Origins of Competitive Fishing
Fishing has been around since before recorded history. It is likely our ancestors that lived near water were taking fish for food and to utilize in making necessary life items for tens of thousands of years. Once man learned to build ocean-going vessels, one of the first pursuits was fishing on larger scales. Fishing is done in the great outdoors and includes things such as traditional fishing using rods and reels, seining, spearing and the use of traps or even one’s own hands (arguably the most difficult). Fishing does not only mean the taking of fish specifically. It is a catchall term for taking of various types of aquatic life such as lobsters, squid, whales (hopefully not for much longer), crabs and certain water borne mammals. As humanity advanced, fishing stopped being solely for sustenance or commerce but also for competitive sport.
Fishing as a competitive sport is tremendously popular in addition to being a tremendously profitable industry. Professional fishermen make very impressive salaries, gain sponsorships from huge companies and have large fan bases. The selling of fishing gear, boats and motors, tackle and general fishing equipment is a multi-billion dollar industry. Generally, fishing competitions are arranged tournament style between the fishermen/fishing teams and there is typically a series of competitions to decide overall seasonal champions. These competitions take place with rules varying depending on the type of fishing, the area (lake, river, ocean, estuary) and certain time restrictions. Some competitions feature keeping the game harvested whilst sometimes they are in a “catch and release” format. Threatened or big game species like sailfish and marlin are typically catch and release as these are mighty fish that take years to grow and overfishing in the past and pollution have drastically decreased their numbers. Fishing tournaments are even held on frozen lakes and ponds where the anglers cut holes in the ice in order to catch their prize. Prizes are often based on the fish’s weight, species and by how many fish are landed within the time constraints/restrictions of the tournaments. Tournaments can vary greatly in length – from hours to days to weeks to entire species/time of year based “seasons”. In general, the heaviest fish, the longest fish or how many fish the angler/team has caught wins the tournament. In fishing, size definitely matters! Additionally, fishing competitions can take place from a boat, from the shoreline or even from underneath the waves via scuba or free diving. Lastly, there are usually specific rules about fishing technique, gear and fishing style.
Muscles used in Competitive Fishing
Fishing is generally considered, among trainers and sports enthusiasts, to be a relatively low impact, low intensity form of exercise. The fact is, this solely depends on the type of fishing one is engaging in. Walking rivers, casting and reeling in large fish, paddling a boat or just taking a battering on the high seas can be extremely physically challenging and can leave the angler battered, bruised and as sore as they’ve ever been. Anyone doubting that simply needs to read The Old Man and the Sea by Earnest Hemingway and take note of what the giant fish did to the book’s title hero. Additionally, anyone who has fly fished in high altitude conditions wading through swollen rivers all day or tried to reel in a trophy tuna will know the benefits of being physically fit. In general, fishermen of most disciplines will rely heavily on the delts, their pecs, their rotator cuff muscles and their arms/hands. A strong core is invaluable to the angler as well as being in good cardiovascular health. Fishing tournaments expose the athletes to long hours battling the elements so strong muscles and physical fitness are important keys to success.
Nutrition for Fishin’
Well this is one sport where you can actually receive health benefits not just from the exercise but also for what you win! What should a fisherman eat? Well, FISH OF COURSE! Fish is extremely high in protein and an excellent source of nutrition for the athletes that chase them. In fact, during competitions – the athletes can actually ingest the prize for nourishment. There is nothing in the world like eating freshly made tuna ceviche right on the boat during a fishing tournament. In addition to their staple trophy, anglers should choose foods high in carbohydrates before taking to the water and should always, always make sure to be well hydrated before embarking and ensure that they keep hydrated throughout the competition. The sun and elements can take a lot out of the angler and this can have devastating consequences. As with any other athletes, professional anglers should have a balanced diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Refraining from sugary processed foods and alcohol (especially while on a boat) are also highly recommended. Lastly, having emergency food/water on hand during competitions far from shore or society can make the difference between life and death for the professional angler.
We here at VitaGaming recommend our ‘Balanced Energy’ supplement for the professional or serious sport angler. Sustainable, long term energy and enhanced focus will help the fisherman stay out longer and be more effective in reading the water; and in reacting to quick strikes on the bait. ‘Balanced Energy’ is formulated to provide a natural source of energy that will help the angler go the extra mile. Additionally, the adaptogens found in ‘Balanced Energy’ are highly effective in building up physical stamina, increasing attention, alertness and reducing fatigue. As anglers know its “GAME ON WHEN YOU GOT A FISH ON”!