Sri Lanka has a dying tradition of Stilt Fishing. This unique method of fishing is when fishermen plant a stick on to the seabed. This stick has a pole attached to it, these expert fishermen climb up the stick and settle on the pole. They use their simple fishing equipment to catch fish. The Fish they catch are collected in a bag which is either tied to the pole or their waist.
The Sinhala term for Stilt fishing is Ritipanna (රිටිපන්න). It is important to note that this method is usually undertaken by the fisherman who do not have access to sophisticated fishing equipment. These fishermen make an honest living with the help of a stick and pole nailed together and a simple fishing rod made from a “Kithul Branch”.
Before the 2004 tsunami hit Sri Lanka, Stilt fishing was used throughout Sri Lanka. It truly is an amazing sight to witness, seeing groups of Fisherman perched on a stick above the water level. Though from afar this looks like a pretty easy task, Stilt fishing is one of the hardest types of fishing as it requires a great deal of Balance and Skill. Stilt fishing usually peaks during the time of the Southwest monsoon which is from may – through to September, due to the sea becoming too rough for the fisherman who uses boats, which makes them too resort to Stilt fishing.You can witness this amazing art at the beaches of Hikkaduwa, Ahangama, Habaraduwa, Mirissa, Koggala and many more.