Sri Lanka

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Fishing in Sri Lanka

With almost a thousand miles of coastline, it's no surprise that Sri Lanka is a hot fishing destination. Bordering the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, and Arabian Sea, as well as being home to more than 80 lagoons and estuaries, it’s a hotbed of fishing activity. Hop aboard a local Sri Lanka fishing boat and discover the riches of this island nation like never before!
 
With shallow, brackish waters inshore, plenty of wrecks nearshore, and deep waters just a stone’s throw away, Sri Lanka is home to a diverse fishery. Get ready for some serious action wherever you go, as you could be battling it out with Tarpon, Jacks, Barramundi, Snappers, Groupers, Mackerel, Barracuda, Trevally, Catfish, Jobfish, Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Marlin, and Sailfish all in a day’s work. 
 
The beauty of having the fish so close to shore is that you can spend as little or as long as you want out on the water. Trips start from three hours and go up to a couple of days, giving you the chance to tailor-make your adventure on a Sri Lankan fishing boat. Choose from inshore lagoon and river trips or offshore adventures, and you’re sure to get your hands on a prized fish. 
 
Deciding where to hop aboard a Sri Lankan fishing boat may seem like a tough choice, but keep an eye on the seasons, and you won’t go wrong. Head out of the west and south of the country, from resorts such as Negombo, Bartola, and Tangalle, from November through April. Meanwhile the inverse months will see a trip out of the east coast serving you better.

Rules & Regulations

Recreational fishing is free in Sri Lanka, so there’s no need to worry about grabbing a fishing license. Head out with a professional fishing guide and they’ll keep you up to date with all the latest bag and size limits, so you can focus on filling the boat!

Sri Lanka Fishing Seasons

It’s a new year, so why not start it with a new holiday? The western and southern coasts of Sri Lanka are prime for relaxing and thrilling fishing, so come and get your fish on while making the most of the sun.
Offshore season is in full swing in the deep waters of the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. Go after delicious Mahi Mahi and Tuna, or test your skills against some true prized creatures such as Marlin.
There’s still plenty of life left in the west and south, giving you the chance for a nearshore or offshore adventure. From Snappers, Groupers, and Trevallies, to Tuna, Marlin, and Mahi Mahi, there’s something for you.
Make the most of your last chance to hit the Arabian Sea and deeper waters of the Indian Ocean before the wet season arrives. Experience the last of the warm weather and grill up your delicious catch on the beach.
Attention shifts to the eastern side of Sri Lanka come May, with the warmer weather here attracting the fish, too. Get your fill of inshore, nearshore, and offshore fishing whenever you come aboard.
While rain threatens to put a downer on a trip to the west of the island, the east is experiencing the height of summer. Now’s your chance to get your fill of everything from Snappers and Trevallies to Marlin and Sailfish. 
Fishing out of Sri Lanka’s east coast has never been better, with all the country’s favorite fish showing up in their droves. Go after Barramundi, Snappers, Trevally, and even Marlin offshore.
There’s no sign of the rich fishing opportunities letting up along the east coast. From tough-fighting inshore fish, to delicious nearshore fish, out to the trophy-sized species offshore, there’s no end to what you can catch.
It’s your last chance to explore the famous waterways along Sri Lanka’s east coast, with the incoming monsoon season forcing your attention elsewhere. Get out on the water one last time and make the most of it.
While some may look at October as the quietest month for fishing in Sri Lanka, there’s still plenty of action. You may be hard-pressed to find a boat, but inshore will be your best bet along the rivers and lagoons.
It’s finally time to head back to the southern and western coasts, where the golden beaches are opening up again for tourists and the fishing is warming up, too. Go after anything from Tarpon, to Snappers, to Tuna!
There are few better places in the world to spend the holidays than the stunning surroundings of Sri Lanka. Combine your trip with a thrilling fishing adventure and get your hands on some truly prized creatures.

Sri Lanka Fishing Calendar

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Top Fishing Techniques in Sri Lanka

  1. Deep Sea Fishing

Top Targeted Species in Sri Lanka

Barracuda (Great)

Barracuda (Great)

Trevally (Giant)

Trevally (Giant)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Tuna (Yellowfin)

Snapper (Mangrove)

Snapper (Mangrove)

Jack Crevalle

Jack Crevalle

Jack (Almaco)

Jack (Almaco)

Catfish

Catfish