Although fishing is the oldest way of earning a living by catching and selling produce from the sea, it is also one of the most popular recreational pursuits. Sports fishermen use rods, reels, bait and tackle to help them catch the fish. It plays a big part in the tourist industry of areas where there are lakes and rivers well stocked with game fish and for deep sea charters taking avid fishing enthusiasts to the best places for larger fish species that are harder to catch.
In recreational fishing there are rules and regulations for the various areas to which one must adhere. There may be certain dates when a specific species of fish cannot be caught and at certain times of the year, certain rivers may be off limits. This is true of salmon during the spawning period. These rules also set out the types fishing equipment that can be used. The use of nets and traps are not permitted in this type of fishing.
The equipment used in fishing consists of:
- Rods – this is the fishing pole to which a length of line is attached. There are rods for catching certain sizes of fish and for freshwater and saltwater use. They come in various sizes ranging from 20 inches to 20 feet in length.
- Reels – this is the spool attached to the handle of a fishing rod. It is used for casting out the line into the water and for reeling it back in.
- Line – the type of line a fisherperson uses depends on the size of fish one wants to catch. To catch larger fish, you would need a very strong line so that it won’t break with the weight of the fish.
- Hook – this is a device used to snag the fish. It has a curved shape and a very sharp point.
- Bait – this is the food that you place on the hook to help lure the fish. As soon as the fish bites on the bait, the hook snags it and you can start reeling in. Lures are also used, which are bright and colorful. They attract the attention of the fish.
Fishing with a hook and line is also called angling. The main method used in recreational fishing is called trolling. In this method, you would cast out the line and slowly reel it in so that the lure just trolls through the water. It is used in catching small freshwater fish as well as big game fish. Coarse fishing is quite commonly used in the UK and Europe. In this method a float is used and the bait on the hook is suspended in the water. The angler does not move the line and waits for the fish to grab the bait.
Big game fish are those such as tuna, marlin and sharks. The primary reward in this type of fishing is the thrill of the catch. These anglers do not keep the fish but release it back into the water, once they have their photo or video taken standing next to it.