Cormorant Fishing Photography Session


Cormorant fishing has been one of the oldest fishing techniques for Yangshuo fishermen, all named Huang for hundreds of years, it's a dying art of fishing and thanks to booming tourism in Yangshuo, it's saved and still practiced for tourists or for themselves one way or another. See more details on the page, Cormorant Fishing.

Drive up to Xingping from Yangshuo, I'm taking a couple of photographer tourists to be in a photography session with a fisherman with 3 cormorant birds. Xingping is in the most beautiful stretch of the Li River, we choose a little island in the middle of the Li River to do the session. The picture on the back of 20 RMB was also taken from that angle. Fishermen use other kits like casting net to fish at a shallow area of the river.

After we get everything ready, the fisherman dressed in traditional fishing costume, a bamboo raft and his 3 birds, the photographers started taking pictures, I took a couple as well, for sure, I'm not as good as them at making good pictures.

Fisherman flap the water to chant the birds to go fishing.

Fun facts for cormorant fishing in Yangshuo;

  • All the cormorant fishermen named Huang, it is only them that are allowed to have cormorant birds.

  • Cormorant birds' life-span up to 20 years.

  • Adult female birds are smaller in size than males, also less aggressive less colorful, fishermen know which bird is fine to take picture with.

  • Fishermen don't breed the birds, they buy the birds from special hatcheries, they are only in charge of training them to fish.

  • Traditional fishing costume is made of water-proof palm tree bark.

  • Best cormorant fishing time for fishermen is at night in winter.

  • Cormorant birds can catch fish as big as their body size.

  • Best filming time is early in the morning when lighting is the best, but also possible to do it during the day.

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