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Types of Fishing

Types of Fishing

Fishing, an age-old pastime enjoyed by millions around the globe, has captivated both recreational anglers and professionals alike. With its wide range of techniques and styles, fishing offers something for everyone, regardless of skill level or location.

In this blog post, we delve into all the various types of fishing (and methods), and grab a beer because there are plenty!

Key Takeaways

  • Fishing is a diverse activity with various techniques and styles available for all skill levels and preferences, from traditional angling to modern methods like kite fishing.
  • Each type of fishing technique has its unique set of tools, approaches, and targeted fish species that can be customized according to the angler’s preference.
  • Responsible and sustainable fishing practices are crucial to preserving marine ecosystems. Regulations exist at state and federal levels for many types of fishing techniques, such as netting or hand gathering, to ensure conservation efforts reduce the impact on non-targeted marine life while enabling sustainable economic development opportunities.

Fishing Techniques And Styles

Fishing techniques and styles range from traditional angling with a line and hook to hand gathering, ice fishing, netting, noodling, and more modern methods like kite fishing and fly fishing.


Angling is really just another word for Fishing in general.

It’s essentially defined as the act of using a rod, reel, line, and hook to attract specific fish species from the surface of a body of water to the bottom, and it encompasses many types of fishing.

For example, fly fishing is a specialized form of angling where lightweight artificial flies are used on the surface or just below it. On the other hand, bottom fishing focuses on targeting bottom-dwelling species like catfish by presenting baits near the riverbed or lake floor.

Anglers often employ various techniques, such as casting long distances for shore fishing or trolling behind boats with multiple lines rigged with lures designed specifically for different depths and water conditions.

Bottom Fishing

Bottom fishing is a classic technique that has stood the test of time, aligning the angler with bottom-dwelling fish species such as redfish, snapper, and grouper. This method involves using baited hooks and weights to lower your line to the depths where these fish prefer to feed.

To achieve success with bottom fishing, patience is key – bites may not happen immediately as you’re waiting for fish lurking near the seafloor.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is a timeless and popular technique that requires both skill and precision.

I consider it like the golfing of fishing.

It involves using an artificial fly as bait to entice fish species dwelling in midwater or at the surface, making it ideal for catching trout, salmon, and bass.

In order to cast the fly accurately onto the water’s surface, anglers often utilize specialized equipment such as “Floating Line” along with longer fishing rods made from modern materials like graphite due to their light weight while still being strong.

When practicing fly fishing, enthusiasts can choose various locations like rivers, lakes, or even ocean waters if you can believe it – each offering distinct environments for diverse experiences.

For those new to this style of fishing, participating in a guided trip with experienced instructors can be incredibly beneficial by teaching proper casting techniques and sharing invaluable local knowledge about specific fish habitats.

Hand Gathering

Hand-gathering is a fishing technique that involves picking up marine organisms by hand. This method dates back to prehistoric times and is still practiced today, particularly for shellfish like clams, oysters, and mussels.

Hand gathering requires minimal equipment and can be done from shore or boat in shallow water, rocky areas, or tidal pools.

One of the advantages of hand-gathering is its sustainability as it does not harm the marine environment. However, this fishing method requires knowledge of the type of organism being harvested and its habitat.

Regulations exist at both state and federal levels to prevent overfishing and protect species.

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is a popular type of freshwater fishing that involves drilling a hole through the surface ice to catch fish. It is commonly practiced in regions with long, cold winters, frozen lakes, and rivers.

To enjoy this activity, specialized equipment such as an auger and ice shelter are required for safety and comfort. Through successful ice fishing, anglers can catch different species of fish such as panfish, trout, and walleye, among others.

However, safety is crucial when it comes to ice fishing since falling into cold water could be life-threatening.

Kite Fishing

Kite fishing is a unique and exciting way to catch fish that involves using a kite to troll a lure through the water. It’s popular for catching pelagic game fish like sailfish, kingfish, and tuna.

To get started with kite fishing, specialized gear such as a kite reel and release clip is necessary, in addition to knowledge of how to set up the kite and bait.

