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fishing, act of catching fish. Fishing for sport, recreation, and relaxation is called sportfishing, or angling, derived from the Old English word angel, meaning “fishhook.” This article addresses angling; for information on large-scale commercial fishing.

Sportfishing may be done in fresh water or salt water. Freshwater fishing takes place in lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. Game fish in these waters include trout, bass, and many other species. They range in size, from fish as small as 0.25-kg (0.5-lb) bluegills to as large as 45-kg (100-lb) king salmon. Saltwater fishing occurs in oceans, estuaries, and tidal rivers. Game fish found in these waters tend to be larger than average freshwater fish. They include snappers, bonefish, striped bass, and tuna. Fish as large as 70-kg (150-lb) sailfish and tarpon, and 225-kg (500-lb) marlin, can be found.

The three most favored methods of fishing in both salt and fresh water are bait fishing (the use of live or dead bait placed on a hook), spin fishing (the use of metal or plastic lures), and fly-fishing (the use of feathered lures resembling either insects or small fish). In all three methods, a fisher chooses a rod, a reel, and line of an appropriate weight and strength. Lures are chosen that imitate the game fish’s prey.
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