Fishing with a kite – the Traditional and Modern way

When i went to the Muna Island Kite Festival in August 2009, next to the Sulawesi Island, 4000 km ouest of Jakarta, 300 km est of Borneo, i saw lots of great leaf kites flying high in the sky, but i did not have the chance to see one of the great tradition in flying kites : KITE FISHING.

Back from fishing with kites

Back from fishing with kites


As Wikipedia tels us, even if it is sed that some allusions were done about kites in the greek litterature, it was probably invented in south-est asia, chinese people say China, Indonesian people in Indonesia, New Guinea people…


We all know about the use of kites for war, specially to observe the battle field, but one of the first use of kites was for fishing. There are two different uses for Kites :

• They can provide boatless fishermen access to waters that would otherwise be available only to boats.

• Similarly, for boat owners, kites provide a way to fish in areas where it is not safe to navigate such as shallows or coral reefs where fish may be plentiful. Kites can also be used for trolling a lure through the water.

In the traditional kite fishing, suitable kites may be of very simple construction. Those of Tobi Island are a large leaf stiffened by the ribs of the fronds of the coconut palm. The fishing line may be made from coconut fiber and the lure made from spider webs.

The kite itself is often made from a single dried leaf of a local orchid, strengthened by a pair of slender bamboo rods threaded through the leaf near the margins and crossing one another at the top and bottom. It is most often flown from the end of a long pole, and operated by the fisherman in the front of the canoe. A line extending from the bottom of the kite carries tha bait. There is no hook, only a loop of line. The bait can thus be played on the surface of the water, a long distance from the boat. The fish, usually garfish cruising in shallow water, are snared by their tooth jaws and pulled in by the fisherman.

In Lampung, the water near Mutun village where kite fishing is practiced is known as Hurun Bay. Today, most kite fisherman there plastic and bamboo to build their kites.

Some informations on a japanese website :



A amazing video from the Melanesian Salomon Islands, Santa Cruz Archipelago, 1967 :
all the informations about that movie : http://www.hawaii.edu/oceanic/film/filmdb/1218.html


Here is are some pictures in Sulawesy, Indonesia :

A great movie from Thierry DAMILANO filmed in September 2007 in Tongkeina, North Sulawesi, Indonesia :

Some more informations about traditional kite fishing :



Modern kite fishing

Modern kite fishing

kitefishing manual

kitefishing manual

Modern kite fishing is popular in New Zealand where large delta kites of synthetic materials taking a line and hooks far out past the breakers are used to fish from beaches. Kite fishing is also emerging in Melbourne where sled kites are becoming popular, both off beaches and off boats and in freshwater areas. Members of the disabled community are increasingly using kites for fishing, as the kites allow them to cast the bait further out than they would otherwise be able to do. kites are also used to fishin the USA, but not so much in Europe. This technic helps to fish very big fishes which are far from from the shore (200/500 meters ) – (650-1,650 ft)

Kites may have originally been developed in Indonesia as a device for catching game by a very resourceful people. One of the most remarkable of fishing methods involves the use of a kite, attached to the fishing line, then flown over the water past surf and obstructions. Kite fishing has been practiced throughout the South Seas for centuries, but it appears that it originated in West Java, where it spread to the Malay Peninsula.

Modern kite fiching : pêche au cerf-volant moderne

in french :

Selecting a modern kite to fish :

Some other modern kites



Modern Kite Fishing :

5 Responses to “Fishing with a kite – the Traditional and Modern way”

  1. 1 poupoupidou
    October 7, 2009 at 11:21 am

    extraordinaire !!!


  2. 2 oz
    November 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    i dont understan how does the clip relase is the bait line? Does it brakes? how does it works? And do you use some kind of spacer or stopper beatween the line clips for using 2 baitet line on one kite line?
    Thank you very much.

  3. 3 oz
    January 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    oh never mind i know how it is works now .
    Even i got everything i need to start to do some kite fishing.
    Just waiting for good wind :))

  4. March 29, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Right now it looks like BlogEngine is the best blogging platform available right now.

    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

  5. January 31, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    Hi! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My blog looks weird when viewing from my iphone. I’m trying to find
    a theme or plugin that might be able to correct this problem.
    If you have any suggestions, please share. Many thanks!

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October 2009

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