Fishing is a great activity because it allows people of all ages to participate.
It does not matter if you are three or ninety-three, you can learn to fish.
Fishing takes place all over the world every day.
If you have any type of body of water nearby, chances are you can fish.
The question has been raised for many years about whether or not fishing is a sport.
There is quite a bit of debate on this topic, but we are going to give you our honest opinion.
Is Fishing a Sport?
Fishing is not a sport because it does not meet the requirements to be called a sport.
This will probably anger some fishermen, and we understand entirely.
However, fishing just does not qualify as a whole.
With that being said, there are times when fishing can be defined as a sport.
Fishing tournaments and competitions at a high level require a much different level of skill and understanding.
These types of fishing experiences are going to get much closer to the sports category than anything that happens at a fishing dock with a four-year-old and a bobber.
Let’s take a deeper look into why fishing is classified as a hobby and not a sport.
Why Is Fishing Not a Sport?
In order for an activity to be considered a sport, there are three things which need to be in place.
There needs to be physical exertion, skill, and competition.
Let’s look at these three aspects and see how fishing measures up.
1. Physical Exertion
Have you ever caught a shark?
Regardless of the size of the shark you catch, you are going to have to put up a good fight.
Sharks fight hard when they are caught.
Just when you think you may have one in the boat, it will pull back out, and you will have to fight to bring it back in.
Depending on how many lines you had out, it could take hours to pull a shark into the boat.
If you have ever fought a fish for more than just a few minutes, you know that fishing involves physical exertion.
If you catch a small bass in a pond, you may barely feel it when you reel it in, but this is not the case for all fish.
Depending on where you are fishing and the type of fish you are looking to catch, you will end up burning quite a few calories when fishing.
Many times, if you are out on a boat fishing, you will run into a school of fish.
This could mean that you have four or five lines out at a time, and they all hook up.
If this happens, you will be running from one pole to the next, trying to bring in as many fish as you can.
If this is not physical exertion, then it is hard to say what is!
Most people think fishing only requires reeling in.
However, when you catch larger fish, many times, you will also have to stay balanced on your feet and move around the boat.
If the fist you are trying to catch is heavy, this is quite difficult to do.
We know that fishing does not require running as football or basketball does, but there is physical exertion.
If this were the only requirement for fishing to be a sport, it would certainly qualify.
There is quite a bit of skill used in sports.
Whether you need to learn to throw or kick a ball, there is a lot of skill involved.
Some people never learn how to do these things in their lifetime.
If you think about fishing, the first skill that will come to mind is casting.
Casting takes a bit of skill.
You have to learn your hand positions, you may need a bit of force, and you have to learn timing as well.
This becomes much more complicated when you consider fly fishing.
This skill may not be as difficult as hitting a 300-yard drive in golf, but it is a valuable skill nonetheless.
Casting is not where the skills will end for fishing.
You will also find there are skills involved in fishing which go beyond the cast.
For instance, when a fish bites the bait on your pole, there may be different steps you should take.
Sometimes, if you start reeling, you will miss the fish.
If you wait too long, the fish may get away with your bait without ever getting hooked.
It is hard to attract a fish, harder to hook it, and even harder to get it in the boat.
There is skill involved in finding fish, attracting them, reeling correctly, and more.
If you have ever been fishing with an experienced fisherman, you will see how different they consider fishing to be.
There is quite a bit of depth involved in fishing and fishing well.
If you take the time to learn, you will see that there is a lot of skill involved in fishing.
If fishing could be a sport just based on the skill, it would certainly qualify.
Here is where fishing as it relates to the definition of a sport gets a bit tricky.
Unfortunately, there is not always going to be competition when it comes to fishing.
Because of this, fishing does not always qualify as a sport.
Of course, you could say that you are out there battling fish and competing against the sea, but there is no scoring system, and there is no organization to it.
There are, however, large, organized fishing tournaments each year.
The people who participate in these events are highly qualified individuals, and they will protest that fishing is, without a doubt, a sport.
It is hard not to agree with the critics on this topic.
When you add a competition to fishing, it checks all the boxes of being a sport.
That is why we believe that fishing is a hobby, but in some instances, it can be considered a sport.
For most of the average fisherman spending time on a dock on a Saturday afternoon, fishing is not a sport.
When you start to bring competition into the picture, then fishing really does qualify as a sport.
There are some activities and sports similar to fishing which struggle with this same issue.
For instance, many people believe golf is not a sport, that it is also just a hobby.
Golf has been widely accepted as a sport even though this still remains the belief of many people.
Is Fishing an Olympic Sport?
One method people will use to determine if something qualifies as a sport is to see if it is part of the Olympics.
Currently, fishing is not part of the Olympics, but it has been argued that it should be.
This dilemma has been brought to the Olympic committee several times to see if this could be a possibility.
Unfortunately, at this time, it has still not been added, and there is no ongoing discussion of adding it at the moment.
Typically, when a sport gets added to the Olympics, it can take years to finalize, which is not rare.
Is Fishing Popular?
If you live in an area where there is no access to water or where fishing is not a popular sport, you may be very surprised to learn how big fishing is.
In the United States’ coastal areas and in areas with access to larger lakes, fishing is extremely popular.
One of the reasons fishing has become so popular is that it can be very cheap to start.
You can begin fishing for a few dollars.
There are always fishing poles for sale at second-hand stores, and you can even borrow one from a friend if needed.
A fishing lure can be very simple, and you can even catch your own bait if you can’t afford to buy it.
However you decide to get into fishing, you will not have to break the bank to do so.
As you get more involved in the sport, you will see that it can be expensive.
If you want to have top-of-the-line fishing equipment, you will spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Of course, this is not at all necessary unless you are doing this for a living or as part of a competition.
As far as outdoor recreational activities go, fishing is one of the most popular options out there.
It is estimated that close to 50 million Americans participate in fishing.
These 50 million are spread out across saltwater, freshwater, and fly fishing.
Although you can fish at any age, many of the people who participate in fishing are younger.
It is an excellent social activity, and people can be of varying athletic ability and socio-economic status and still enjoy fishing together.
It is a bit harder to find a friend to go play rugby with you than it is to find someone to go fishing.
Of course, the more you spend time fishing, the more addictive it can be.
Even if you are catching and releasing fish, it is fun to get a picture with your prize-winning catch.
The Most Important Item to Bring Fishing
There are lots of discussions out there about the best fishing equipment and gear.
However, there is one thing you should never go fishing without, and that is your fishing license.
In most states, you need a fishing license to catch fish.
If you happen to get caught without a license, you will end up paying a fine.
It is certainly not worth the price you will pay.
If fishing is a hobby of yours, we recommend you renew your fishing license every year.
In some states, you can get your fishing license for four or five years at a time if you pay a little extra money.
This is a great thing to do if you know that fishing is a lifelong sport for you.
A fishing license is not all that expensive, but it helps to make sure the waters we all enjoy fishing in will remain sustainable for quite some time.
Some people will tell us that we are wrong about fishing.
There are die hard fishing fans who say that fishing is a sport without a doubt.
We understand where they are coming from, and in a competitive setting, we tend to agree.
However, when you are merely hanging out on a dock with some friends and a cooler, there is not enough competition in place to call fishing a sport.
If you can’t say that an individual or a team won, does it really qualify as a sport?
This topic will likely be debated rather heavily for years to come.