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Stilt Fishing

One of the oldest traditional fishing methods of Sri Lanka, stilt fishing is done on a vertical pole embedded on the sea floor. It is a very tough technique of sitting on a crossbar and the fishermen are at work from dawn to dusk catching fish. Places to witness such fishing are the southwest coastal towns Madu River, Koggala, Ahangama and Kaththaluwa. The fishermen here sit some meters over the water, so that they produce minimum shadow on the water and avoid any disturbance to the sea creatures.  The fishes caught are then collected in the bag that they tie on their waist. Best places to learn this art are Mirissa beach, Hikkaduwa Beach or Unawatuna Beach. Tourists can meet the fishermen and learn from them the tactics of fishing and also try hands on it.

History This practice came to Sri Lanka during the World War II when the seas were flooded with fishermen due to huge food shortage. Some of the people were smart and invented this technique to catch more fishes in one go.  This technique was more effective than fishing on capsized boats or downed aircraft. Stilt fishing was then passed on to generations and was common in Unawatuna and Weligama. 

Varieties of Fish from the Sea Fishes caught during stilt fishing are Spanish mackerel, Trevally, Skipjack tuna, Yellowfin tuna,Rockfish, Prawns and Lobster.

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