Stilt Fishing [ Ritipanna ]
Stilt fishing is a traditional practice of scarily balancing on a pole to use a fishing rod and an angled to catch fresh fish. The traditional style of fishing used by fisherman in the southern region of the island is known in Sinhalese as “Ritipannaya.” Popular and often seen in Koggala, Ahangama, and Mirissa.
Although it requires talent, expertise, and patience, fishermen who stand on a crossbar tied to a pole submerged in a river bank or shallow sea appear more at ease. The fishermen collect the fish in a bag tied in the waist or the pole.
According to Mahawansaya, fresh water fishing in Sri Lanka has a long history dating back to 161–137 B.C. However, stilt fishing in the shallow sea and riverbeds of the southern coastal area began after WWII and is still happening today, despite the introduction of modern fishing methods.
Ritipanna is a popular event that draws tourists and gives a breathtaking photography sight in the dawn and the twilight. Now taking photographs and the stilt fishing is more commercialized. If you want to sit on the pole and take a photo you will have to pay around 1000 rupees to 1500 rupees.
Head to the south if you want to learn stilt fishing and gain experience, the fishermen there will be happy to share their knowledge and tales with you. This is only available in Sri Lanka’s southern coastal region, specially in Koggala area.
If you are traveling to Sri Lanka Stilt fishing is one of the best scene you will have to see.