Sport Fishing Tips And Techniques

If you are planning on spending some time away on a sport fishing trip or vacation, this guide shares tips and ideas to help you get the most out of your next trip away.

Sport fishing takes many forms and thousands of anglers participate in this wonderful activity every week. Here's a rundown how you can join them and make the most of your fishing expedition.

Picture this...

You and your buddies pack all of your fishing gear into your boat, hitch it to the back of your pickup truck.

Along the way there's a lot of joshing and wisecracks. You're all excited and having a bit of fun before your reach your destination. 

This is going to be a great trip. You're off to take part in a weekend of sport fishing.

Sport fishing is recreational fishing in which anglers spend a day or a weekend competing for a trophy or prize that is based on the weight of fish that are caught within a certain time frame. 

Sport fishing competitions take place in locations world wide and cover a large range of fish species. 

It can be based on either still or fly fishing, shore fishing or boat fishing. Scores are given to anglers, either individuals (shore fishing) or teams (boat fishing) for each fish that is caught within the specified time frame, depending on species and weight. 

These are divided by the line weight (pound-test). If an angler catches a large fish on a light line his score is greater than an angler who catches a fish of the same weight and size on a heavier line. 

When anglers participate in a competition where they land, tag and release their catch, they receive a 'flat score' for each fish caught. The 'flat score' is then divided by line weight (pound-test).

Types Of Sport Fishing

There are several forms of sport fishing. They include bass fishing, shore fishing, fly fishing, big game fishing, rock fishing, troll fishing, ice fishing and lure fishing tournaments. 

Methods of sport fishing vary greatly, depending on the targeted species, the area where the tournament is taking place and the strategy of anglers. Methods can range from simple fishing contests for families to specialized tournaments. 

Bass and fly fishing competitions are common among experienced anglers, but more elaborate sports fishing methods include fishing for tuna, shark, marlin and other deep sea species. 

Sports fishing species include bass, pickerel, muskellunge, salmon, tuna species, walleye, northern pike, marlin, swordfish, sailfish, trevally, coral trout, freshwater trout, wahoo, fingermark bream and shark.

What Equipment Does Sport Fishing Require?

The equipment necessary to compete in a sports fishing tournament depends largely on the fish species that is targeted. 

However, most sports fishing competitions mandate that you use a rod, reel and tackle instead of using fishing nets, fish finders and other aids. 

Some tournaments do allow electronic equipment but be sure to check the tournament rules carefully.

Fishing line used in tournaments and competitions is often lighter than the force that the fish applies to it. 

This presents more of a challenge and tests the fisherman's skills and abilities to the maximum. 

Because of this, special reels must be used that have very high tech drag mechanisms, which allow the line to be let out when a fish runs with it and still keep the correct tension on the line. 

When the fish isn't running, the angler can take the opportunity to reel in some of the excess line. If the fish tires before breaking the line, it can be landed. 

This of course is not an easy feat. Getting a heavy, wet, slippery and writhing fish into a boat is a challenge in itself. However, if the tournament is catch, tag and release, it is not necessary to take the fish on board the boat.

Sport Fishing Methods

Different methods are used to fight hooked fish in sports fishing. 

The first is with the use of a 'game chair', which is placed in the stern of the boat. The fisherman sits in the game chair and places the butt of his rod in a gimballed mount. This requires a very long rod and the rod butt must be bent to an angle to fit properly into the mount. 

Fighting fish from a game chair is not an easy task and can only be accomplished by a highly skilled sport fishing angler. The stand-up method of fighting fish has the seat mount replaced by a harness. This method of landing a large fish takes a lot of muscle, strength, endurance and body mass. 

The cost of sport fishing is high. You need, in most cases, a boat, rod, reel, lures, line and electronic fishing equipment. All of this and the skyrocketing price of gasoline make sport fishing very expensive. 

Sport fishing basics, such as rods, reels and tackle can cost as much as $25,000 US. Many anglers who take up sports fishing as a hobby use charter services where the boat and all of the fishing equipment and tackle are included in one large price. 

Sport fishing bait can be as simple as nightcrawlers, lures, spinners, streamers, spoons, crustaceans, prepared bait, wet and dry flies, shrimp and oysters, or range to more complicated baits such as live fish species and live bait systems. 

Sport fishing baits depend largely on the targeted species and the area in which the tournament is taking place. Frozen baits such as mackerel, sardines, herring, squid and octopus can be purchased as can manufactured baits.

If you are interested in taking up sport fishing as a hobby, seek the advice of a sports fishing expert. 

Many chartered sport fishing expeditions include all of the necessary equipment and tackle as well as a certified guide.

We hope this guide to sport fishing has given you the basics you need to tackle your next fishing adventure...To read more about fishing, click here to return to the Fishing Home Page


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