If you’re looking to have some winter fun doing something different this year, you might just want to check out this annual ice fishing festival in South Korea. It takes place on the frozen Soyang Lake in the remote mountainous town called Inje from 27 January to 4 February this year.
The Inje Ice Fishing Festival will get under way in the town in Gangwon Province for a nine-day run. Activities are expected to include ice sledding, ice soccer, snow sculpture display, bobsledding, food tasting, hoop rolling and wandering through an ice maze, among a slew of other cultural and sporting events.
The main attraction, however, is fishing through small cut holes in the ice for a fish called smelt that makes its annual run into fresh water lake to spawn at this time of year. Known in Korean as bing-eo (which is also popular in Japan as shishamo when the females are full of eggs), the smelt is typically eated raw as hoe or deep-fried as a warm, crispy treat.
The smelt fishing zone is expected to span 52,800 square metres of the frozen lake surface, much of which will be transformed into a winter wonderland. “All the preparations are being done on schedule, as we’ve seen continuous cold weather this winter,” a spokesman for the Inje County Office said.