While Kite Fishing can be done from shore or boat, often it is used in combination with other techniques such as bottom fishing or trolling. The kite allows access to offshore waters without needing a boat and controls the depth of the lure through its attachment on the line.


Netting is an essential method used in commercial fishing, where various types of nets are used to catch multiple fish over a large area. This technique involves strategically placing the net underwater, allowing it to trap fish as they swim into it.

The size and design of the net depend on the type of fish being caught and the environment in which they reside. For example, purse seine nets are typically used for catching schooling fish like tuna or mackerel in open waters.

While netting can be incredibly efficient for commercial purposes, this method raises some ethical concerns when it comes to bycatch – unintentionally catching non-targeted marine life like dolphins, sea turtles, or sharks.

Conservation efforts have been put into place worldwide to regulate net sizes, mesh patterns, and fishing techniques that reduce bycatch while still providing ample yields for commercial fishermen.


Noodling is a unique and challenging fishing technique that involves luring and catching catfish using hands or feet. This traditional Southern U.S. method requires a lot of physical strength, endurance, and courage as this type of fishing can take place in murky waters with dangerous creatures like snakes or snapping turtles lurking around.

Noodling has become increasingly popular over the years due to its raw nature, but it’s important for anglers to practice caution and consider safety measures before attempting this style of fishing.

More Fishing Techniques

There are even more unique fishing techniques to explore, including nymphing for fly fishers, spin fishing for the everyday angler, and trapping or trolling for those seeking a challenge.


Nymphing is a specialized technique within the broader category of fly fishing. This approach uses small flies that represent larval and pupal stages of insects, which are frequently used to catch predatory fish like trout and salmon.

One popular type of nymphing is Euro nymphing, which involves using heavy flies, tungsten hooks, and a short leader to get the fly deep in the water quickly.

This practice requires specific equipment such as a longer and lighter rod and a heavier fly line. Nymphing can be done from a boat or shore but is commonly performed while wading in streams or rivers.

It’s especially useful for those who enjoy catch-and-release fishing since it allows anglers to target species without causing harm or injury to them.


Spearfishing is a type of fishing that involves the use of a pointed projectile to catch fish. Modern spearfishing techniques often involve the use of spearguns or Hawaiian slings, while some traditional methods include polespears and hand spears.

Spearfishing can be done in both saltwater and freshwater regions, but it requires a certain level of skill and experience to be successful. It combines boating, fishing, hunting, and scuba diving skills into one sport.

Additionally, spearfishing is one of the oldest types of fishing with evidence showing that early humans used sharpened sticks for catching fish over 16,000 years ago.

Spin Fishing

Spin fishing is a popular and accessible fishing style that involves using a spinning rod, reel, bait, and hook. This technique is perfect for beginners and experienced anglers alike as it allows for casting over long distances with relatively little effort.

Spin fishing can be used to catch predatory fish like bass, walleye, muskellunge, and pike. Jigging is a technique frequently used in spin fishing where the angler reels in their line quickly while jerking the rod tip up and down to create an erratic motion of the lure designed to mimic prey movement.

Spin fishing equipment can vary depending on the size of fish being targeted or water conditions but usually involves light to medium weight rods ranging from 5-7 feet with a fast action tip paired with monofilament or braided line between 4-25 lb test strength range.


Trapping is a popular and accessible fishing technique that involves using baited traps at the bottom of the water to catch fish, crustaceans, and other marine life like eel.

This passive method requires minimal effort from the angler once the trap is set, making it ideal for beginners or anglers who want to multitask while waiting for a catch.

Traps come in different forms such as pots, cages, wire or netting traps, and are typically baited with fresh or preserved bait. It can be done from both boats or shorelines.

Furthermore, trapping is commonly used in commercial fishing for species like lobster and crab, where larger catches can lead to greater profits.


Trolling is a popular fishing technique that involves dragging baited lines behind a moving boat. This method allows access to offshore waters, making it useful for catching game fish like salmon, trout and walleye.

Different types of trolling methods exist, such as downrigging, planer board trolling, and flat line trolling, each with its unique benefits and applications. Anglers can use different baits or lures depending on the type of fish being targeted and their personal preferences.

