Traditional Fishing Techniques Around the World

Studying Time: 7 minutes

Fishing is an historical follow that has been a vital a part of human life for over 40,000 years. In lots of elements of the world, fish was the first meals supply, so native populations wanted to be properly versed in catching them. Over the centuries, totally different peoples developed totally different fishing strategies to outlive within the distinct environments they inhabited. Be part of us at this time as we look at a number of the oldest conventional fishing strategies and the way they’ve developed over time.

1. Spearfishing

Spearfishing is an age-old fishing methodology that has been utilized by fishermen around the globe for 1000’s of years. The earliest information of spearfishing present using harpoons in India and France way back to 16,000 years in the past. Using spears and tridents has since been described in numerous tales and non secular texts. Probably the most generally acknowledged is the Greco-Roman depiction of The God of the Seas.

Poseidon or Neptune?

Native American tribes just like the Hupa have been utilizing spears to catch fish for over a millennium. However throwing spears was not the one approach to catch fish. With the arrival of archery, quite a few tribes took to the waters and in flip, bowfishing was launched.

Tribes just like the Negritos within the present-day Philippines historically used bowfishing to fish the clear-water shallows of their land. Though the tribesmen primarily fished in shallow waters, they nonetheless wanted to make use of a substantial amount of ability whereas aiming, primarily due to the way in which the sunshine refracted because it hit the water. They fished for Big Trevally, Grouper, Kingfish, and lots of different species.

By means of the years, spearfishing has remained virtually fully unchanged. At present, strategies similar to gigging for Flatfish are common in lots of US states across the Gulf of Mexico. Within the Bahamas for instance, diver-fishermen use pole spears or slings to fish for larger species across the reefs.

2. Angling

Angling is by far essentially the most widespread of fishing strategies. It’s additionally one of many oldest. Angling employs using a hook (angle), which is connected to a fishing line. Traditionally, the hook was normally fitted with bait, which diversified from locale to locale, relying on what was obtainable.

Using fishing hooks dates again to the Neolithic age. The oldest hooks ever discovered have been found within the Sakitari Cave on Okinawa Island in Japan, estimated to be greater than 22,000 years previous. Early hooks have been pretty primitive in comparison with those used at this time, fabricated from bone fragments, shells, animal horns, and chook beaks.

It didn’t take lengthy for angling to evolve, although. Our ancestors rapidly found that they might submerge their fishing hooks by attaching weights (sinkers) to them. Round 800 BC, the traditional Greeks began taking fishing to new heights by analyzing migration patterns of Tuna and different species.

In terms of angling, there are two predominant strategies:

  • Line fishing: a handheld fishing line lowered into the water, normally from an elevated place, like a bridge or a cliff.
  • Rod angling: A easy pole connected to a fishing line and hook. The earliest rod anglers used bamboo bushes to make their rods. This was over 4,000 years in the past.

You would say that it was angling which took fishing from a way of attempting to find survival to the beloved leisure exercise we all know at this time. Books just like the Seventeenth-century “The Compleat Angler” and “The Secrets and techniques of Angling” rejoice the artwork and spirit of fishing on the time, whereas meticulously explaining the nuances of the game. Such books gave rise to the recognition of strategies like fly fishing.

3. Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is the follow of catching fish by a gap within the ice on a frozen physique of water. Historically practiced within the colder northern areas of the world, ice fishing has remained in its authentic kind for over a millennium. Much like common fishing, ice fishing contains each spearfishing and angling. However with a twist.

Mississippi River 1898. Picture courtesy of Freshwater and Marine Picture Financial institution

For peoples just like the Inuit, ice fishing was all the time a vital a part of life. It comes as no shock then, that they developed a number of the most ingenious fishing strategies and devices ever seen. With the intention to spear fish by the ice, the Inuit constructed a singular pronged-spear known as a kakivak. This spear consisted of a agency central prong and two aspect arms, which have been extra elastic. Both sides arm had an inward-facing blade, which might hook into the fish and cease them from escaping.

The Inuit Kakivak (picture by Brendan Griebel/KHS)

Ice fishing tradition is properly preserved in international locations like Canada, Norway, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Russia, and the USA. In actual fact, many of those international locations set up yearly ice fishing tournaments visited by 1000’s of avid fishermen.

4. Trapping

In fact, the Inuit excelled at fishing even when the waters weren’t frozen over. One fishing approach they used employed using stone weirs.

