, there is some skill required for this as you have to know how to feel the bottom of the sea floor so you are not snagged on something. You’ll know if you have a fish hooked on as there is no mistake about that pulling sensation on your fishing rod.

I’m surprised that both California Halibut and Striped Bass fishing is still going strong because usually this type of fishing is usually best during the spring and summer, not during autumn. But I’m not complaining! It’s been awhile since I’ve fished for both Halibut and Striped Bass, especially for Halibut so it’s a nice change fishing for this flatfish again. Why does everyone else do the typical San Francisco Bay Area tourist stuff when I’d rather be out there on the water to fish and test my fishing skills? I have no idea. I guess sightseeing is easier than utilizing line-feeling capability while drifting out on a sea boat but man, there are so many people who cannot feel the bottom of the ocean. This aspect of fishing out on saltwater is very important because otherwise you will get hooked up on the bottom or on rocks to you eventually end up breaking your fishing line. Back to square zero where you have to re-tie your line and hooks/bait. However, this drift bottom fishing (like Rockfishing but using live bait) is quite easy to master compared to trying to cast a fly rod accurately and far!

water salty SFBay SF East Oakland Berkeley Emeryville marina vessel trolling drifting SF tourism better view from boat water

I think you can get far better views from a fishing boat than being in the city. There was a guy from the Netherlands on the boat as well and he was amazed how much better the viewpoint was while catching fish in the SF Bay.

On this trip, the Striped Bass were really easy – there are so many of them that they are just flat out plentiful, but that California Halibut was a different story. I was literally fishing right next to this one guy and his cousin who were absolutely just killing it on the Halibut. Every drift on the fishing charter boat was a Halibut hooked up. I even heard other people catching a Halibut…. all except me. I lost hope as the clock ticked away especially when the boat captain said that he was giving it 10 more minutes and the dude next to me hooked another Halibut. Sigh…. and just as I was complaining and joking to the boat captain, I look at my rod and it’s shaking up and down! Fish on! I immediately run over and start cranking the reel. As soon as I see the fish, I keep the tension on the line so as not to pull the hook out of its mouth since I was simply waiting for the deckhand to run over with the net. Once the deckhand netted it, I was screaming for joy like I caught the 20+ pound pike back in England! That was a literally an 11th hour, last ditch, hail Mary fish since the boat captain announced on the speaker, “Okay, he finally caught one. We can go home now since the Wisherman got his.” You bet that I’m a Wisherman and a Fisherman. I don’t want any failed fishing trips like Danube Salmon in Slovenia or Atlantic Salmon in Scotland. Nope, success here!

California halibut flounder Paralichthys californicus left and right side eyes large tooth flounder flatfish fishing good meat fish eating hard to catch

The last cast and fish of the day and I finally caught my Halibut! It was irritating watching the fishermen next to me catch one over and over again while I was empty-handed on the Halibut count.

Striped Bass California Halibut San Fransisco Bay Area fishing fishin' saltwater waters outdoor fun amazing fish oceanic water salty SFBay SF East Oakland Berkeley Emeryville marina vessel trolling drifting

2 Striped Bass and 1 California Halibut – a good day of fishing if you ask me. All good for the dinner plate.

Note: Don’t eat too much fish that is caught out of the San Francisco Bay for safety reasons. The SF Bay (and its water sources) has been severely polluted over the years that only in recent times has the water quality actually improved. So make sure you ration your fish and crab intake. If you happen to be lucky enough to catch a Sturgeon, I recommend that you let it go because of the toxin buildup and not to mention that it would be a good idea to allow the population to build back up.

Note: There are different species of Halibut out there but the ones in the San Francisco Bay Area are California Halibut. They are smaller than their Pacific Halibut cousins that are much bigger and dwell in much deeper waters. California Halibut are different in that they stay in more shallower waters and happen to be quite plentiful and easier to catch by staying in the bay. However, compared to Rockfish and Striped Bass, Halibut can be very fickle biters as they will completely destroy your bait but won’t stay on the hook meaning that there is no fish on the other end of the line which makes them quite irritating to hook and land one.


