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    Red Drum at Nanliao Saltwater Ponds

    Austin on an earlier Nanliao trip in May landed this monster red drum. Photo by GK.Last weekend I had a chance to check out a new (to me) saltwater pond in the Hsinchu area that some of my fishing buddies in that town have been raving about. The pond is just across the river from Nanliao Harbor on a little peninsula near the river mouth. It’s stocked with variety of game fish including jack, groupers, Japanese sea bass, pompano and red drum (redfish).Austin's small red drum from this weekend.

    By far the drums seem to be the most numerous and frequently caught species at this particular location. Native to the U.S. Gulf Coast and South Atlantic seaboard, they are imported to Taiwan for the aquaculture industry and have made their way into the recreational fish ponds.

    Red drums have controversially been released into the wild locally by a few misguided Buddhist groups. These religious organizations frequently buy up stocks of farm-raised fish and set them free hoping for a karmic boost for their members. The environmental damage may be difficult to gauge, but red drums have been showing up in the catches of local anglers along the coast for the last few years.GK with a nice red in May.

    There are actually two ponds on the premises—a catch-and-release pond and a catch-and-keep pond. Both are open 24 hours and NT$500 gets you a whole day of catch-and-release fishing. The catch and keep pond is a bit more expensive. You are restricted to using artificial lures in the catch-and-release side.

    Big reds put up quite a battle, especially on light tackle.On my recent visit we didn’t catch much, but it was the middle of a hot and windy day. Austin did manage a small drum just as I was getting ready to pack it in. Other visits by Austin and his friends have produced some big and beautiful reds, which are tough fighters known to straighten out cheaper treble hooks. Below is a map to the pond location. 

    View Nanliao Saltwater Fishing Ponds in a larger map