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What is sportfishing? [And What To Know]


Article Categories: Fishing
Article Tags: Fishing Tips

Sportfishing is also known as recreational fishing. It is fishing for fun, hobbies and even as a competition. Sportfishing is different from commercial fishing, or self sustenance fishing since sportfishing is not meant for earning profits, or food, but the main objective is pleasure.

Sportfishing includes the use of hooks, fishing rods, or reels, just like any other method of fishing. Anglers may keep fish, or practice catch and release, while with commercial fishing, or self sustenance fishing, the fish are always kept for the purpose of consumption or bait to catch other fish.


Types of Sportfishing


Fly Fishing

Fly anglers might be some of the most well known type of sport fisherman. Many partake in this activity just to be out in nature, catching fish is just a bonus. Many fly anglers practice catch and release, or fish in catch and release only waters.


Competition / Team Fishing

There are several types of fishing competitions. Ice fishing derbies, fly fishing world championships, team bass fishing, pike fishing, and much more. High schools often have fishing teams, colleges have fishing clubs, and the world of sportfishing continues to grow.


Freshwater Sportfishing

There are endless species that anglers target just for sport. Bass fishing, pike fishing, walleye fishing, sturgeon, catfish, and many others are among the most popular species to target in freshwater.


Saltwater Sportfishing

As diverse is freshwater sport fishing, you cannot get more divers than saltwater fishing. From sailfish, to tarpon, to bonefish, and everything in between, anglers are obsessed with catch and release fishing on ocean waters. The vastness and diversity of life in the ocean means there are endless experiences possible from anywhere around the globe.


Fishing Equipment

Of course, you need to have a set of proper fishing equipment for you to go fishing. The equipment doesn’t necessarily change for sport fisherman, however, with sport fishing, many anglers are releasing catches back safely, meaning they want to choose equipment for safe fish handling to keep the animal alive and minimally stressed. Things like barbless hooks, rubber nets, and safe fish handling practices are all important to keeping fish alive after a fight.


Fishing Boat

Indeed, one needs a boat to go fishing, especially if you are planning to go deep-sea. A boat is one of the essential must-haves of every sportfisher, whether it may be inshore or offshore fishing. If you are planning to go offshore fishing and join a competition, big boats are what you need to use. Catamarans, sport fishing boats, or yachts, like the Hatteras GT70 will be excellent choices. Kayaks and flatboats are commonly used when it comes to inshore fishing.

Kayak fishing is an extremely common sportfishing opportunity where anglers strive to catch monster fish from small fishing kayaks.


Fishing Area

When going fishing on a specific location, make sure that it is allowed to do such activity. Check first if it’s a fishing season so as not to waste your time of going there and ending up that it’s not an open season yet. Try to find out too what species of fish are only allowed to be caught during that time. Find out as well if they need you to have a fishing license, and if you have none, better, acquire one. Be a responsible angler that is supporting the local environmental agencies by purchasing a license, and following proper rules.



Sportfishing has some particular rules and regulations that need to be followed. It depends on the location that you are planning to go fishing. Always try to learn what they are, as some countries and regions have prohibitions when it comes to what kind of fishing equipment to use. They also have restrictions on the fish’s species, sizes, and the number of fish that is allowed to catch.

Hiring a fishing guide for the area you are looking to go in is often one of the best ways to get on more fish, ensure you are following the rules and regulations, and to also make sure you have a great time.

Now that you know what sportfishing is, you are now ready to go to that fishing adventure of your life.

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, backcountry skier, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued climbed all of the Colorado 14ers, is always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about