While trolling is an active fishing experience, it also requires attention and skill to avoid catching unwanted species accidentally.

Advanced Fishing Techniques

Advanced fishing techniques include bow fishing, casting, drop lining, euro nymphing, handlining, longlining, and jigging. These methods can take your fishing skills to the next level and help you catch bigger and better fish.


Bowfishing is a unique combination of fishing and archery, requiring skill and precision. This advanced technique involves using a specialized bow to shoot arrows at fish in the water.

It can be done from either a boat or shore, targeting specific species that may be difficult to catch with traditional methods such as carp, gar, and catfish.

While regulations for bow fishing vary by state and region, typically, one needs a fishing license to do so legally. Bowfishing tournaments have also gained popularity in recent years with organizations dedicated solely to the sport’s promotion and growth.


Casting, one of the most important fishing techniques, involves using a fishing rod and reel to cast an artificial bait or lure to entice fish. This technique is widely used by anglers across different types of fishing, including freshwater and saltwater fishing.

Casting requires good timing, accuracy, and finesse to mimic the natural movements of prey that attract fish. Anglers use different casting procedures depending on their targeted species and preferred style of fishing.

For example, fly fishermen use a more delicate casting method known as fly-casting, while spin fishermen rely on spinning reels for their casts.

Fishing gear also plays a crucial role in successful casting techniques. Choosing the right rod length and weight helps achieve optimal power when launching bait or lures into the water while selecting the appropriate line type based on targeted species can ensure higher catch rates without damaging equipment.


Droplining is an advanced fishing technique utilized for catching fish at the bottom of the water, such as halibut, cod, and snapper. This method requires specialized equipment and precision because anglers require multiple baited hooks spaced out at intervals and weighted lines to reach the seabed quickly.

Commercial fishermen commonly practice droplining since it allows them to catch large quantities of fish while being patient. Longlining is a type of droplining that’s popular in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan for catching tuna with skillfulness required to avoid accidentally hooking unwanted marine life or other animals.

Euro Nymphing

Euro Nymphing, also known as tight-line nymphing or Czech nymphing, is a specialized technique used in fly fishing. It involves keeping the fly line off the water and using the weight of the flies to control the depth and drift of the line.

This method requires a high level of skill and precision but is highly effective for catching trout and grayling in small streams and creeks. Euro Nymphing has gained popularity among experienced anglers due to its versatility, and adaptability for different types of water and fish species, making it an essential tool for competition fishing where accuracy plays a vital role.


Handlining is a fishing technique that has been used for centuries, and it involves holding a single fishing line in hand to catch fish. This method requires a lot of patience and skill as the angler needs to feel the bite, set the hook, and reel in the fish manually.

Advanced handlining techniques can also be utilized to increase catch rates such as using artificial lures or baiting with live worms or grasshoppers. While handlining may not be as popular as other forms of fishing, it remains an effective way to catch fish without relying on expensive equipment.


Longlining is an advanced fishing technique used to catch large and valuable fish. This method involves using an incredibly long line with many baited hooks, often reaching lengths of several hundred meters or even over a kilometer.

Longlining is typically employed in deep-sea fishing where the target species reside in midwater or near the ocean’s bottom. Branch lines are used to space out the hooks along the mainline, allowing for multiple fish to be caught at once.

While longlining can yield impressive catches, it has been subject to controversy due to its potential for bycatch, accidentally catching unintended species like sharks, turtles, and seabirds.

Some countries have implemented regulations or bans on this practice to protect these vulnerable creatures.


Jigging is a popular and effective fishing technique that involves using a light, artificial lure to mimic the movements of prey. Anglers often use this technique when targeting predatory fish like walleye, bass, or pike.

Successful jigging requires an understanding of the characteristics and behavior of the targeted species. Jigging can be done from a boat or the shore and can be combined with other techniques like trolling or bait fishing.

While it can be physically demanding and require good fitness, jigging is considered versatile and effective due to its ability to target different types of fish in various depths and conditions.

