Old Fishing Techniques

Old Fishing Techniques
The art of catching fish has provided nutritious meals to humankind for centuries. The earliest civilizations relied primarily on traps, sharp sticks, and also hooked lines for success. It is interesting to note that a number of modern fishing apparatuses were modeled after their historic predecessors. Moreover, a number of old fishing techniques are still in use today around the world.

Fish Trapping

Trapping fish relied on the fishermen's knowledge with respect to various species' migratory patterns, the presence of target species in a certain locale and also a good understanding of how often to check a trap, so as to prevent predators from emptying it.

A fish trap could be achieved with the artificial creation of a dam with an opening into a lower water level tide pool stocked with bait. As the fish swam into the tide pool, they could not return to the lake or stream, since the opening was slightly too high to permit unfettered access. The fish were then removed from the tide pool by hand or with the help of netting.

Other fish traps were manmade from interwoven branches that formed basket-like contraptions with small entrance holes. Fishermen stocked them with bait and placed them into a stream or lake. Occasionally, fishermen would return to check for fish trapped in these devices. The traps could then be lifted out of place, emptied, restocked with bait, and returned to the water for continued use.

Spear Fishing

For spear fishing, fishermen initially depended on a straight stick, one end of which was sharpened to a point. They would wait patiently at the shores of rivers or lakes, where fish were plentiful. When a fish swam within reach of the spear, the fishermen quickly sought to spear the animal with the sharp end of the stick.
Other methods of spear fishing relied on the use of barbs worked into the stick, or the employment of tools, such as tridents, for added success in catching quick moving fish.

Today, contemporary fishing aficionados rely on underwater spear guns that provide opportunities for modern day spear fishing. Tour operators around the world offer spear fishing trips and guided tours into select fishing grounds.

Hand Line Fishing

Anglers attached a single hook to a long piece of twine and lowered it into the water. They occasionally moved it a little bit to give bottom-dwelling fish the illusion of an insect that fell into the water. Over time, hand line fishing evolved into baited hook fishing, which in turn gave way to the attachment of numerous hooks to the twine.

Even today, hand line fishing finds application when rafting hobbyists---such as users of an Aire Puma Raft---want to enjoy a primary rafting trip combined with the secondary hobby of fishing. Since hand line fishing does not require a lot of gear that must be stored in the raft, it is a simple way of enjoying lag times and breaks on a rafting trip.

Article Written By Sylvia Cochran

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.

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