There are thousands of species of fish that range from saltwater to freshwater and continent to continent. Throughout the history of mankind fishing has provided a means of survival for human beings on the earth. In the pages to follow one will experience the history of fishing in many ways. History such as the earliest known forms of fishing, advancement of equipment, fishing for sport, and the fish market, will provide information about the relationship between humans and fish throughout the ages. The history must start somewhere and the beginning of the first humans to consume fish would be a good start.
Before there was agriculture and the domestication of animals, the preferred method of life for humans was that of hunting and gathering. Early nomads ate all types of eatable wild vegetation and hunted all kinds of animals including fish. In an article on the methods of fishing, an unknown author states, “The Upper Paleolithic period is the time in which scientists are first discovering that these people fished. ” (1) This statement shows how early man went to the waters to seek food to survive. One can only imagine what it was like for the first person to catch and consume such a weird return.
With hard slimy looking scales and fins fish do not look very appetizing from the outside, but once a bite had been taken nomads would soon realize that they had struck nature’s eatable gold. Fish would go on to become a vital resource for man all around the world. In some areas it would become the main food source for whole villages or groups of family. Without the discovery of catching and eating fish living would have been much harder due to the limited supply and choice for food. In order to get these new found treasures man started to think of ways to catch these aquatic animals.
The first known form of catching fish were primitive tools and by hand. Author Robert Lackey says, “Early humans obtained fin fish, shellfish, and other aquatic life along the shores of lakes, rivers, and oceans” (2) explaining how the first humans found fish and other sea life. People used sharpened wooden stick and rocks to make spears to kill the fish. This method worked great for many areas of world. The person would either walk around the shallow water of tidal pools or shallow creeks and ponds or spear small fish to eat.
When these smaller fish ran out of became inefficient to eat man moved to deeper water. New techniques and ways of catching fish began to develop through this expansion. Another primitive way that man caught fish was through traps. When the fish were to small and quick to kill with a spear man devised ways to wrangle or trap them. There are hundreds of different types of traps that were made and used around the world and all had there different applications. The most common traps used to catch fish involved smaller fish where the oceans and seas meat land.
Early natives would find shallow tidal pools along the shore that had low natural trenches that fed into these pools, when the tied came in eater would cover the pool and the trench. When the water was still at high tide the person would block the trenches with stones and large rocks, when the tied went out the water way through the trench would be blocked. This in turn would trap the fish until the tide came back in making it easier for the fish to be caught. This technique worked great due to the vast amount of life that live in tidal regions all along the coast.
Inland where there is no tide to work with natives had to come up with more advanced techniques. Man of this era in time should be given great credit for the engineering feats that where accomplished to trap fish. Natives devised many ways of building traps for inland lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers to catch fish, but all traps we made along the same lines. Most of these inland fish traps used sticks and vines to construct a way to wrangle the fish. Natives would build small pens that met the shore and touched the bottom below the water and fabricate a gate or door on the opposite side of the bank.
They would bait the water inside the pen with bugs and natural vegetation that the fish eat and wait for the fish to swim in, once the fish here inside the pen the door would be shut trapping the fish. Trapping and spearing fish proved to be a great way to catch fish but better techniques would prove to be more efficient and successful. Although the traditional primitive ways of catching fish worked and provided a means food for natives, advancements were needed. After the time of spears and traps it was some time before the next great idea came along for fishing.
When the smaller fish became inadequate for natives, they must have figured out a way to catch the bigger fish that could be seen from the shore. This set off ideas to catch these bigger fish which in turn lead to the line and hook. Long lengths of cordage and line were used to tie an improvised hook to the end of the line. There are many different versions that these improvised hooks were made, but for the most part they were all made from either wood of bone that was readily available.
The wood of bone would be ground or chip away until a fine point was on one or both sides of the hook, these were then wrapped in bait and tied to the line or cordage. The shape and size of these hooks varied from region to region but all similar in methods of use. The invention of the hook is the single handedly the most important advancement in the history of fishing. The line and hook method allowed man to fish in open deep water and pull in the fish attached to the hook by hand. After the hook and line way of fishing began tying the line to ends of sticks casting their bait into deeper water from the shore.
These simple line and hook methods were used well into modern day, where we now have more advanced technologies. It was a long time before the next great thing in the world of fishing was invented, but it leads to many new things and possibilities. This new invention was the casting reel; it separates how man fishes now from the past. This new casting reel was made of metal and engineered to perfection. As stated in an article on the history of fishing equipment, J. Dillon states, “British reel maker Ingenious Gustafson advertises the first multiplying reels, forerunners of today’s batterers” (1).
It consisted on a metal spool that was geared to a turning handle that allowed one to cast the bait on the end of the pole into the water and retrieve it much faster and more efficient than by hand. To accompany this now reel designated poles for the ewe invention were being made. Starting off as bamboo and other sturdy flexible woods, maker’s fashioned little rings know as eyes to guide the line up the pole and out of the reel. With these two things it allowed anyone to fish, making it easy to do and readably available.
This opened the world of fishing up to a whole new world, instead of fishing for food people started to fish for leisurely fun. Along with the rod and reel, new artificial baits were being made and made even easier for the average person of the era to go out a fish, whether it is for fun or food. These new artificial its allowed people to go out and be fishing as soon as they reached the water, instead of need to catch or buy this time purchase live bait. The technology of fishing equipment kept growing exponentially and greatly affected the history of fishing, and its effects on mankind.
