Benefits Of Fishing As A Sport

Every product is independently selected and reviewed by Call Of The Wild editors, but we may earn commissions for purchases made through our links (no added cost for you)

What Is Sport Fishing?

Sport fishing entails angling for recreational or competitive purposes. In other words, you do it for fun rather than for food or survival. This can include saltwater sport fishing or freshwater sport fishing.

Sport Fishing For Beginners And Pros


Sport fishing varies greatly in the desired fish species, equipment used, and location. Some instances allow for novice anglers to go sport fishing on the fly, without much preparation or planning. For example, beginner anglers can practice their skills in ponds, rivers, or Great Lakes sport fishing from the shore. The more controlled environments work well for those who are just starting out.

Here is a beginner’s guide to fly casting.


More advanced and adventurous fishermen can choose to go offshore sport fishing. This often entails going after much larger fish and requires a lot more skill and preparation. For example, ocean sport fishing or deep sea sport fishing adventures can include large game fish like shark and tuna. It should go without saying that going after sharks and tuna is a lot different than trout and bass.

A Brief History Of Sport Fishing

Mature man fishing on the lake from inflatable boat
Image: Dudarev Mikhail, Shutterstock

Fishing for the purpose of recreation gained popularity around the 16th century. In 1653, Izaak Walton published a book called The Complete Angler. The book is one of the earliest works that describes fishing’s value as a recreational pastime.

It is historically ambiguous when exactly recreational fishing began. Fishing, traditionally, was an activity for purposes of sustenance and survival. Fishing purely for fun and releasing caught fish is a much more modern development.

The evolution of sport fishing to big game fishing was made possible by motorized boats and the western adaptation of the kayak. The invention of big game fishing is largely attributed to Dr. Charles Fredrick Holder, who in 1989 published several articles and books on the subject. His works contain accurate scientific details and describe the excitement of the sport.

Reasons To Go Sport Fishing

There are a number of reasons why recreational fishing has become so popular in North America. We outline some of the more important ones here for you.

Social Activity

Recreational fishing has a way of bringing people together. It is an excellent way to gather your kids or best friends and enjoy long, unobstructed hours of fun, conversation, and good times. You can make many memories and take photos to remember them by.

Stress Relief

Fishing is one of the best ways to get away from the stresses of everyday life. You will not find traffic jams, meetings, or credit card statements when you are out fishing.

Fun, Thrills, And Excitement

The thrill of pursuing big game fish can not fully be described in words or even in sport fishing pictures. You need to be there to understand what it feels like to reel in a giant fish or to feel the rush when you encounter a shark in the open waters.

Feeling Of Accomplishment

Senior friends fishing by the lake
Image:, Shutterstock

Fishing is quite challenging and overcoming these challenges brings about feelings of success and accomplishment. To be successful you often need to plan carefully, review the fishing and weather reports, choose the right equipment, and of course – get lucky. Even the most experienced fishermen are subject to luck on some days. Finally, when you do catch the trophy fish that you have been chasing for a long time, there is an undeniable sense of achievement.

Food As A Bonus

Many anglers choose to catch and release, going fishing purely for the sport. However, there are also times when you are salmon sport fishing and find a way to land a large one. While overfishing is harmful, there is nothing wrong with bringing a few fish home for the family when and where it is allowed. Fish contain many vitamins and minerals that are highly recommended by nutritionists as part of a healthy diet. In addition, there are many delicious and healthy recipes for cooking a wide variety of fish.

Sport Fishing Species

Saltwater Sport Fishing Species

Some of the more common salt water sport fishing fish species include: marlin, tuna, tarpon, sailfish, shark, mackerel, snook, redfish and salmon.

Freshwater Sport-fishing Species

Popular North American sportfishing freshwater fish species include: bass, trout, pike, catfish, walleye, perch, rock bass, sunfish, and crappie.

Sport Fishing Seasons

Recreational fishing can be enjoyed year-round. Of course, spring, summer, and fall are the seasons when majority of recreational fishing occurs. Winter fishing in the southern states of the US is less of a problem as temperatures are usually permitting. However, American northern states and Canadian sport fishing during the winter is more of a problem. As temperatures drop, many fishing enthusiasts wrap up for the winter season in the cold regions. Those who choose to continue fishing in the winter can enjoy ice fishing.

Ice Fishing

winter fishing. Roach fish catch on snow
Image: Dmitry Kalinovsky, Shutterstock

Ice fishing is not for everyone. If you are willing to handle the cold to enjoy your favorite pastime, then it is definitely something to try out. For your northern sport fishing adventure you will need to prepare the right clothes, equipment, and read up on the safety and regulations for your destination. This can be the perfect idea for a unique Northern sport fishing trip.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Jack Bollinger
Born in Massachusetts, Jack is an avid fisherman most of his life. He is currently a fishing guide in the bay of California. He has been fishing for more than 40 years and fly-fishing for more than 30. His favorite fish to catch is the rainbow trout and small-mouth bass. He has earned many top places in different lake fishing competitions.

More from author

10 Best Headlamps for Fishing in 2021

Most fishermen/anglers can attest to the fact that nighttime fishing is very peaceful. However, you need a movable light source to help you point...

The 10 Best Telescopic Fishing Rods For 2021

Long fishing rods are very practical because they allow you to cast the bait far out. However, this design is not easily portable. Sure, you...

The 10 Best Baitcaster Combos for 2021

If as an angler you are planning to up your fishing game, it is essential to be careful with what you purchase. One of...

The 10 Best Fly Fishing Reels for 2021

For successful fly fishing, you need the necessary tools for the job and this includes a fly fishing reel. Unlike most of the other...