There is one debate that refuses to go away, and it is that of whether fishing is a sport or a hobby. Debaters on either side have tossed their arguments into the rings with each trying to convince. However, that has done very little to bring the matter to a close.
We are going to employ a different approach where we first define what sports is. In the majority of cases, there is no clear-cut distinction between the terms sports and hobby. They intersect at a certain point, and that is what makes it so hard to come to a definitive decision.
What is a hobby and what is a sport?
The best place to start in this debate is finding the appropriate definition for the two terms.
The dictionary definition of sport is ‘an activity that incorporates skill and exertion where a person or team competes against others for entertainment.’ On the other hand, a hobby is just something that you love doing at your free time because it helps relax your mind or for entertainment.
There are three elements we can extract from the definition of sport. The first is ‘physical exertion.’ Every activity requires physical exertion. However, sports require an absolute minimum of physical effort. You need to work hard to beat others, and that means you need to work harder than the average.
Exercise is a critical ingredient in the development of skill. You cannot compete effectively without a particular ability that distinguishes you from the rest. And so skill is the second element.
The third element is competition. There is no way that sport can be a sport without people competing against each other.
Does fishing require physical exertion?
Well, the simple answer is sometimes. It is possible for you to scoop a few fish here and there if you know how to use a spinning reel. You can throw your line at a particular spot known for having a decent population of fish and get a few tuna. So, is that real physical exertion? You be the judge.
However, hauling 60lbs fish in a competition is undoubtedly a result of physical exertion, as well as, a skill.
Does it require skills?
Certain types of fishing require particular skills to be successful. Have you ever tried fly fishing? How many fish did you end up with? You need to hone skills to be an efficient angler.
What about competition?
You have probably seen people compete where the winner hauls the largest and the heaviest tuna. This is no mean feat. Skill, effort, and experience go into such a catch. A layperson cannot join such a competition and emerge as the winner.
However, it is possible for you to take a number of beers and jump into a canoe with your fishing line. You can even doze while waiting for something to stir the waters and shake the line. But can you say you are in a competition? Absolutely not!
If we consider the definition of sports, then fishing is sometimes a sport and sometimes a hobby. Sometimes you need physical exertion and skills, but not all the time. You can laze around in a canoe after a hard day at work and still manage to get away with a few. Fishing competitions are everywhere. So fishing can either be a hobby or competition. There you have it.