Saltwater fishing has given both starters and advanced fishers the opportunity to explore the vast oceans and seas, going deep through the sea levels to catch wonderful species. For those who want to dig in deeper through this well-loved outdoor activity, it would be interesting to also talk about its history. How did it start and how far has it gone to what it is today?
The First Years
Before actually becoming a leisurely activity today, saltwater fishing is a necessary way of life so the early humans could eat. Similar to hunting and farming, it has become a daily staple especially to those living in the coastal areas.
In history, people fish for a variety of reasons. It only became a sport in recent years but before so, many anglers consume the fish they take from the waters, as opposed to practitioners who engage in the activity mainly for recreational purposes. Saltwater fishing came in later than freshwater fishing since the former is considered a dangerous pursuit for several people, even amongst the early mankind.
Renowned author Charles Waterman argued in one of his works that early ocean or saltwater fishing has always been considered a “difficult economic pursuit” as well aside from the vastness of the terrain. He wrote, “… It is no wonder that it was a long time before anyone seriously considered fishing in the sea for fun.”
Nevertheless, in present times, there are now tools and equipment designed to keep anglers safe and secure while at sea.
The Tuna Club Of Avalon
Saltwater fishing widely became a sport, near to what modern fishers practice, in the mid- toward the late 19th century. It is interesting to note that this phenomenon has been heavily influenced by English sailors who found themselves obsessed with fishing for salmons and trouts, and later were attached to fishing in the salt waters. By the end of that century, countries like the United States, Australia, and New Zealand became among the most in-demand spots for saltwater fishing in the world.
In 1899, the biggest highlight in recreational saltwater fishing happened through the formation of the Tuna Club of Avalon, Santa Catalina. The club consisted of prominent personalities in Northern California. They included singer and actor Bing Crosby, and former U.S. presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Grover Cleveland. The club also hosted former U.K. prime minister Winston Churchill though he did not become a member.
Many of its pioneering personalities demonstrated that species like tuna and billed fish could be hooked and caught with artificial bait as this sport rose in fame. By this time, it has been well-established.
Saltwater Fishing Today
From this singular organization rose several others and many of them held competitive saltwater fishing tournaments in various locations. Today, fishing is on the map of the most popular outdoor activities in the world.
In the United States alone, statistics have shown that around 50 million Americans and more are into saltwater fishing, as well as freshwater and fly fishing. Conservation efforts to save both the waters and the species are also seen nowadays.