A 70 ft long sturgeon photographed in the Fraser River, British Columbia, Canada

Strange story about giant fish

For generations, people in 4 communes Fraser River, British Columbia, Canada have considered aquatic resources in Cam Son lake to be an important part of their lives. King nets, beam nets, hooves, shrimp baskets, bamboo boats, motorboats and fishing rods are indispensable items in the families here.

At home, they also catch fish and shrimp from time to time to improve the meal.

If you have a family, you will consider this as a source of life, fishing all year round for a living

Cam Son Lake covers an area of about 2,700 hectares. There was a time when this place was a large food lake, providing a source of fish throughout Bac Giang and neighboring provinces. Since the time when the lake was under the management of Lang Giang Fisheries Enterprise (this unit was formerly located in Lang Giang district, Bac Giang – PV), the story of giant fish is always a hot topic.

Up to the present time, the fish holding the “champion” position in terms of weight caught by fishermen is a 54kg catfish caught by workers of Lang Giang Fisheries Enterprise in 1994. At that time, the tail of This fish is also bought by a local resident and used as a decoration on the door of the house. The tail is spread like a fan and if it is fully stretched, it is about 50cm wide.

Recently, due to more and more people catching, fishing equipment is also more modern, Cam Son lake does not have many big fish. The big fish that people catch is only about 20kg.

Until now, people in Cam Son commune have not been able to forget the story of a giant fish, estimated to weigh nearly 100kg, that was caught in the net of a fish factory. Previously, in 1996, this fish with a glossy black back, large, glossy, meter-long scales entered the cage under the lake bed. Fearing that the cage could not bear the weight and strength of the “water monster”, the people present at that time decided not to lift the cage, but to go get a gun to shoot fish.

When the people ran to get their guns before they returned, the fish broke through the cage and escaped. Many years later, people still believe that the “water monster” still exists and is the lord of the Cam Son lake bed. Many people who go fishing at night said that many times their boat was stalled and thought it was about to capsize because of the thrashing of one or several giant fish.

According to the people here, around April and May is the time with the most fish of the year because there are often heavy rains and the upstream water pours a lot. All kinds of fish are eggs, so they often float or wash ashore. The experience of the people in the area shows that the place with a lot of big fish is the area of Ao Vuong village (Cam Son commune). Regardless of day or night, the villages above and below are crowded together to go fishing.

During the day, people often fish in the form of nets. When night falls, usually people will drop nets or use electric jacks. At this time, the water surface is calm, fish often come ashore to feed. Just a canoe boat about 3m long, about 1m wide, with a few handfuls of rice, two people can float on the lake bed all night to hunt fish.

In those livelihoods, many people were lucky to catch fish weighing tens of kilograms. About twenty years ago, people catching fish of about 10kg was a daily affair in Cam Son. And the fish weighing about 20-30kg is rarer. But about every two months people catch such a big fish.


A night in the lake

Following in the footsteps of Mr. Vi Van Sau, a resident of Cam village, we eagerly roamed the lake bed. Even though it’s summer at night, the steam and mist still make people who are not used to staying up at night like us feel cool.The boat started up and went quite far from shore. On the other side, the lights of the night fishing boats were also flashing.

We became very small in the middle of a white silver wave. On the mainland, the electricity of anyone’s house is still small and sparse, the sound of a dog barking is sad. Going a long way, Mr. Sau took a three-layer net several tens of meters long and spread it around a corner to wait for the fish to enter.

According to experience, Mr. Sau said, fishing must be done at night to be effective because catfish, carp, and sesame species often “sleep day and night”. While telling a story, seeing the strong movement of the net, Sau rowed the boat away and the net, a carp about 2kg, was just covered in the net. A few minutes later, he was lying in the boat compartment…

Night fishers must be experienced rivermen. Because if there is no area, the sailboat will crash into the island or the bamboo bush in the middle of the lake and immediately capsize. One day, while traveling, the boat broke down in the middle of the vast world and did not know who to rely on, many people had to stretch the canvas on the boat to sleep until morning.

More danger is always lurking, when storms, big waves, strong winds, thunder and lightning, they can’t go home, they have to let the boat wash ashore, put the small cement boat upside down to get in to sleep. There was also a night when it was freezing cold, the net was caught in a log, the fishermen had to dive into the water to remove it, and when they got on the boat, they were shivering…

The story of the night fishing went on and on until almost morning. When the boat returned home, it was time for Mr. Sau to have nearly ten pounds of fish in his cabin. Sau quickly turned the boat back to his wife in time for the early market.

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