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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 fisheriesfisheries.
From earliest times and in practically all countries, fisheries have been of industrial and commercial importance. In the large N Atlantic fishing grounds off Newfoundland and Labrador, for example, European and North American fishing fleets have long taken cod,
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Sport Fishing

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 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.

Bait Casting

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.

Other Methods

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.

Competitive Fishing

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).


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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bantay Dagat personnel will monitor fishing in the waters off Davao Oriental and Davao Occidental, which are spawning ground for tuna and other fishes, it added.
[ClickPress, Tue Apr 16 2019] Fishing hooks continue to witness lucrative opportunities across countries on the backdrop of increasing number of fishing anglers worldwide.
The official said about Rs22805000 would be generated from auction of fishing rights of three units of River Indus and four small dams and reservoirs of public water bodies in the province.
The increase in fish catch to more efficient employment of 7,000 plus fishing boats, use of better fishing nets and hard work of fishermen.
The range of fish species consumed by fishing villages are largely unknown although tilapia species that are sourced from open access water bodies make a notable contribution to household consumption [1, 8].
The restrictions remain in effect in each basin until the exporting nations there agree on quotas and management programs and supply data to CITES showing that their fishing and research activities aren't jeopardizing sturgeon populations, says David H.W.
The problems associated with individual fishing quotas--privatizing a publicly owned resource, dubious environmental benefits, and detrimental impacts on coastal communities--cannot be remedied solely through community fishing quotas.
Finally, there's a shot of my two daughters, arms around each others' necks, proudly displaying a puny little bullhead that got tangled in their line while fishing off the Berkeley pier.
Tuck Donnelly was fishing for pollock on a boat off the coast of Alaska in 1991 when he became upset about the large quantities of fish he was forced to return to the sea.
Ironically the same lakes that have been so heavily used and abused by industry, support the largest freshwater fishery in the world, and both commercial and sport fishing are critical to the economy of the region.
"Competitive business people are driven, which is why they work hard and play hard," says Gebhard, a frequent visitor for sea kayaking and big game fishing. "Every month of the year there is something to do in Baja that is off the charts."
In Snakehead Terror, a low-budget horror movie broadcast earlier this year on the Sci Fi Channel, the residents of a small Maryland fishing town found themselves plagued by a species of fish accidentally transplanted from China: Channa micropeltes, otherwise known as the snakehead.