Angling facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Fishing off pier
Angling with a rod

Angling is a way of fishing by means of an "angle" (fish hook). The hook is usually attached to a fishing line. The line is often attached to a fishing rod. Fishing rods are usually fitted with a fishing reel. The reel is used for storing, getting back and paying out the line. The hook itself can have lures or bait added to attract fish.

Angling is the main method of sport fishing. Some commercial fisheries also use angling. Catch and release fishing is done by more and more recreational fishermen.

Hooks

The use of the hook in angling is descended, historically, from what would today be called a "gorge." The word "gorge", in this context, comes from the French word meaning "throat." Gorges were used by ancient peoples to capture fish and animals like seal, walrus and birds. A gorge was a long, thin piece of bone or stone attached by its midpoint to a thin line. The gorge would be baited so that it would rest parallel to the lay of the line. When the game would swallow the bait, a tug on the line would cause the gorge to orient itself at right angles to the line, thereby sticking in the fish or animal's throat or gullet. Gorges evolved into the modern fishing hook which is a J shaped wire with a loop on one end and a sharp point on the other. Most hooks have a barb near the point to prevent a fish from unhooking itself while being reeled in. Some laws and regulations require hooks to be barbless. This rule is commonly implemented to protect populations of certain species. A barbed hook could kill a fish if it were to penetrate the gills.

Baits

Which of the various techniques an angler may choose is dictated mainly by the target species and by its habitat. Angling can be separated into two main categories: using either artificial or natural baits.

Green Highlander salmon fly
Green Highlander, an artificial fly used for salmon fishing.

Artificial baits

Many people prefer to fish solely with lures, which are artificial baits designed to entice fish to strike. The artificial bait angler uses a man-made lure that may or may not represent prey. The lure may require a specialised presentation to impart an enticing action as, for example, in fly fishing. A common way to fish a soft plastic worm is the Texas Rig.

Natural baits

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The rat-tailed maggot is a popular fish bait

The natural bait angler, with few exceptions, will use a common prey species of the fish as an attractant. The natural bait used may be alive or dead. Common natural baits for both fresh and saltwater fishing include worms, leeches, minnows, frogs, salamanders, octopus, squid, insects and even prawn . Natural baits are effective due to the real texture, odour and colour of the bait presented.

The common earthworm is a universal bait for fresh water angling. Grubs and maggots are also excellent bait when trout fishing. Grasshoppers, bees and even ants are also used as bait for trout in their season, although many anglers believe that trout or salmon roe is superior to any other bait. In lakes in southern climates such as Florida, fish such as sunfish will take bread bait. Bread bait is a small amount of bread, often moistened by saliva, balled up to a small size that is bite size to small fish.

Spreading disease

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Fathead minnow — a common bait fish

The capture, transportation and culture of bait fish can spread damaging organisms between ecosystems, endangering them. In 2007, several American states, enacted regulations designed to slow the spread of fish diseases, including viral hemorrhagic septicemia, by bait fish. Because of the risk of transmitting Myxobolus cerebralis (whirling disease), trout and salmon should not be used as bait.

Anglers may increase the possibility of contamination by emptying bait buckets into fishing venues and collecting or using bait improperly. The transportation of fish from one location to another can break the law and cause the introduction of fish alien to the ecosystem.

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Angling Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.