Sport fishing: types and baits
Unlike industrial fishing, sport fishing consists of fishing for the simple pleasure of the act. The aim, whether in supervised events (competitions) or not, is often to get the best catch of fish, or to catch the most fish in a limited time. These catches (marine animals) are often released alive into their natural environment as part of the “no kill” policy, which consists of sparing the fish caught. This is a good illustration of the sporting spirit that motivates fishermen: it is a way of considering the fish not as prey but as an adversary.
Where can you practice sport fishing?
There are two main families of sport fishing techniques: freshwater fishing and sea fishing. Depending on where you are fishing, the techniques and fishing equipment will not be the same and you must adapt to this. It is also important to be in good physical condition for each location.
Freshwater sport fishing
This is done in non-saline waters such as rivers, streams, or water bodies such as lakes or ponds. Several different techniques are possible when fishing in freshwater.
This involves ‘laying’ the bait on the bottom of the water, with a weighted leader and a counterweight mechanism to see if the fish takes the bait. Other carp anglers use sensor systems to detect the slightest touch and others rely on the movements of the rod tip.
Carp fishing works with groundbait: a seed and meal preparation is thrown at the spot where you want to fish. This attracts the fish, which are raised by a floating line (a plug connected to a sinker, a hook, and bait).
Fishing with a toc
This is done in rivers, preferably in the mountains. The fishermen use baits that come from the surroundings of the fishing places. This type of fishing often leads to the use of rod and reel fishing. The term “toc” comes from the noise that is produced when the fish swallows the bait.
Fly fishing consists of using special rods with the reel located under the angler’s hand. The angler uses a brake to block the line. The fly is not live: it is a hand-made or prefabricated fly with more or less artistic results.
Sport fishing at sea
This fishing technique consists of fishing at the edge of the sea in wave conditions. The angler enters the water up to his waist, wearing a wetsuit, and casts his line. The line is then cast to the bottom with sinkers. The preferred bait is local shellfish and the best results are obtained at night, both at sunrise and sunset. Surfcasting is very popular on the Normandy coast with its huge sandy beaches. By observing the high tides, you can easily practice surfcasting alone, with family, friends, or competitors.
Trolling involves dragging live bait or lures behind a boat. Anglers usually use radar to scan the most suitable bottom. This is one of the ways in which the largest catches of fish are made.