There are a variety of cafes in Korea with different concepts. There are of course the ever popular dog and cat cafes, but what about a fishing cafe?
There are two types of fishing cafes I’ve read about in Korea: a catch and eat or catch and release. The fishing cafe I visited was a catch and release cafe. It was for sure a new cafe experience for me.
The Ulbbang Fishing Cafe (얼빵낚시카페) is in Guwol-dong in Namdong-gu, Incheon. It’s very close to Art Center Station on Incheon Line 1.
How to Get There:
The best way to get there is to take the Incheon Line 1 subway to Art Cent Station (예술회관). Then take exit 3 and then make a slight U-turn to the right. The building where the fishing cafe is located right on the corner of an intersection. There are usually signs outside promoting the cafe since it’s in the second floor basement of the building.
The address is :인천광역시 남동구 인주대로 580 지2층(구월동, 동남빌딩)
Price & Hours:
Weekday Hours: 2pm-2am
Weekend Hours: 12pm-2am
Price (one hour):
- Men: 10,000 won
- Women: 9,000 won
- Couple: 18,000 won
- Middle School & High School Students: 8,000 won
- Elementary Students: 5,000 won
I’m not sure why it’s cheaper for women. Maybe they think fishing is harder for women. I have no clue, but I’m alright with a slightly cheaper price. Once again, these are per hour, so if you go over an hour, it’ll cost you more money.
There is a cooler inside filled with a variety of canned beverages that are FREE! Yep, free! Well, sorta free. It’s just included in your initial payment. There are also varieties of instant coffee available that is also included in your initial payment.
Once again, if you go over the time limit of an hour, you’ll have to pay more. Sadly, I don’t actually know how much more. You have to keep track of time yourself because the workers won’t tell you when it’s been an hour. They’ll just let you keep fishing. They only keep tract of the time to see if you’ve stayed over an hour.
The inside of Ulbbang Fishing Cafe is really relaxing. At first my friends and I were nervous to go in because it was so dark. It looked a bit shady, but then we realized that they kept the cafe dark for the fish. There are green lights around the pool that look really cool, and sometimes they have a waterfall down the middle of the of the “pond” that lights up and looks pretty.
It was quiet for the most part. No one is loud. People are just relaxing and catching fish for the most part.
Once you’re inside the cafe, they will give you a rod, some bait, and a cloth towel. The towel is used to give you a better grip while you unhook your catch.
How to Fish
It’s quite easy actually, but it can be frustrating at times when you’re not catching anything and your friends are the ones getting all the fish!
First, you roll the bait between your fingers for a little bit (it’s soft) to make it into an oval shape. Then you hook it onto your hook. Then you just cast it out and wait for the bobber to go down. If you happen to catch something, you need to jerk your arm straight up from the elbow to pull the fish out. There are nets located at each seat that allow you to catch the fish from your rod quickly. Then you unhook your fish, scan your wristband, and put it into the box that weighs it.
If you catch a heavy fish, your name will get on the board. You earn points by catching fish and there are prizes you can win depending on how many points you collect.
Final Thoughts & Recommendations:
The overall experience was great! I had a lot of fun just chatting and fishing with friends. We did get a bit competitive about who would catch the most fish…I didn’t win, but it was a great time.
If I were to go to this place again, I would go by myself because I feel like it would be more enjoyable alone because it’ll give you some quiet time to just think about life. However, I feel strange just catching and releasing the fish. I grew up fishing and you would fish to eat, so I think I’ll seek out a fish and eat cafe next.
Nonetheless, it was a new experience and I’m glad I went. The people there didn’t really know English well, so it was a lot of me using the baby Korean that I know. They were really kind though and even gave us a prize though we didn’t deserve it at all hahaha. Overall, I give this place a 7/10.