Is Fishing A Sport?

Fishing As A Sport (Why Not?)

As a Photographer who is in constant need of proper titles for my photos the question of whether fishing is really a sport comes up from time to time.  For me, and for the fisherman I work alongside, the answer to this question is absolute:  Fishing Is A Sport!     

"An athlete is a “person trained or skilled in exercise, sports or games requiring physical strength, agility or stamina”

What Makes Fishing A Sport?

Sure, you won’t find as much beer on a basketball court as you will a tournament fishing boat, but that doesn’t make fishing any less of a sport.  For me I look for these aspects of an activity in defining whether it can truly be labeled a sport:

Fishing Photography

1. Is Fishing Physically Demanding?

If you have ever been part of a tournament fishing team you know one thing is for sure:  You are going fishing.  8ft seas= Fishing.  Raining all day= Fishing.  While your typical “Athlete” is resting up the night before, the fisherman is bait fishing and then waking up at 4am to prep.  So yes- Fishing is physically demanding.

2. Is Fishing Competative?

Fishing tournaments can have prize packages anywhere from a few thousand dollars up to over a million with teams and sponsors investing tens of thousands of dollars.  So yes-  Fishing is competitive!

3. Does Fishing Take Talent?

If a weekend warrior with a cooler and a few rods raises doubt about fishing being a sport, then what does Flag Football do to the NFL?  The obvious answer is- Nothing.  Just because more people treat fishing as something they do recreationally vs other major sports doesn’t take anything away from those who fish professionally.

For one big comparison:  Most fisherman on a tournament fishing team have been fishing since childhood, just like your average professional athlete.  For the pro, fishing is a skill they have developed over the years from a combination of practice and training from more skilled anglers, or people other sports might refer to as coaches!

So yes, fishing does take talent (And a necessary amount of luck).

4. Does fishing Have A Hall Of Fame?

This may come as a surprise  to you, but fishing absolutely has a Fishing Hall Of Fame!


For me, when I compare what I see through my lens while shooting football vs fishing, I don’t see any reason that Fishing hasn’t earned its place as a legitimate sport.  I’ll tell oyu this much, it’s a hell of a lot harder to shoot, and I have to get on that damn boat as early as the rest of the anglers! 

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