Fishing By Vessel And Location

Fishing by vessel and location is a great way to explore new fishing opportunities, like canoeing on calm streams, kayaking in open water, or trawling from a motorboat.

Canoe Fishing

Canoe fishing is a popular method among many anglers, allowing easy access to remote and secluded fishing locations that may otherwise be hard to reach. This method can be used for different types of fishing including bait fishing, trolling, and fly fishing in both fresh and saltwater locations.

Specialized equipment like a canoe, paddles or oars, life vests, as well as appropriate fishing gear like rods and lures are necessary for this type of fishing.

One advantage of using a canoe for fishing is its stealthy movement on the water which makes it less likely to scare away fish compared to larger boats with noisy motors.

Additionally, canoes allow greater flexibility when navigating through narrow creeks or rivers where underwater rocks may hinder progress by motorboats.

Kayak Fishing

Kayak fishing is a growing trend among fishing enthusiasts, allowing access to more isolated and secluded spots that larger boats cannot reach. Kayaking has been used for centuries by indigenous people as a means for transportation and fishing.

Modern-day kayak fishing involves using specialized kayaks equipped with rod holders, paddles, and fish finders. This approach allows fishermen to enjoy a more intimate experience with nature while also being able to catch various types of fish such as salmon, trout, bass, catfish, tuna or marlin.

Kayak anglers must be physically fit to paddle the heavy kayak through different water conditions and avoid any potential hazards like strong currents or harsh weather conditions.

SUP Fishing

SUP (Stand-Up Paddleboard) fishing is a relatively new form of fishing that involves using a paddleboard as a vessel to reach different fishing locations. It has become increasingly popular due to its low cost and convenience, allowing anglers to access shallow waters and hard-to-reach areas where traditional methods cannot reach.

This method requires different equipment and setup than traditional fishing, but it provides an opportunity to combine exercise with enjoying the great outdoors while casting your line.

One benefit of SUP fishing is its versatility – whether bait or fly-fishing or trolling for saltwater species, there are many opportunities for anglers to enjoy this unique experience in both freshwater and saltwater environments by exploring new spots that may not be accessible otherwise.


Trawling is a type of commercial fishing where a large net is dragged through the water using a vessel. It is popular for catching shrimp, cod, haddock, and herring. The size of the trawling vessel can range from small boats to large commercial vessels.

While this method yields high quantities of fish, it has also been criticized for its negative impact on marine life and ecosystems. Bycatch – the unintentional capture of non-targeted species – can result in severe damage to oceanic habitats if not managed properly.

Bank Fishing

Bank fishing is a type of fishing that is done from stationary locations on the shore or docks. It’s an accessible option for those without a boat and can be just as productive.

The key to successful bank fishing is choosing the right location, such as areas with structure like rocks or underwater ledges where fish are likely to concentrate.

Some popular techniques used in bank fishing include bottom fishing, spin casting, and fly fishing. Bottom fishing involves using weights to sink bait down to where fish are feeding near the lake or river bottom while spin casting utilizes lures that imitate prey moving through the water.

Wade Fishing

Wade fishing is a popular method of fishing that involves standing in shallow water and casting a line. This technique can be done in both freshwater and saltwater environments, making it accessible for many anglers.

By getting closer to the fish’s natural habitat, wading allows fishermen to get more bites and catch larger fish. One of the best things about wade fishing is that it doesn’t require fancy equipment or a boat; all you need is your rod, reel, and waders! Some great locations for wade fishing include rivers, streams, ponds, and the flats along coastal shorelines.

Freshwater Fishing

Freshwater fishing is a popular pastime for anglers all over the world. This type of fishing takes place in freshwater bodies such as lakes, rivers, streams, or ponds with different techniques targeting various fish species.

Bait fishing is one technique used to catch fish using live bait like worms or insects on a hook suspended under the water’s surface. Fly-fishing involves presenting artificial flies to mimic prey in a realistic way and can be effective for catching trout and salmon.

Fishing by vessel can involve different types of boats such as motorized boats, kayaks, or canoes depending on the location and fishing technique being used. Freshwater sportfishing can be recreational or commercial with charter fishing being an increasingly popular option for guided experiences.