The Inuit constructed their weirs by piling stones in a crescent form on the riverbed. They laid the stones as much as a sure top, with just one slender opening for the fish to maneuver towards. When the fish entered this hall, the fishermen would strike it with their kakivaks.

Using stone weirs was widespread in medieval Europe, as properly. In England, for instance, stone weirs have been so widespread that some rivers ultimately grew to become impassable. The well-known Magna Carta Libertatum banned the constructing of those stone weirs in all freshwaters in England.

Not all weirs have been fabricated from stone, although. Many African tribes constructed picket dams, which might drop the water ranges by such a level that the fish would barely be capable to swim. All of the fishermen needed to do was acquire the fish with their naked palms. Which brings us to the subsequent group of conventional fishing strategies.

5. Hand Gathering

Generally, you don’t even want fishing tools to catch fish. There are a selection of historical strategies for harvesting fish and seafood by hand. As a consequence of modern-day conservation issues, some have change into extra controversial than others. These hand gathering strategies are:

  • Diving and digging for Clams, Crabs, or Lobsters
  • Catfish noodling:  Fishermen would place their palms right into a Catfish gap and look forward to it to chew. This system continues to be common within the American South. Noodling does have its risks, nonetheless, each for the fishermen and for the fish. This has led most US states to outlaw the follow.
  •  Trout Tickling: This system has been practiced for hundreds of years and referenced in quite a few historic and literary texts, from historical Greek poems to the work of Shakespeare. The fisherman would tickle the underbelly of the Trout till it fell right into a paralyzing trance. These days, Trout tickling is generally unlawful.
  • Tramping – a centuries-old approach historically utilized in South West Scotland to catch Flounder. The fishermen used their naked ft to really feel the sand for Flounder. As soon as they discovered the fish, they trapped it with their ft and impaled it on a leister (a neighborhood type of trident). Up till 2010, the World Flounder Tramping Championships gathered 1000’s of lovers on the native river of Urr Water. Nonetheless, because of conservation issues, native regulators determined to discontinue the occasion in 2011.

6. Netting

Individuals have been utilizing nets to catch fish for ages. These fishing nets have been broad meshes made out of skinny threads, which allowed fishermen to catch extra fish than they ever might earlier than. The traditional Greeks recorded how nets would “catch fish whereas males slept.”

In fact, there are numerous sorts of fishing nets. The 2 mostly used are:

  •  Casting nets: These nets have a mesh with a gap on the higher aspect. Fishermen would throw these nets onto a faculty of fish swimming in shallow waters.
  •  Gillnets: Fishermen would place these nets in locations they knew fish handed by steadily.  They added corks to the perimeters of the nets for buoyancy, and a set of weights alongside the center to unfold them out. Fish would get tangled within the nets by their gills, and all of the fishermen needed to do was acquire them.

In latest occasions, netting has change into an more and more worrying matter. With worldwide leisure and industrial netting largely unregulated, prospects for marine life usually are not trying good.

7. Kite Fishing

As unusual as it might appear, kite fishing has had an extended and profitable custom. The approach comes from Polynesian islands, the place native fishermen needed to discover a approach to get across the inhospitable reefs of the realm. The earliest written proof of kite fishing dates again to the 1500s, when Dutch expeditions handed by the realm.

Utilizing nothing however native supplies, these fishermen made very efficient fishing kites. These kites would float the baits proper beneath the water’s floor, attracting species like Needlefish in nice numbers.

The kites have been quite simple contraptions, with “sails”  made out of banana leaves and fishing traces made out of bundled spiderwebs. Over time, the locals developed sturdier setups with sails made out of bolstered fern leaves (i.e. the Oakleaf Fern) and contours made out of baited nooses.

In fact, with extra modern supplies, at this time’s kite fishermen can usually reel in large recreation fish like Tuna or Sailfish.

Taking a look at a number of the conventional fishing strategies we talked about at this time, there is likely to be a world of distinction between them. There’s something that’s tying all of them collectively although, and that’s simply how easy and efficient they’re. Not all of those strategies are relevant or socially acceptable these days, however there’s something we are able to take away from them: You don’t want a ton of know-how to catch fish. Our ancestors actually didn’t.

What do you consider these conventional fishing strategies? Have you ever ever tried one your self? Tell us within the feedback beneath.

Leave a Comment