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fishing, act of catching fish for consumption or display. Fishing—usually by hand, club, spear, net, and (at least as early as 23,000 years ago) by hook—was known to prehistoric people. It was practiced by the ancient Persians, Egyptians, and Chinese, and it is mentioned in the Odyssey and in the Bible. It is a major means of subsistence and livelihood today, not only in societies such as those of islands of the South Pacific and other regions but also in most nations of the world (see fisheries).
The development of fishing as a sport or pastime is comparatively recent, although books on the art and philosophy of angling have been published since the early 16th cent.; the most famous work is Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler (1653). The basic equipment of modern sport fishing consists of a barbed metal hook at the end of a nylon or Dacron line, and a wood, fiberglass, or metal rod, or pole, that usually has some type of spool, or reel, near the handle around which the line is wound. Recreational fishing, which is practiced throughout the world, may be done in either fresh- or saltwater. The most popular game fish are salmon, trout, bass, and pike in freshwater, and sailfish, tuna, marlin, tarpon, and bonefish in saltwater. In the United States each state issues fishing licenses and sets regulations as to the season in which a certain species of fish may be caught, the minimum permissible size, and the number that may be taken per day. There are two basic types of freshwater tackle, those for fly casting and those for bait casting.
Fly rods and reels are light and require that a hooked fish be “played” rather than reeled in by force; they are used to catch fish that inhabit running streams, such as trout and salmon. Live bait (worms, insects, minnows, or frogs) or artificial flies and lures are cast into or on the stream as an enticement for the fish to bite.
A sturdier rod and reel are used for bait casting, which is done mainly in lakes and large rivers. Live bait or a variety of plugs, spoons, and other artificial lures can be cast and pulled in, “popped” along the surface, trolled from a moving boat, or allowed to rest near the bottom. Spinning tackle, which greatly simplifies bait casting by allowing the line to unwind more evenly, has become very popular.
Heavier rods and reels of the bait-casting type are used in saltwater fishing; trolling and casting from the surf are the usual methods. In big-game fishing, sport fishers troll the open ocean for large fish such as tuna, swordfish, and shark. The familiar bamboo pole, without reel, continues to be used for still fishing. Fishing with handlines through holes in the ice and spearfishing underwater are also popular. High-tech devices such as underwater cameras and sophisticated sonar displays have been introduced, but are regarded by many as unsporting.
There are many annual tournaments both for catching fish and for accuracy and distance in casting; records are kept for the largest catch in each species. The International Game Fish Association (founded 1939) standardizes rules for saltwater fishing throughout the world. The largest ratified catch of any type is a 2,664-lb (1,208-kg) white shark caught off the Australian coast in 1959.
See W. Radcliffe, Fishing from Earliest Times (1921); A. J. McClane, McClane's New Standard Fishing Encyclopedia and International Angling Guide (1974); A. von Brandt, Fish Catching Methods of the World (1984).
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In drilling, the operation by which lost or damaged tools are secured and brought to the surface from the bottom of a well or drill hole.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
phishingPronounced "fishing," phishing is a scam to steal valuable information by tricking novice users into handing over credit card and social security numbers, user IDs and passwords. Email was the original phishing "bait;" however, any means whereby users voluntarily divulge sensitive information may be considered phishing. For example, malicious apps in the Amazon Alexa and Google Nest virtual assistants have been known to trick users for their passwords.
How Email Phishing Works
Also known as "brand spoofing," an official-looking email is sent to potential victims pretending to be from their bank or retail establishment. Emails can be sent to people on any list, expecting that some percentage will actually have an account with the organization.
The email states that due to internal accounting errors or some other pretext, certain information must be updated to continue service. A link in the message directs the user to a Web page that asks for financial information. The page looks genuine, because it is easy to fake a valid website. Any Web page can be copied and modified to suit the phishing scheme (see website copying). Instead of a Web page, the user may be asked to call an 800 number and speak with a live person, who makes the scam seem even more genuine.
Anyone Can Phish
A "phishing kit" is a set of software tools that help the novice phisher copy a target website and make mass mailings. The kit may even include lists of email addresses. See pharming, phlashing, vishing, smishing, twishing and social engineering.
"Spear" Phishing and Longlining
Spear phishing is more targeted and personal because the message supposedly comes from someone in the organization everyone knows, such as the head of human resources. It could also come from a made-up name with an authoritative title such as LAN administrator. If even one employee falls for the scheme and divulges sensitive information, it can be used to gain access to more company resources.
The "longline" variant of spear phishing sends thousands of messages to the same person, expecting that the individual will eventually click a link. The longlining term comes from using a large number of hooks and bait on a long fishing line, and mobile phones are major targets for this approach.
Report a Suspected Scheme
Any suspected phishing scheme can be reported to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at www.antiphishing.org.
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