Angling is fishing with fish hook (angle) which is tied to the line. Line is attached to the rod which often has reel which holds the line and can be used to retrieve it. Angling is used predominantly in sport fishing but some of its variants are also used in commercial fishing.
The oldest fish hook was found in 2011 in East Timor in Czechoslovakia. It was made from shell and it is estimated that it is between 16,000 and 23,000 years old. One of the earliest types of hook, a “gorge hook”, was used for the first time some 7,500 years ago. Gorge hook was made of wood or bone in a shape of a short stick (3 – 4cm) which was pointed at both ends and tied in the middle with a line. Bait was placed on a gorge hook so it stands parallel with a line and like that placed in water. Fish would eat the bait and gorge hook with it and, with a slight thug, gorge would be stuck in a throat of a fish. Native Americans of the California coast used these hooks from around 5,500 to 1,000 year BC. But thousands of years needed to pass for angling to turn from method of survival to sport.
People started to fish for pleasure and sport around 15th century in different parts of the world. The first text in Europe to mentions angling was “The Treatyse on Fysshynge with an Angle” written by Dame Juliana Berners and published in 1496. Rods used for angling at that time were 4 meters long. In Japan, angling started in form of “Ayu fishing” in 16th century. This was a practice of samurai who were forbidden to train with their swords and used angling as a substitute training and a technique of meditation. In Europe, in 17th century, popularity started to grow after the English Civil War. New books about angling techniques were published and they presented angling as a sport of gentlemen. Inventions of 18th century like running rings and reel improved the fishing techniques. Modern materials of 19th and 20th century did so further and made angling even more popular and into a sport.
For angling, fisherman can use live or artificial baits, depending on the fish he tries to catch and where it lives. Artificial baits (lures) are made to trick the fish into thinking that it has a live target as a pray. These lures can be made by fisherman himself or industrially made (like rubber worms for instance). For natural bait, fishermen commonly use natural pray of the fish they try to catch. They use grubs, maggots, grasshoppers, bees and even ants. For very small fish, bread bait can be used.
Special type of angling is “catch and release” where fishermen don’t keep the fish that they’ve caught but release it after they have measured the fish (length and weight).
Many anglers say that they find motivation for angling in fun of catching fish, the overall experience, in the challenge, and adventure.