Fisherman Choon-sam (Yoon Buk-yang) is suffering financially because of a prolonged scarcity of fish. Pestered by miserly Mr. Jang to pay back his debt, Choon-sam goes out to sea in hopes of a catch but meets a watery ...展开end instead. As payment for the debt, Mr. Jang tries to take Choon-sam's daughter In-soon as his second wife. Meanwhile, In-soon (Park Noh-kyung) is mutually in love with Chun-suk (Park Hak), but torn about the suggestion of Ok-bun (Chun Hyo-bong), who lives in Seoul, to join her in the city. In order to get a job and pay back her father's debt, In-soon follows Mr. Jang's son Chul-soo to Seoul, not knowing that he harbors illicit intentions toward her. Violated by Chul-soo and emotionally distraught, In-soon goes to live with Ok-bun. However, she fails to find employment and is so tormented by the burden she is imposing on her friend that she decides to become a gisaeng. Chun-suk, who has come to Seoul to find In-soon, finds out what happened between her and Chul-soo and returns home with a broken heart. In the end, In-soon tries to commit suicide but is saved by Chun-suk's love for her, and the two of them return home together.
Fisherman's Fire is one of the films from the late Japanese colonial period that the Korean Film Archive (KOFA) obtained through the China Film Archive (CFA) in 2004. Along with Homeless Angel (Jib-eobsneun cheonsa), Story of Sim-chung (Sim Cheongjeon), and Military Train (Gun-yong-yeolcha), it is one of just four films from the 1930s whose existence in Korea has been verified. However, since a mere 10 minutes or so of footage remains from Story of Shim Cheong and Military Trainwas the first film to serve as a government mouthpiece, it would not be an exaggeration to say that there are only two movies in the true sense of the term dating from 1930s Korea. Although it is hardly a polished masterpiece, Fisherman's Fireis an important work that allows us to judge the level of technique, form, and content that characterized Korean films of the period. The abundant sights of Seoul (called Kyeongsungat the time) that crop up in the latter half of the film alone are sufficient to endow Fisherman's Fire with historical value. The film alsoprovides fleeting glimpses into the values and practices of so-called "modern boys" and "modern girls" at the time.