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Recreational fishing refers to fishing for recreation or competition. When people talk about fishing being one of America’s favorite pastimes, they are actually talking about recreational fishing or sport fishing. If you have ever gone on a fishing trip with your family or friends, you have already done recreational fishing. In competitions, the sport is more intense but it’s still considered to be recreational.

Recreational fishing is different from commercial fishing and subsistence fishing. When people fish for profit, it’s known as commercial fishing. It’s a business where the fish is to be sold to wholesalers or other buyers. Some modern commercial fishing vessels use the latest technology to enhance capture efficiency. In subsistence fishing, people are fishing for survival. This means that the people are fishing for the sole purpose of feeding their family. Subsistence fishing involves the use of “artisanal” fishing techniques which are more traditional and low tech. Sometimes, subsistence fishing can spill over into low-scale commercial fishing in the event that the fishermen get a bountiful catch.

There are many reasons why people take part in recreational fishing. Just like gardening and farming, fishing allows people to get in touch with their natural selves. It’s such a thrill when you are able to harvest something from the land. Many people also love fishing because they get the chance to get closer to nature by making a trip to some river, pond, lake or sea. A fishing trip is a great outing for the entire family or a group of friends. There are also people who develop a lifelong passion for fishing so much so it become almost like a ritual. Also, fishing is known as a great way to relieve stress so that’s a reason why many people take up the sport. People who are more competitive may enter fishing tournaments to win some swell prizes.

Here’s a look at different types of sport fishing.

  • Fly Fishing: The technique involves the use of an artificial ‘fly’ which is cast with a fly rod, reel, and customized weighted line.
  • Ice Fishing: This type of fishing involves the use of lines with fish hooks or spears to catch fish through an opening in the ice.
  • Big Game Fishing: Also known as offshore sport fishing or blue-water fishing, it’s done in the sea or ocean. The sport refers to catching large fish like marlin, tuna, swordfish, sailfish, and sharks.
  • Trolling: Another type of offshore fishing, it involves dragging a lure or bait through the water, a few meters below the surface.
  • Bottom Fishing: This type of fishing is done in waters from 5 to 50 meters deep. Emperors, groupers, sharks, snappers, and other species of bottom-feeding fish are fished by using baited hooks.
  • Drift Fishing: Done on waters over 50 meters deep, the technique involves the use of hooks to catch swordfish.
  • Spear Fishing: This type of fishing involves the use of a harpoon which is shot from a rubber or elastic propelled spear gun. Target species are groupers, billfish, and tunas.

You will find numerous sport fishing areas in the United States. Depending on the type of fish you want to catch, there are different places to go. For salmon fishing, you may go to Alaska, Lake Michigan, Oregon or Washington. For bass fishing, the hot spots are found in Florida, Colorado, New Jersey, Texas, among others. If you like trout, you may go to Arkansas, Georgia, Minnesota, Maryland, and New Mexico. Some popular offshore sport fishing areas are found in Florida, California, and Alaska.

According a report by the American Sport fishing Association in 2008, there are some 40 million recreational anglers in the United States. It’s estimated that the annual fishing license sales top nearly $650 million and anglers donate about $200 million for conservation purposes. The retail sales generated by America’s anglers reach $45 billion and the total economic output related to fishing is around $125 billion per annum. Anglers also support about 1 million jobs in the United States. The rest of the article will provide the best resources to answer all your questions about sport fishing.

Sport/Recreational Fishing

Sport Fishing Techniques

Sport Fishing Equipment

Sport Fishing Tips

Fish Species

Fish Handling and Cleaning

Sport/Recreational Fishing Safety

Fishing Regulations and Rules