As the fishing equipment grew so did the ideas and competitiveness of fishing. As the things used for fishing became better and more easy to use, more people started to fish for fun rather than to survive. When easy to use fishing equipment became available to anyone, the number of anglers increased y the thousands. Author R. Garrison, in an article of the advancement of fishing, states that “From the end of World War II until the late sass, rods, reels, and types of line improved faster than ever before in history’ (1). This allowed more and more people to start fishing; naturally the competitive nature of humans became part of it.
In an article of the history of fishing tournaments, the editor of Bushmaster states, “Ray Scott has the idea for the first modern bass tournament while watching a basketball game in a Jackson, Mississippi, motel room” (1). While competitive ornaments did not come until the late twenty first century, competitiveness grew throughout every area of fishing. In world of fishing today there are all kinds of fishing tournaments in both saltwater to freshwater. While saltwater tournaments are not as popular as some freshwater fishing tournaments, it is still a big sport.
There are different types of tournaments in saltwater ranging from big species like sharks to smaller species like sea bass. The rules and techniques for saltwater do differ from that of freshwater competitive fishing mainly because when fishing in the ocean it is a totally different style of fishing. There is also a lot more money in freshwater sport fishing, especially bass fishing. The freshwater bass fishing sport is now one of the biggest in the world. It is considered by some to be equal other major league and premier sports around the world.
There is a lot of money to be made in professional bass fishing. It is one of the largest sports in the United States today. Fishing sports have a huge following and are making history when it comes to how and why people fish. Advancements throughout history in boats, baits, and poles, sake this a competitive and mental sport that offers a chance to have a career in fishing. Competitive fishing is most popular in the United States and Canada, but can be found all over the world. The competitive fishing market is a billion dollar business and is growing in popularity.
More and more people are starting to fish because of this new found sport. Because of sport fishing the number of anglers and the popularity of fishing is at an all-time high. Though there are thousands of sport fishermen out there, some fish for the money. All around the world fishing provides a mean of financial support for many humans. It has been this way since the early beginnings of fishing itself. When there is a high demand for a product such as fish, there are people who meet that demand. There are many different ways that man caught fish throughout the ages for commercial purposes.
The commercial saltwater market is by far larger than that of the freshwater market. The main types of commercial fishing that goes on inland is guided tours for and trips provided for the average angler. This type of fishing is a huge industry in both fresh and saltwater fishing. People for in the more modern times of fishing pay money for professional anglers to put them on the fish per say, to provide an easy way for people who may not know a lot about fishing a way to catch fish. These guide tours and trips have been used since the later part of the twenty first century.
On the other hand we have the commercial fishing that provides a more economical side of fishing. Ever since the early part of the seventeen hundreds people have been catching fish to sell into the market to provide a service to regular citizens and people who have other trades. The largest source of commercial fishing started with whale hunting. “The history of haling dates back to at least 3,000 BC” (1) as stated by the editor of Whaleboats. Org. Groups of men on small boats equipped with spears would go out hunting these ignoramus creatures of the ocean to provide blubber and meat to sell to the people on the main-lands.
Hunting for whales in the ocean was a very dangerous and risky type of fishing due to the mere size of the animal. The threat and danger that went along with hunting whales inspired a book known as “Mob Dick” by the author Herman Melville, a novel about the Journey of hunting a huge white whale that killed many people. This book opened the eyes of many people about the dangers of commercial fishing and risks these men took to provide a service. This didn’t matter to the men who hunted whales because of the money that was to be made in the industry.
Man hunted whales to near extinction by the mid nineteen hundreds making it illegal in most areas of the world to hunt these mammals. There is also a market for catching smaller fish that is now more popular and economical than whale hunting. Catching these smaller fish was another way to provide food and make money at the same time. C Johnson offers an example of economic growth in fishing n his article on the history of fishing, “From 1890-1895, the US Department of Agriculture actually suggested farmers stock their ponds with largemouth bass as a means of sustenance and economic incentive” (1).
Through this statement, it is shown that there is money and security in these smaller species of fish. There are many techniques and ways used to catch different types of small species to sell back into the market, and is now a huge and still growing industry today. Commercial fishing like this is an ever growing market and offers a service that reaches every part of the oral, and provides a healthy and nutritious food source for everyone. The commercial fish market has forever changes how people fish and how they get fish to their table.
The history of fishing and its effects on mankind is an ever changing and interesting subject. Fishing has come a long way from its humble beginnings and will continue to change well into the future. In the beginning people where fishing to survive and now in this day in age, it has evolved in many new ways. Man now fishes for sport and career to provide entertainment and service all over the world. The oral has evolved so much over time that people aren’t fishing to survive but for comfort and fun.
If the people of the early ages that went to the water to put food in their mouths saw how far fishing has come, they would be in awe of what it has come to. While the technology and means of catching fish has greatly changed, people are still using fishing to provide food for their families across all parts of the globe. Through the history of the earliest known forms of fishing, advancement of equipment, fishing for sport, and the fish market, one can see the importance of gashing and the impact it has had on mankind.