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Difference Between Angler & Fisherman

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Depending on where you look, an angler and a fisherman are either one in the same or totally different based on certain criteria. For all practical purposes, we went to old reliable, Wikipedia.org, to verify the actual definitions of each. See below…

Angler:  An angler is a fisherman who uses the fishing technique of angling. Angling is a method of fishing by means of an “angle” (fish hook). The hook is attached to a fishing line, the fishing line attached to a fishing rod, the fishing rod fitted with a fishing reel, etc., etc. You get the idea. Angling is a principal method of sport fishing, but commercial fisheries also use angling methods such as longlining or trolling.

Fisherman:  A fisherman is someone who captures fish and other animals from a body of water or gathers shellfish. The term can also be applied to recreational fisherman and may be used to describe both men and women.

As we looked further on the web, we found lots of different answers….

“A fisherman is like a duffer in golf. They go out there and just give it a try. They use bait and whatever they can find that might work. They are trying to catch fish to eat in most cases and are not just there for the sporting part of it although that can be a factor.
An angler uses specific equipment and practiced techniques that are designed to bring in large trophy-sized fish. Often, they don’t even keep the fish they catch. They practice catch-and-release often and rarely throw one in the cooler unless it is injured or they find it a particularly tasty type of fish. They are there particularly for the sport of it.”

  • Alchemist

“An angler is a proper term used for a person who fishes with a hook. For instance, a Woman Angler sounds better than a Fisherwoman. In another respect fisherman use many tactics besides a hook and line, so the term Angler clarifies that you have commercial fisherman which uses nets and traps to catch fish. They are not anglers (because they don’t use a hook), and they are called fisherman. That is the main difference between the two.”

  • Maria

“Fisherman: catches, nets, cages and gathers any one of, many or all animals and creatures living in from out of a body of water. 
Angler: catches by means of using an angle (hook)”

  • Artie

“The words are basically interchangeable. If there is any minor difference in usage, it is that “fisherman/fishing” can mean commercial or recreational fishing with nets, bow fishing, traps, hook and line, etc. While angling/angler are specific to using hook and line.”

  • Brian Sniatkowski

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