It is important also to know regulations governing each area because laws may vary from state-to-state.

Saltwater Fishing

Saltwater fishing is a thrilling and challenging experience that can be done near shorelines, off piers or by boat. There are various techniques and equipment used for saltwater fishing such as bait fishing, trolling, fly fishing, and bottom fishing.

When it comes to location, options like coastal, deep sea, offshore, and reef fishing are available with each offering unique experiences. Coastal saltwater offers opportunities to catch species like bass while deep-sea targets larger and more challenging fish like tuna or marlin.

You might be interested in reading our articles on: Marlin Fishing

Fishing For Different Purposes

There are several different reasons people fish, including catch and release fishing for conservation purposes, charter fishing for recreational trips with a professional guide, commercial fishing for profit, competitive tournament fishing for prizes and bragging rights, and recreational fishing as a leisure activity.

Catch And Release Fishing

Catch and release fishing has become a popular technique in recent years for anglers practicing responsible fishing. This technique involves releasing the fish caught back into the water unharmed, ensuring their survival and helping to preserve stocks for future generations.

Barbless hooks are recommended when catch and release fishing as they make it easier to remove the hook without causing unnecessary harm or stress to the fish.

Many anglers believe that using catch and release techniques makes them better stewards of our natural resources while still allowing them to enjoy their sport. It’s important to remember that different types of fish have varying levels of resilience when released back into the water, so following proper handling guidelines is crucial.

Charter Fishing

Charter fishing is a popular option for anglers who are looking to explore new fishing areas or try different types of fishing. It involves renting a boat and hiring a captain or guide to take you out on the water.

Charter packages often include equipment rental, making it convenient for anglers.

One advantage of charter fishing is that it allows you to experience the thrill of deep-sea or offshore fishing without having to invest in expensive equipment or knowledge about local regulations.

You can also choose from different packages depending on your needs, ranging from half-day trips to multi-day excursions.

Commercial Fishing

Commercial fishing involves catching large quantities of fish for sale on the open market. This type of fishing uses different types of nets like drift nets, gill nets, hand nets, throw nets, and trawl nets to catch fish in huge numbers.

Commercial fishermen pursue extremely large and valuable fish, like tuna and swordfish using specific techniques and equipment.

However, negative impacts of commercial fishing on the ecosystem include overfishing leading to declines in wild fish stocks; bycatch or accidental capture of non-target species such as dolphins or sea turtles; habitat destruction due to trawling methods; and ghost gear pollution which causes harm to marine life when lost or discarded materials continue to entangle animals.

Recreational Fishing

Recreational fishing is a popular pastime for people of all ages and skill levels. It involves fishing for enjoyment rather than commercial purposes and can take place in various locations, such as lakes, rivers, streams, or oceans.

Freshwater fishing is particularly accessible to nearly everyone and requires specific bait and tools depending on the fish species one intends to catch. Popular freshwater fish include catfish, bass, trout, walleye, pike, and salmon.

Anglers may choose from a variety of techniques based on their desired level of effort or relaxation while out on the water. Catch and release fishing has gained popularity in fly fishing where fishermen capture the fish temporarily before releasing it back into its natural habitat unharmed.

Tournament Fishing

Tournament fishing is a thrilling and competitive sport that attracts both amateur and professional anglers alike. Unlike recreational fishing, tournament fishing involves prizes being awarded based on various criteria such as fish weight and size.

Bass and crappie tournaments are popular forms of tournament fishing that can be televised or sponsored by outdoor companies. Successful tournament fishing requires careful planning, skillful execution of techniques, good sportsmanship, and specialized equipment.


In conclusion, fishing is a diverse and exciting activity that offers various techniques for capturing different types of fish. From angling to spearfishing, each style has its unique set of tools and approaches that can be tailored to specific preferences and environments.

Fishing by vessel or location also adds further variety, with options like canoe fishing or saltwater trawling. Whether you’re interested in recreational catch-and-release fishing or competitive tournament fishing, there’s something for everyone in the world of fishing.

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Picture of Steve Momot

Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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