Fishing and Angling

Authored by: Mike Huggins

Routledge Handbook of Global Sport

Print publication date:  January  2020
Online publication date:  January  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138887237
eBook ISBN: 9781315714264
Adobe ISBN:


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Angling first became a significant leisure activity in the later middle ages, in the Balkans, Britain, France and other European countries. During the age of industry, fish stocks often suffered a decline from a variety of factors, including over-fishing, poaching and industrial pollution. Urban fishing club membership also grew, necessitating further travel to find fishing opportunities, encouraging increased competition and increased limitations and control over fishing rights. It is now a sport with wide appeal, though with varying degrees of popularity from country to country, and carried out in a variety of locations, including rivers, seas, lakes and fisheries. In some countries recreational river fishing can be either ‘coarse’ fishing or more valuable ‘game’ fishing for salmon, trout, etc. The chapter explores the way changes over time also applied to technological developments such as fishing tackle, lures and baits. Angling’s cultural productions are next explored: gravestones and art images, public house names, advertising posters, television, angling museums and the various forms of print literature. Scholars and government agencies are now recognizing the need for further research: not just into angling’s history, but into its tourism, protection of fish stocks, environmental issues, river management, and the gender and racial bias of angling.

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