sport fishing

How to go from amateur fishing to sports. What are the types of sport fishing and how to take part in competitions – in the material “RBC Sport”

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sport fishing

(Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Sport fishing is primarily about excitement, the fisherman is driven by the interest to catch as large a fish as possible, photograph it as his trophy confirming his skill and release it. Such fishing is both a sports competition and a form of active leisure. A professional angler sportsman is distinguished by the following things:

  • He has a wide arsenal of various fishing gear.
  • Knows the features of various reservoirs and the habits of fish in them
  • Has a wide range of baits, hooks and tackle
  • Constantly improving his skills as a fisherman

The athlete angler doesn’t just want to catch more fish, he wants to be able to catch the biggest or hardest fish to catch.

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What is sport fishing

Fishing has been known to mankind since ancient times, and simultaneously with the development of man, devices for catching fish also developed. At first, for example, a hook was made from bones, then from metals, animal veins served as fishing line, then plant materials. Fishing was practiced in ancient Egypt and China, but they began to compete in fishing in ancient Greece, and then in Rome.

The first modern mention of fishing as a sport dates back to 1496 and was described as a pastime of the English nobility. Gradually, this type of competition developed in Europe, and then came to America, where competitions using spinning are very popular. In 1952, the International Fishing Sports Association was formed. And in 2017, the world championship in this discipline was held, which was hosted by Russia.

Sport fishing in fresh water

Sport fishing in fresh water

(Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Sport fishing is fishing according to the rules using permitted equipment. Such fishing can be of two types – official and commercial. In the first case, athletes participate in competitions according to international rules and with the assignment of sports categories and titles. In the second case, it is participation in various festivals and tournaments with prizes.

The sport fishing itself can be of two types. Directly fishing – here the skill of owning a fishing rod and spinning is assessed in a ten-meter area allocated to the fisherman (the ability to navigate the area, the choice of bait and keeping the fish in your area is assessed). The second type is casting – the ability to catch fish on a spinning rod is assessed.

There are several methods of fishing, which can be carried out both in individual and team classification, in fresh or sea water.

Bait fishing – this is a classic version of catching bottom fish – the bait (usually worms, cheese, vegetables, larvae, small fish, etc.) is put on a hook and thrown into the water, after which it remains only to wait for a bite.

fly fishing – a fishing rod with a reel and a weighted fishing line is used, an artificial fly is mounted on the hook.

Trolling – used when fishing from a moving boat, when the bait reaches for it.

Spinning – the bait is cast a considerable distance from the shore, then the fishing line is wound onto a reel and thus the caught fish is pulled out.

Tackle for fishing

Tackle for fishing

(Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

How to become a sport fisherman

First of all, you just need to start fishing, constantly practicing this and mastering new ways of fishing. Do not forget about the theoretical part – you need to learn about the habits and characteristics of different fish, because freshwater and marine inhabitants behave differently. It will be useful to know information about the features of various reservoirs, and before the competition, you need to find out the data about the place where they will be held. Try to use different baits and note for yourself the features of each of them. Find like-minded people and share your experience with each other.

In addition, it is necessary to go through several official procedures. Get a sports book, which can be issued at the regional representative office of the federation and undergo a medical examination, and immediately before the competition, you must take out sports insurance.

But before taking part in official competitions, you should take part in tournaments of the municipal or regional level in order to get used to and gain the necessary participation experience. After that, you can master the major competitions. But there are several options for development. You may not like it, because you will not be able to achieve results right away, and you will continue to fish for yourself. But you can find a calling in this and become a professional fisherman who will constantly improve his skills and achieve new results and heights of sportsmanship.

How sport fishing competitions work

Sergei Vladimirovich Fedorov

Sergei Vladimirovich Fedorov


Sergey Fedorov, Member of the Presidium of the Russian Fishing Federation, Head Coach of the Russian national team in float fishing

Fishing in our country began to take shape as an independent sport in the fifties of the XX century thanks to the enthusiasts of the Military Hunting Society and the Russian Fishery and Fishery Union. Formally, the All-Russian Public Organization “Federation of Fishing Sports of Russia” was founded in November 2006.

The activities of the federation are currently carried out in 73 constituent entities of the Russian Federation. Annually, the number of participants in fishing competitions ranges from 57,000 to 60,000 people, of which the percentage of men is more than 95% and women about 5%. The number of regional competitions held annually varies from 2500 to 2800.

Russian fishing sport has gained a well-deserved prestige in the world. Russia continues to be an active member of the International Confederation of Fishing Sports (CIPS), for a long time being a member of one of its Federations – Sport Fishing in Fresh Water (FIPS ed), which unites about 60 countries.

Participants of the Russian Championship 2022 in training

Participants of the Russian Championship 2022 in training

(Photo: Alexander Barkhaev)

In the period from August 4 to 8, in the Maryino area in the park “850th Anniversary of the City of Moscow” on the banks of the Moscow River, the Russian championship in fishing with a float rod is held. Within the framework of the championship, three events are held – among men, women, boys and girls under 18 years old.

The main goals of the Russian Championship 2022:

  • identifying the strongest athletes to complete the Russian national team in order to participate in international competitions;
  • promotion and development of sport fishing;
  • educating fishermen of a healthy lifestyle, careful attitude to the fish resources of our country on the principle of “catch and release”, the fight against pollution of water bodies.

The event is attended by about 70 athletes from more than 10 regions of our country.

Sports disciplines in the fishing sport of Russia:

  • float fishing
  • bottom line fishing
  • carp fishing
  • spin fishing from the shore
  • fishing from boats
  • ice fishing
  • lure fishing from ice

Competitions are held in fishing with a float rod – this is a discipline for catching fish (roach, perch, bleak, crucian carp, bream, round goby) with a float rod in fresh water. Athletes are allowed to use only one rod, although they may have a wide variety in their arsenal:

  • flywheels
  • Bolognese
  • match
  • plug-in

Each competitor has several sets of fishing rods in his arsenal. But he has the right to catch only one. A large number of fishing rods is associated with the need to look for (catch) fish at different distances from the coast and in different conditions of their sector. He does not know in advance what conditions will be in his sector of fishing. Therefore, he must be prepared for any surprises in the sector.

There is also a lot of ammunition because different rods require different devices. For example, pole rods are very long. To manage them, you need special tables with rollers. In addition, in order to keep the fish in its sector, it must be dosed with bait. Bait for fishing also takes up a lot of space.

Use of any vegetable baits and baits of animal origin is allowed. At the same time, there are a number of prohibited baits: ant larvae, pieces of fish, for caviar, etc.

Competitions are held in two rounds. The section of the coastline of the competition is divided into zones, and the zones, in turn, into sectors in which athletes are accommodated. Zones and sectors are given to athletes by lot. It is held the day before daily during the competition.

The task of the athlete during the competition is to use his bait to be able to pull up fish in his area, in his fishing zone and keep it in the fishing sector. The winner is determined by the results of two competitive days. Caught fish is placed in a cage and after weighing is released into the pond. Whoever has the bigger catch, wins.

Athletes not lower than I category are allowed to participate in the Russian Championship. The winners receive the title of Candidate Master of Sports and Master of Sports. You can get to the Russian Championship only after going through a thorny path at municipal, district, regional competitions. The strongest athletes from Russia and the regions gather at the championship. Fishing is a sport just like any other.

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