If you are considering picking up sport fishing as a hobby, you may think there is only one option, fishing with a rod and reel. Perhaps you have been sport fishing for a while and need a new challenge. Contrary to popular opinion, there are many different techniques for sport fishing or recreational fishing. The five techniques outlined below are among the most popular with variations of each depending on water type and the type of fish you are targeting.
Hand gathering is perhaps one of the simplest methods of sport fishing. It can be as simple as picking shellfish off the beach or digging for clams and crabs. Seafood that can be hand gathered include oysters, clams, scallops, lobsters, crayfish, and crabs. In Asia, sea cucumber and sea urchins are also hand gathered. In different areas of the United States, catfish can be caught by hand. There is little to no equipment required to gather these sea foods.
Spearfishing is an ancient sport fishing technique that has been used throughout the world since the beginning of civilization. It began with fishers using sharpened sticks to spear fish in rivers and streams. However, in sport fishing today, there are elastic powered spear guns and slings as well as compressed gas pneumatic powered spear guns. These tools are used to target fish and have been developed to operate in different water environments. Spearfishing is also popular for those free diving, snorkeling or scuba diving. It is highly selective because of the targeting and normally there is no bait used. Shore diving is considered the most common form of spearfishing. Divers enter and exit the sea from breaches or other ocean structures to hunt at depths of about 16 to 82 feet, depending on their location. In the South Pacific, sharks and reef fish can be popular catches. Shore divers use both trigger-less spears like pole spears and triggered spear guns.
In netting, a fishing net is used for sport fishing. The nets are made from fibers woven in a grid-like fashion. Some fishing nets, also called fish trips, are meshes formed with thin thread. Many of the early nets were made from grasses, flaxes and other plant materials. Most modern nets are made from materials like nylon, wool or silk.
There are different techniques of netting depending on the type of fish that is being targeted. For example, there is the bottom trawl, a large conical shaped net that is towed along the sea bottom while being pulled by one or more boats. A cast net used to catch schools and small fish, is a net with small weights on the edges which are thrown by the sport fisher. Sizes for the nets vary and the fish are caught as the net is pulled back in. A dragnet is essentially any net that is dragged or hauled across a river or along the bottom of a lake or sea. A drift net is a net that is drifting in the current and not anchored.
Angling, perhaps the most common type of sport fishing, is the method of fishing with a fish hook. The hook is attached to a fishing line and the line is attached to the fishing rod. The fishing rod typically has a fishing reel used to store, retrieve and send out the fishing line. Many who sport fish for a hobby practice catch and release since they are not fishing for consumption or profit. On their excursions, they are likely to capture exotic fish, take photographs and weigh the fish before releasing them back into their habitat. Anglers use different types of bait, fake and live, depending on the type of water they are fishing in and the type of fish they are targeting.
A fish trap is a more primitive yet effective means of sport fishing. The fish traps often have the style of a lobster trap. A normal trap has a frame of thick steel wire in the shape of a heart with chicken wire stretched around it. There is mesh wrapped around the frame and it tapers into the inside of the trap. When a fish swims inside through this opening, it cannot escape, essentially trapping the fish.