Thursday, December 22, 2011


The History of Fishing

Being a fishing enthusiast, I have always been interested in how this sport of mine has evolved throughout the ages. So, I did some research and found some very interesting facts.

Fishing started out as a means of survival rather than a means of entertainment and sport. As far back as 40,000 years ago there was evidence of fishing having been captured by the inhabitants of that time on cave walls with drawings. Fishing rods made from bone, wood or stone were known as "angles" which is where our term "anglers" comes from.
The Egyptians fished the Nile River which was rich with fish including eels, catfish and perch to name a few. Because of the primitive tools available at the time, the fish were usually clubbed to death after capture. Even references in the Bible tell of fishing nets and spears being used to take fish.
During the Roman Empire, fishing was considered an act of social status. Pictures and mosaics show people fishing from boats using rods and line as well as nets.
Fishing became a little more sophisticated in the 800 BC era. Wooden rods made from bamboo, ash or reed, to keep them lightweight, came into being. Hooks made from stones, bone or sharp twigs were used as well as fishing line made from horsehair or finely woven flax. Evidence also points to lead sinkers being used to take the bait deeper into the water. At this time, fly fishing came into being as it was discovered that fish would eat insects off the top of the water. Spearfishing was also popular as a fishing means.
Early native Americans used line tackle and a forgehook as their means of fishing. Sometimes plant toxins were used to stun the fish for easy capture. If some of these methods has a cruel touch to it, remember that fishing was a means of survival and not for sport. When it is a necessity, any means will do.
During the 17th and 18th centuries fishing rods become more modernized with the invention of guides placed on the rods to hold the line in place. The fishing reel came into existence also but was only used to hold extra line and were made from wood. From there it evolved to plastic and finally to steel as we have today.
Looking back through the history of fishing, the sport hasn't really changed that much. The objective is to catch fish. Only the methods and equipment have become much more challenging and much more fun. Although it is not really a necessity to fish anymore (because the grocery store has fish too!) it sure is exciting to get out there and experiment with all of the different gadgets on the market today, and when one works -- FISH ON!
With 63 years of fishing experience, I have put together a website where I share my fishing tips and experiences. I was raised on the banks of the Susquehanna River and fished my entire life with my father who was a fishing guide on that river. People came from all over (including Europe) to fish with my father. I have learned all that he knew and have put it all to good use. Although my father is gone now and I am no longer able to fish due to having lost both of my legs, I enjoy teaching others and passing along what I have learned for the sole purpose of enriching their experiences in this magnificent sport. Please visit my website at for more fishing tips and adventures as well as many fishing products selling at discount prices.

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