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Fishing for Marble Trout in Slovenia – Returning to make up for the lost Danube Salmon the previous year

Due to my failure to catch a Danube Salmon or any fish in Slovenia the previous year, a return trip had to be made in order to correct this discrepancy. Sure, I’ve failed to fish and catch an Atlantic Salmon in Scotland but at least, I still caught fish the next day while saltwater fishing. I didn’t have that chance with Slovenia so this was the time to do it for Marble Trout! A chance for redemption! And like the Zebra Trout in Spain, Marble Trout is a subspecies variation of Brown Trout that can only be found in Southern Europe around the Adriatic basin countries of Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia. So for me, this was a special type of fishing trip to undertake since this type of Brown Trout is just not an everyday occurrence.

Maybe after all that fishing experience gained from the trips I’ve made since the last time that I was in Slovenia: California, UK, Germany, Portugal, Czech Republic, and Spain. So I thought that I was truly ready for this time around with a good belief that I won’t go with a “blank” on this trip: fish will be hooked and landed! No ghost bites either. Real fish will finally be landed in Slovenia! And after getting my fishing practice in the last month by going to the Czech Republic and most recently in the UK, I wanted to think that I would be ready! I even thought that going to Spain was a major help as well. But perhaps, the Fishing Gods will watch me in trying achieve fishing success in this country where previously I was unable to.


It was harder than expected due to the sheer amount of people at the rivers either fishing, kayaking, or playing around. That does not make a good place to fish as all the trout are easily spooked. And all that casting practice? Well, I had to re-learn my fly-fishing cast because of utilizing different mechanics from big deep waters to short surface casting. Oh man…. I got a few bites but no takers. Until I finally caught one small Rainbow Trout! All right! Maybe the Fishing Gods listened to my Slovenian fishing plight. Although the targeted species was Marble Trout, I’ll take at least one landed fish as a good sign to come. That also eliminates the “BLANK” space I had for this country so that at least has been eliminated from my traveling and fishing history.

first fish rainbow trout in this river hard conditions spooky fish unwilling to bite too many fishermen people

My first fish ever in Slovenia. A tiny Rainbow Trout that decided to give me a small fraction of an ounce of excitement. But the “Blank” was now officially gone.

The second day was better, much better. I think it was because there were less people resulting in less pressure on the fish that I got more quality takes. And before I knew it, bam! I finally got a fish to take and landed it!

small country underrated fishing no one around unknown wild pristine guides slovene former yugo yugoslavia slovenian fish

Maybe a change of shirt and hat contributed to my second day’s success? I’m not sure but it helped.

small country underrated fishing no one around unknown wild pristine guides slovene former yugo yugoslavia slovenian fish

It was a better start than the previous day so I had gotten my fishing practice in… at least!

As for the Marble Trout – I think kept losing my marbles over them. I finally hooked one spooked Marble Trout and after a few seconds, the fly popped out! Nooooooo! This would happen again and again that losing some Marble Trout seemed like a regular occurrence. And then my perseverance paid off. I finally did it! I finally caught a Marble Trout! I can now cross the Marble Trout off of my bucket list!

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My first ever Marble Trout that I cast, hooked, and landed!

best kept secret fishin' unknown marble trout trucha fall autumn late summer back to school only for serious anglers fishermen lone traveler traveling fun outdoors

Looking at this fish, a trout, you can see the pattern on its side similar to a marbled rock which gave its name to this trout.

Note: Marble Trout is not a separate fish/trout species but it’s actually a subspecies of Brown Trout, kind of like the Zebra Trout that I caught in Spain. The markings are significantly far more different on Marble Trout and makes them look like the pattern on a stone marble on their skin. The big threat to them is no doubt over-fishing (which conservation efforts are taking place), pollution, habitat loss, and hybridization with regular Brown Trout. Like I stated before, these fish are only found in the Adriatic Sea river basin so I think it’s a great idea to make this trip to go catch an elusive Marble Trout!

And what made this second day even better was that I also caught an Adriatic Grayling on a fly as well! I caught the Slovenian Triple Slam! I was extremely happy since many people don’t ever catch a Grayling in that upper stretch of the river. And even fewer catch a Rainbow Trout, Marble Trout, and Grayling all on the same day!

