Unlike other forms of fishing which prioritizes financial or survival goals, the main objective of sport fishing is purely recreational. The primary reward for enthusiasts who take on such an activity is the challenge of finding and catching game. Sport fishing also involves methods and tactics that are distinctly different from commercial and food fishing. For one, virtually all sport fishing activities make use of a hook, rod, and reel to catch fish—although techniques and strategies will differ based on the type of method used.

Different anglers will use a variety of equipment depending on the area where they are fishing and the type of game they are hoping to catch. According to Southwick Associations, majority of anglers who fish in fresh water prefer to stay in land or by the docks. Meanwhile, anglers who fish in the open ocean ride power boats in order to catch game. Most enthusiasts keep fishing yachts that have been customized based on their needs by boat companies such as Mikelson Yachts.

Sport fishing is typically considered as one of the most popular recreations in America. According to data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, there were about 40 million officially licensed anglers during the year 2011. These enthusiasts were found to have generated over $46 billion in retail sales, as well as a total $115 billion financial impact on the country’s economy.

These overwhelming figures are responsible for keeping the recreation alive and thriving in the U.S. Without these profits, sport fishing could cause severe effects on American wildlife. As pointed out by the American Sportfishing Association, before the activity was properly regulated by the government, the growing number of anglers posed a threat to the ecosystem. This led to federal laws imposing industry taxes that now help fund conservation efforts of American fisheries.