Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now

The History of Fishing

Posted on October 30, 2013 by Daniel Lofthouse

FishingThere are two sides to fishing, the commercial side and the sport side. While many don’t consider fishing to be a spectator sport, it is considered a sport none the less by many of the people who participate. Fishing for sport has its roots firmly in the commercial side of things however, as fishing began as a means to provide food.

Ancient History 
Fishing dates back to the very beginning of modern human life. Analysis of the remains of a 40,000 year old modern human in eastern Asia has shown that they regularly ate freshwater fish, which were probably an important part of their diet. A barbed fishing hook made from bone has also been found, as well as depictions of harpooned seals on cave walls, adding to the evidence.

We know that the Ancient Egyptians used barbed metal hooks to capture fish which were then beaten to death.  Some representations hint at fishing as a recreational pastime. In ancient Greek culture however, fishing does not have a high status in society and is rarely depicted.

Fishing boats at this time were usually small and without a mast, and were only used close to the shore.

Commercial Fishing
Fishing-2Gillnets are used in cultures around the world. The Middle East, North America, Japanese and northern Europe have used these nets since ancient times and still do use them to capture fish.

The 1960s saw that synthetic fibres such as nylon were used in fishing gear, and commercialized the use of gillnets. Cheaper, easier to handle and required less maintenance than natural fibres, it soon was used the world over. These nets have a bad reputation now however as they were used in the 1980s to target tuna. Although gillnets are selective when it comes to size, they also capture a high ratio of dolphins and whales to the amount of tuna caught.

Recreational Fishing
Fishing for sport took off during the 16th and 17th centuries with the publication of ‘The Compleat Angler, or Contemplative Man’s Recreation’ in 1653. As it stands, this book is one of the most reprinted books in English literature. Big game fishing started as a sport soon after the invention of the motor boat.

Today, fishing is very popular the world over; in some places more popular than golf. There are many tournaments to take part in, and with the internet, fishermen don’t even have to be in the same physical location.

If you’re interested in beginning fishing, you can’t go far wrong with Fishing Hut Carp Rods.

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