The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Fishing is both the recreation and sport of catching fish (for food or as a trophy), and the commercial fishing industry of catching or harvesting seafood (either fish or other aquatic life-forms, such as shellfish). Fishing is done in a river, canal, lake, sea or ocean, from the shore, or from a boat or ship.


Commercial fishing

Main article Fishing industry

Commercial fishing is often called the most dangerous occupation in the world. Fishing provides a large quantity of food to many countries around the world, but those who practice it must often pursue fish far into the ocean and during bad weather. Commercial fishermen harvest almost all aquatic species, from tuna, cod and salmon to shrimp, lobster, clams, and squid. Commercial fishing methods have become very efficient using huge nets and sea-borne processing factories. Fishing has been increasingly restricted often integrated with varieties of fishing rights allocation schemes, and international treaties have sought to limit the yearly fishing effort.

Commercial fish raising in the forms of aquaculture and mariculture supplement the free-range catch of fish.


Recreational fishing

Recreational fishing is generally done with a pole (fishing rod) and line with a small number of hooks, a technique known as angling. Laws usually limit the number of lines and hooks that one fisherman can use and the number of fish that can be harvested. Many species of fish are pursued by recreational fishers for various reasons. Popular sport species of fish include bass, pike, muskellunge, marlin, and swordfish--fish that are a challenge to catch and provide good trophies. Species of fish harvested by sportsmen for eating include perch, trout, salmon, and sunfish.

Laws generally prohibit the use of nets and catching fish with hooks not in the mouth. However some species can be taken with nets for bait and a few for food, like smelt. "Trash" (non-sport) fish considered of less value can sometimes be taken by multiple methods like snagging, bow and arrow, or even gun because they are seen as competing with more valuable fish.

Recreational fishing laws may also cover other aquatic species, such as frogs and turtles.

Sport fishing is a recent phenomenon of recreational fishing where fisherman compete for prizes based on the total weight of fish caught in a time limit. This sport evolved from local fishing derbies into a large competition circuit in the U.S.A. with professional fishermen competing supported by professional endorsements, and other large-scale tournaments around the world.

How to fish

When fishing, keep at some distance from the margin of the stream, so that your shadow may not fall upon the water, and frighten away the fish; to avoid the same consequences, do not indulge in laughter or loud conversation.

If the water is still, use smaller pieces of bait; if there is a strong current, use large pieces; do this quietly and cautiously, for fish are so wary and suspicious, that it requires the nicest delicacy and management to circumvent them.

When the wind blows right across the water, fish with your back to the wind, as you will not only be able to throw your line better, but the fish will be on that side, attracted by the flies and other natural bait which the wind will blow into it.

The common angle worm is a universal bait for fresh water angling. They grow almost everywhere except in sandy soils. The common white grub is also used successfully in trout fishing. They are found in fresh ploughed earth, and under old stumps, decaying foliage, etc. The grasshopper is also good for trout in his season. The trout or salmon spawn will attract trout quicker than any other possible bait. Caterpillars, crickets, flies, locusts, beetles, etc., are good for trout.

Live bait consists of the minnow, the shiner (or mullet), the goldfish and other small fish. Ponds of these fish are kept by those who furnish baits, and by some habitual sportsmen.

The frog is an ideal bait for pickerel. They are sometimes used whole, but in cases where the fisherman uses the hind legs only, they should be skinned.

For saltwater fishing, the shrimp is the leading bait. The shedder crab, in its season, is most effective, particularly for striped bass. The soft shell clam, cut in small pieces, is a good bait for many kinds of sea fish. The horse mackerel or small blue fish is an ideal bait. Where the tide runs swift, use the tail, leaving on the fins.

Preparing baits

We have before said that salmon roe was an ideal bait for trout. The roe of large trout or salmon trout is just as effective. These are tempting baits for many other fresh water fish besides the trout. Old fishermen preserve it as follows: First put it in warm water, not hot enough to scald much - then separate the membranous films - rinse it well in cold water and hang it up to dry. The next day salt it with two ounces of salt and a quarter of an ounce of saltpeter to the pound of roe. Let it stand another day and then spread it to dry. When it becomes stiff put it in small pots, pouring over each some melted mutton tallow. You can then use a pot of preparation as you may want it for bait. This is ideal for trout, and indeed for almost any fry in fresh water.

To tie a hook to a line

Stone Age fishing hook
Stone Age fishing hook

Prepare, by waxing with shoemaker's wax, a piece of strong silk or thread; take your hook in your left hand between your thumb and forefinger, about as high up as the point of the barb or a little higher, as you may fancy; place the end of your silk under your thumb, take three or four random but firm turns around the shank of the hook until you reach the end (for the purpose of preventing the gut being cut by the hook, and moreover that your gut may stick firmly without the possibility of coming off;) now lay your gut or line (the inside of the hook, up) on to this winding, holding it with the end of the thumb, and commence whipping it around firmly and closely, occasionally pressing the turns to keep them even; continue this operation until you get within three or four turns of the finishing point; in order to fasten firmly - give three loose turns, then insert the end of your silk under them, and drawing it through, you have a secure fastening, called the hidden knot. Another method of finishing when you have arrived at the fastening point, is to make two or three half hitch knots; this is done by passing the end under one turn of the silk, making a loop, and drawing it down. The hidden knot is the better and most secure mode.

Catch and Release

Catch-and-release fishing is increasingly practiced especially by flyfishermen, as well as spin and baitcasting fishermen, to increase conservation and to protect rare fish such as marlin. The practice is however disputed as it by some is considered unethical to perform painful actions to the fish for fun and not for the reason of food production. Because of this, catch-and-release practice is illegal in Norway....

Collection of Live Fish

Fishes can also be collected in ways that do not injure them (such as in a seine net), for observation and study or for keeping in aquaria. There is a substantial industry devoted to the collection, transport, export and farming of wild and domesticated live fish, usually freshwater or marine tropical fish.

Live fish are also collected for food and kept in aquaria in seafood restaurants.

See also:

External links

The contents of this article are licensed from under the GNU Free Documentation License. How to see transparent copy