Is Fishing a Sport or a Hobby?
Some people are hesitant to call an activity, besides the basic sports played at schools, a sport. In the dictionary, a sport is a “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.”
Requires skill or physical prowess
Fishing requires practice, patience, skill and strength. Although we can use a fishing rod and reel, which does take some of the weight off, there are times fisherman are fighting against a 200-pound fish.
Big game fishing is tough on the muscles and takes strength to catch monster-sized fish, such as a 200-pound fish, on the line. It can take hours. After fighting for hours, soreness takes over. This is the same for baseball players or any other athlete playing in tournaments all day. Sometimes fishermen need more strength than other athletes.
Fishing is an activity involving physical exertion and skill. There is fly fishing, deep sea fishing, angling, and more. Angling is the most intense form of fishing. There are many fishing techniques you can use to reel in order to catch the biggest fish, but you need strength. Sports fishermen can even catch a 450-pound fish.
A man fishing off Puerto Vallarta, Mexico broke a record catching a 450-pound yellowfin tuna. This fish almost pulled the fisherman overboard when it dove down. Now that is deep sea fishing that requires physical strength.
Although not all sports require skill to prevent harm to the athletes, a lot of sports do. Sports, including fishing involves dangers, some more than others. Fishing is dangerous to begin with, especially offshore fishing because there is nothing but water for miles and miles. Think about it; if something happens, you hope someone will pass by or that your radio works perfectly to call for help.
It’s particularly dangerous, if you have to teach yourself and/or you go alone. Not to say, people who have been taught by a professional or a life-long fisherman won’t make mistakes, because it happens! It only takes one mess up. Someone could fall off the boat, and no one would know until he or she is miles out.
There have even been accidents where the fish will literally fight back; for example, a marlin will sometimes launch itself out of the water and swing its body around. If the fisherman doesn’t react quick enough, then he or she could seriously get hurt.
Just this year in Australia, two brothers were fishing on their five-meter hull inflatable boat and hit a marlin. After the hit, the marlin jumped onto the boat and swung its spear-like bill around, and the two were seriously injured. Danger and injuries are precautions to playing sports.
Throughout the year, there are fishing tournaments where people from around the world are challenged to catch the most fish or the biggest fish. There is a variety of tournaments, including tournaments for tagging marlin, catching bass, mahi-mahi, and more. Multiple fishing clubs, associations or charters create annual fishing tournaments for an individual or team competes. There are trophies and checks given to the winning teams.
There is competition between boating teams, but there is also friendly competition when buddies go out for a weekend to see who can catch more or have the biggest catch of the weekend. Titles, awards and bragging rights are the basis of a competition.
There are rules and regulations in each state that set a bag and length limit for specific species of fish to protect the species and the other marine life. In order to make sure people on the water are aware of the rules, they must register for a fishing license or permit.
There are recreational fishing licenses, which is the most common type, for-hire/charter fishing licenses and commercial licenses. You can get recreational fishing licenses to use gear, such as hook and line, rod and reel and other gear, to catch fish for recreational purposes. Charter licenses are for people running charter fishing vessels. Commercial licenses are for people who catch shrimp, crab, oyster, finfish, crawfish, reptiles and amphibians. States rules and requirements vary.
Is Fishing a Hobby?
There is leisure fishing, but that is not called a sport, it is a hobby. There is a difference between sport and hobby. Fishing does require one to meet a skill set, but not as much if you're fishing as a hobby. There is no competition in leisure fishing. Hobbies aren't taken as seriously as sports. There aren't rewards or trophies for hobbies.
Fishing Tournaments & Fishing Licenses:
Wear Performance Fishing Gear
People forget about the importance of performance fishing shirts. When you spend hours on the water in the heat, rain, or cold, the apparel you choose ultimately affects your performance. Long sleeve fishing shirts should have moisture-wicking, anti-microbial, quick dry, and ventilated fabrics. You should also have fishing shorts with multiple deep pockets, 4-way stretch, moisture-wicking and stain resistance features.