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Fishing – a sport for ladies and gents alike

An overview of sport fishing

Chapter 1: Fishing - a sport for ladies and gents alike

Boats and fishing, an inseparable link

I had always loved sport fishing, and after joining Yamaha Motor, I got the opportunity to go abroad and work in what can be called the home of sport fishing - the U.S. From a job standpoint, it was a valuable experience to be able to work in the world's biggest outboard motor market, but also having been able to spend my free time enjoying a number of different types of fishing is now a little asset of mine.

Angling is surely a sport with one of the largest participating populations of all when you consider the number of people in the world who fish as a form of leisure recreation. Also, in countries around the world like the U.S. and Australia, a great number of people enjoy sport fishing on boats out on lakes or the open sea. Although it will be only for a short time, I will be bringing you a short series of articles about sport fishing. I would like to leave out difficult discourses and instead share with you some of the unforgettable experiences I had while fishing in the U.S. For the first article, I hope you don't mind if I talk a bit about the history of the sport.

Enjoying sport fishing stylishly and intellectually

The history of fishing as a form of leisure recreation isn't as long as many might think. In my country, Japan, it is said to have begun sometime in the latter half of the 18th century, in our "Edo Period." In other parts of the world we find its history is a bit longer. In the 17th century, the British writer Izaak Walton wrote a series of essays about sport fishing titled The Compleat Angler. In another exceptional example, we find reference to a legend that says the Chinese military strategist Lu Shang of the 11th century BCE enjoyed fishing.

As for the U.S., which boasts one of the largest sport fishing populations, we find that the headquarters of the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) was established in Florida in 1939. Today, it continues on as an organization that seeks to promote angling as a healthy sport with high standards, and among the names of the early officers we find Ernest Hemingway who won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

There are said to be as many as 50 million people in America today who enjoy fishing, which is far more than the number of people who play golf and tennis combined.

This says a lot about fishing's popularity. There are also many sport fishing tournaments held throughout the U.S., and especially popular are the bass fishing competitions held in inland waters like lakes and rivers. These events are often covered on television programs.

Another thing that makes the American angling world unique is the large number of celebrities and members of the cultural elite, like Hemingway in the past, who love the sport. The great challenge and rewarding experience of chasing big game fish out on the open seas may be another manifestation of the American pioneering spirit. For many, it may be that they simply find taking a boat out onto a lake, being surrounded by nature and waiting for a fish to strike to be one of the most enjoyable ways they know to escape and refresh from the stress of their busy daily lives.

Looking around the world, however, we find there are still many places where sport fishing is not yet a part of people's lives. This may be due to economic factors or the traditional temperament of the people of different regions. But I think that sport fishing may yet spread to regions like these when more people discover the mental fascination and learning experience of sport fishing that has won it so many followers in countries like the U.S., Australia and Japan, and how enjoyable fishing on a boat out on the water can be.

I would like to recommend that you head out on the water and find as many opportunities as you can to enjoy the excitement of sport fishing.

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