Dictionary of Ichthyology  

stilt fishing = a southwestern Sri Lankan fishing technique where a 3-4 m vertical, wooden pole is embedded about half a metre in the sea floor and has a cross-bar on which the fisherman sits. The fisherman uses one hand to hold on and use a pole and line in the other hand to catch spotted herrings and other fishes. The poles enable more fishermen to fish as rocky or reef outcrops to stand on are few. The hooks are not baited and fish are attracted by movement. Supposedly, the method is less disturbing to fish than use of nets, which would be difficult on rocky or reef areas anyway.

Stilt fishermen near Unawatuna, Sri Lanka from Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stilts_fishermen_Sri_Lanka_02.jpg

Canadian Museum of Nature