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I’m hooked onto a fish! I didn’t know what it was until I brought closer to shore.

Adriatic Grayling fall autumn late summer back to school only for serious anglers fishermen lone traveler traveling fun outdoors

My first ever Adriatic Grayling caught! I’ve caught Graylings before in the the UK, but this was the first time that I did it on the fly rod! My guide told me that catching these Graylings is pretty difficult in that part of the river as the population for some unknown reason dropped quite a bit.

The rest of the second day was quite difficult as I would hook fish but I couldn’t get them to stay on long enough to land them.

great view of the river, trees, and mountains

A great view of the river, trees, and mountains. But no more fish for the day. I think the Fishing Gods were thinking that they already gave me a “Triple Slam” so be happy with that!

On the last day of fishing in Slovenia, the pressure to redeem for last year’s failure was well passed so it’s all about having fun catching whatever fish I could. And I have to say that it’s already been a great trip so far since I caught a Marble Trout and the Triple Slam. So yes, it’s been great fishing unless you count my early morning struggles of trying to hook and land a fish. Gosh, that third morning was tough despite the river being completely free of other anglers. Just a few sun-bathers and kayakers. That was it. But after several hours of casting and moving and casting, I finally hook a Rainbow Trout!…. only to lose it because it broke the line. Damn….. back to square zero. Of course, I was disappointed but after some more moving around and casting more, I finally hooked onto one and landed it!

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It took awhile that morning, but I managed to finally reel in the first fish of the day! A nice long Rainbow Trout. These trout fight much better than their reservoir counterparts.

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My second fish of the day…. well, it was there until the Trout escaped. Leaving me with an empty Fish Guitar.

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There’s my fish guitar! Swimming nearby and eventually back to its resting place.

Now the momentum was on and I started catching more and more fish despite some of them being really spooky and wary of taking a fly. All Rainbow Trout, no Marble Trout nor Grayling. It was a lot of work but it was worth it to finally hook and catch fish regularly!

And then it happened! I catch something that completely catches you off guard! At first, my guide and I were conversing, “Alright a fish!…. Ah man. It’s another Rainbow Trout!” We both thought Rainbow Trout because this fish jumped up in the air as it was hooked in the mouth. Rainbows generally jump to do aerial acrobatics in order to spit the fly out. However, as I fought the fish and brought it closer for my guide to net it, he couldn’t find the fish. “Where is the fish? I can’t see it!” And then he says the words I’ll never forget, “Oh wow! It’s a hybrid! That’s why I couldn’t see the fish!” After a few more seconds of struggling, he finally nets the fish for me. Yes! I caught something weird, something RARE! According to him, very few people catch a Marble/Brown Trout hybrid in the wild. It was probably years since he last saw one. So basically, in the span of one week, I have caught another Fish of a Lifetime!

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Another fish of a lifetime! a Hybrid Marble Brown Trout! Many go to Slovenia to fish but never get to catch one, much less even see or hear about someone catching one!

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An up-close and personal picture of the Hybrid Marble/Brown Trout caught in the wild in Slovenia! People have fished for years and have never caught one of these! Look at the unique look of this fish, it’s like a Marble Trout but yet not a Brown Trout either.

Tip: There is not that much to do in Slovenia unless you are going to Lake Bled or do winter sports. That’s why I recommend going fishing – it’s highly underrated because no one knows about it and the Slovenes actually take care of their environment and natural resources – someone told me that the fishing is better in Slovenia than in nearby countries such as Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia. Having never gone to Serbia nor Bosnia and never fished there, I can’t debate it so I’m not sure. But for me, I had my fishing opportunities and I took them in Slovenia!

Tip: Slovenia has emerged as a big-time tourist destination due to a variety of reasons so going to this country during the summer will be full of tourists, tourists, tourists. I thought most of the people would be gone by the end of the summer which was not the case. It’s still barrels full of tourists, overwhelming the locals. Even the fishing conditions are very different from season to season, week by week. So expect the unfamiliar and unusual such as extreme rain and wind during the summer! You never know!


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