Angling is like a gentleman’s sport because while there is an element of anticipation and even competition, yet it’s definitely not something you could call gung-ho and yippee-ah-yeah unless you’re talking about extreme angling.
Angling is one way of fishing and it is called this because of the use of a fish hook or angle. As a recreational sport, most anglers practice catch and release. In many countries though catch and release is the law wherein a certain range of the catch size must be released.
Anglers enjoy a variety of environments to pursue their love for the sport. It isn’t uncommon to see them traveling to exotic places in search of the perfect or the ultimate catch. Common saltwater species that are found on the must-catch list of anglers are the tuna, marlin, and swordfish.
Angling fish in South Africa is very common. There are over 56 angling fish species to be found although about 36 of them are either banned from being caught or difficult to find. The most popular angling fish in South Africa are the catfish, bass, trout, kurper, tiger fish, carp, mudfish, yellow fish, and eel. There are also several types of angling done in South Africa. They are freshwater angling, shoreline angling, fly fishing, ski boat fishing, and bass fishing.
History of Angling
Angling rough beginnings come from the use of the gorge to catch fish which is the use of a small stone, a thin line, and a gorge. Once the fish took the bait, the line would tug and the angler would then give a gentle tug on the line so that the gorge would embed itself on the throat of the fish. This technique was used for catching birds as well.
Commonly Accepted and Practiced Regulations on Angling
Although the law on angling differs per country, there are general accepted regulations that are adhered to by all. These are:
- One must have a permit from the local governing body or government agency. This is especially true for commercial anglers.
- There are open and close seasons for angling to protect the balance of the ecology
- Protected species cannot be targeted and if caught, the catch must be released immediately
- Jagging, or the use of hooks to snag any other part of the fish other than the mouth is usually illegal
- Most countries enforce a limit to the number of anglers that can occupy an area at any given time. This protects the population of the fish
The Fun Is In The Challenge
More than anything else, it is the challenge of perfecting one’s skill as an angler that sustains the sport. There is a quiet camaraderie among friends and co-anglers and a good support system for success and days when the catch is dry. This support system extends to the fish in a way because anglers respect their sport and the ecology so much so that they shun killing of fish in most cases. The smaller fish need to grow into adult fish so the population is sustained while the larger fish have the capacity to breed more so they should be released back into the water. This leaves the medium-sized fish as potential “take-home” catch.