Pattaya floods bring bumper crop for roadside fishermen

Roadside fishermen work fast to lay their fishing nets and set their traps along Sukhumvit Highway to catch as many fish as they could.

The heavy rainfall in Pattaya last Friday brought many hardships to thousands of people whose homes were flooded, inflicting tremendous damage to their properties and livelihoods.

Hundreds of cars were also damaged when they were submerged under water for an extended period. One would think that in these extremely difficult economic times, the added misfortunes to test one’s resilience are really not needed.

But for some, the thunderstorms and heavy rainfall came as a blessing. The deluge fills water sources such as ponds and khlongs to the brim and, with the force of the overflow, carries along hundreds of fish from their natural habitat into the sewers and onto the streets.

Last Friday, during and after the downpour, a group of seasoned local residents were quick to grab the opportunity to make the most of the situation. Spreading out along Sukhumvit highway just outside a fenced off plot of land that had a huge natural pond on its grounds, the fishermen cast their nets into the flooded road and set fish traps in the overflowing sewers.

A fisherman shows off his fish-filled trap caught off the highway.

One roadside fisherman said, “After every heavy rainfall we come out with our fishing nets and traps and can usually catch a lot of fish swimming in the sewers and on the flooded road. The fish are of many varieties including catfish, climbing perch, snake fish, gourami, and golden apple snails.

“Not everyone likes heavy rainfall and flooding, but it is a blessing for us because today we have food for our families.”

The floods in Pattaya usually recede in a couple of hours, but last Friday, because of the extraordinary rainfall, it took much longer for the water to flow away, so the fishermen had more time to catch a bumper crop.

This pond in a fenced off area by the highway is the source of hundreds of fish that flowed onto the highway with the floods.

A fisherman shows off his catch as he takes it out of the net and puts it in his bag.

Three men prepare to cast their net onto a strategic location on the highway to catch the most fish.

After casting his fishing net on the flooded road, a fisherman patiently waits for fish to swim into it.

A bagful of catfish is not bad for a morning’s fishing excursion on Pattaya’s flooded streets.