There are as many different fishing styles as there are people who fish—or fish in the sea. And in every case, the type of fishing they prefer determines everything from their destination to the schedule of the day. Whether you go angling in the lake, fly fishing on the river, or deep sea fishing in the ocean, you have something in common. You’re drawn to the idea of catching the water’s bounty with a rod and reel. As any fisher known, fishing isn’t always easy, but it’s always a challenge!
Every type of fishing comes with its specialized equipment. Fly fishers have their hip waders and flies that mimic the bugs fish naturally seek out. Anglers have their line weights, special hooks, and bait. Deep sea fishers seek out their catch by consulting fishing guides and charter companies. Many people were drawn to the art of fishing as children, when they examined the contents of their father’s tackle box and went on their first fishing trip. As adults, they may be fascinated by the gadgets of the sport, the depth-finders, chargers, maps, and cords.
Most people like to be comfortable while they’re fishing, whether that means dressing appropriately or bringing the right snacks and beverages in the boat. You may like to take an ice chest with you, stocked with cold drinks and goodies. Or a thermos of coffee might be the perfect way to warm things up on a chilly morning. And you’ll certainly want to take along sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and a windbreaker or several warm layers. Temperatures change quickly on the water, so you’ll want to be prepared.
And of course you’ll be prepared for the fish you’ll catch. Whether you practice catch-and-release or are hoping to take your trout home for dinner, you’ll need to be ready to handle the fish you pull in. Maybe they’ll hang outside the boat in a basket, waiting for the end of the day—or maybe they’ll swim out of your hands, back into the wild.
The popularity of fishing has never waned. In 2001, 16% of American adults spent an average of 16 days fishing. That’s 34 million anglers! Freshwater fishing is the most popular type. Anglers are busy fishing in America’s lakes and streams. Every year, more than 28 million anglers spend a total of 467 million days fishing.
Fishing has a magical, zen quality about it. Many people extol the meditative qualities of fishing and the power of being out in the early morning quiet. You may have some magical fishing memories of your own, times when you saw the fog lift right around you, or saw a group of loons swim by. You might have seen otters on the coast or been overcome by swarms of bugs on the lake. Maybe you’ve even pushed your fishing habits to the extreme. Have you ever toted your rod and tackle up a mountain trail to do some fishing in an alpine lake? Ever fished from a pier in the coast or waded directly into the surf? Maybe you’ve spent your time searching after that elusive type of fish, the salmon, rainbow trout, or tuna of your dreams. Whatever your fishing style, fishing is a part of your life that deserves to be celebrated. Why not try a new lake or river this weekend?