Stick Fishermen and Fisher Woman from Koggala, Sri Lanka



Even before going to Unawatuna I knew about stick fishing and I was completely floored by those pictures. So I was on a keen lookout for stick fishermen in the region. I got my opportunity today. We were going to Mirissa Beach from Unawatuna and even though it was mid day we saw two fishermen on their sticks. So we asked our auto driver if he would stop? He parked by the road and my nephew and I ran to the spot.

The first question asked by a local fisherman, standing by the beach, was if we would pay money, all in sign language. So yes the activity is a bit commercialized. I was willing to pay and 200 Sri Lanka rupees (100 Indian rupees passed hands). My auto driver was very apologetic and said it was not like that. But as tourists kept coming, they would pay on their own and then the expectation built.

Stick Fishing, Sri Lanka

Stick Fishing, Sri Lanka 

I was content with a few pictures but my nephew had other ideas. He asked in sign language if he could go and sit on the stick and the fishermen were quite willing, They helped him climb up that stick and soon he was perched there, fishing rod in hand and all!

A Tourist Doing Stick Fishing, Sri Lanka

My Nephew Tries his Hands!

Later he told me that he asked fisherman what if the stick snapped? The fisherman told him he will fall but he would still be fine. In fact the stick next to him in this picture is a broken one. He remained perched there for quite some time! And all of us had a good laugh!

A Tourist with a Fisherman, Koggala, Sri Lanka

Stick Fishing in Progress, Koggala, Sri Lanka

When he came down we saw he had minor cuts on his feet and everyone around was quite concerned. My nephew told me that the steps leading to the top were slippery. Then the fishermen turned to me and asked if I would like to go?

A Fisherman and a Tourist doing Stick Fishing, Koggala, Sri Lanka

There I Go!

I never refuse an adventure when it comes my way. Soon with the help of a fisherman I was there, on top of the stick with a fishing rod in my hand. I giggled like a school kid. The fisherman sitting next to me asked me if I was from India. When I said yes and he asked where from (all in broken English and sign language)  and I said Delhi. It was a pity that they don’t speak English and I hardly could converse with them. They were happy that I did not pose too many challenges while getting up or getting down. I am also privileged that I got to sit on that stick. Traditionally the territory remains in the family and is passed from father to son.

After Stick Fishing

After Stick Fishing

When I was getting down the fisherman next to me escorted me out and the other person stood near the rocks so that I would not get any cuts like my nephew. Did we catch any fish? Well no, but in that duration neither did the fisherman! This last picture was on demand of the gentleman who escorted me out. And I guess my grin tells it all, it was such fun. If my nephew was not there I don’t think I would have asked to do fishing and what fun I would have missed on!

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17 thoughts on “Stick Fishermen and Fisher Woman from Koggala, Sri Lanka

  1. Anu

    Wow! That must be such an amazing experience. I’ve never heard of stick fishing so far, and after reading your experience, and seeing the pictures, I feel like going to SriLanka immediately! That straight away goes into my bucket list now!

    Reply
  2. Anuradha Shankar

    what an experience, Mridula! I saw your photos from Sri Lanka on fb, but wasnt able to see the post or comment since my comp had crashed… just catching up with all that i missed

    Reply
  3. Kumar Suhas

    Well stick fishing is something I am getting at for the first time. This must be thrilling. I understand the catching any fish is difficult so was for you.

    Reply
  4. My Say

    Mridula let me tell u .. u look gorgeous in that red dress..experimenting fishing in the wild waves… I am sure I missed one post … which declared you have already reached Lanka :) .. amazing capture … and I know Lankan beaches are awesome … and any traveler would spend gem of a time out there … enjoy !!!

    Reply
  5. Vishal Rathod

    First of all thanks for showing me this amazing and wondrous style of fishing . I had never heard of such type of fishing and thanks for sharing. Although I am a pure veggie and hence don’t like the act of fishing but full marks of the adventure, way and intelligence used in the process and yaa I envy you. :- ).

    Travel India

    Reply
  6. amasc

    What a lucky find, I am considering going to Sri Lanka in the summer so I’ll follow your posts with interest. Stick fishing – it looks like a lot of fun.

    Reply
  7. Kislaya Gopal

    Wow! It was so much fun to know about stick fishing. I did not know about this. Even I would like to try this when I go to Srilanka. It really looks so much fun :)
    Thanx for posting!

    Reply

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