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SunJun 18

National Go Fishing Day – June 18, 2023

Observed annually on June 18, National Go Fishing Day is a great day to take time from your daily routine to find a stream, a lake or pond, bait your hook, cast your line and catch a fish or two (or ten). Fishing is a recreational pastime of many, and if you’re lucky, you can bring home a fresh catch.

History of National Go Fishing Day

During prehistoric times, fishing was not a recreational activity but a food source for people. Thus, it became a commercial activity during antiquity, as evidenced by the discovery of fish fossils dating back 500,000 years ago. These fossils suggest that the Homo habilis and Homo erectus were the first fishermen, usually catching fish by hand. Similarly, traditions and myths dating back thousands of years also indicate fishing was a celebrated activity. 

Millennia later, in 3,500 B.C., the Egyptians started using spears, nets, lines, and rods to catch fish from the Nile. Similarly, the Romans were major fish consumers and traders in the Mediterranean Basin; they fished using nets and preserved fish that wasn’t immediately consumed. Centuries later, during the Middle Ages in Europe, as feudal lords owned rivers and lakes, river fishing was regulated and permitted for people in religious communities. 

However, from the mid-11th century, innovation started to take hold, and thus, with the construction of ponds, fish farming began. Later, in the 15th century, when ship designs were modified, the deep-sea fishing and fish trade expanded. Fishers went further out to the sea to catch fish. Yet, it wasn’t until the appearance of the first fish trawlers in the 17th century and later the harnessing of steam power in the 19th century that the fishing trade became a billion-dollar industry and a celebrated pastime. 

National Go Fishing Day timeline

500,000 Years Ago
The First Fishermen

The discovery of fish fossils suggests that Homo habilis and then Homo erectus were the first fishermen.

3,500 B.C
The First Use of Fishing Equipment
11th Century A.D
The Beginning of Fish Farming

Fish farming begins with the development of fish ponds.

1770
First Rod and Reel

Rods and reels are produced from heavy wood and metal ring spools.

19th Century
Steam Power Is Harnessed for Fishing

Steam power replaces ship sails two centuries after the first fish trawlers appear in Great Britain.

1880
Tackle Design

Linseed-oil-treated silk replaces horsehair as fishing line.

1920
Fishing Boom

Fishing increases in popularity because it is a leisurely way to get food on the table.

1939
Synthetic Nets

Cast nets evolve from cotton fiber to nylon.

National Go Fishing Day Activities

  1. Go out and fish

    If you own a boat, great! If not, ask one of your friends to go on a fishing adventure with you. Be sure to bring the bait! If the prospect of fishing fascinates you, conduct some research. Find out what you need to get started.

  2. Build a fishing-themed playlist

    Bust out that Spotify app and make a go-fishing playlist that will ignite that inner fisherman inside of you.

  3. If you cant go fishing, go eat some fish

    Yes, we said it. Although it isn’t the same thing as being out on the water and catching your lunch, might as well visualize it with every bite at your favorite seafood restaurant or equivalent. You can even defrost that fish from Costco and enjoy a grilled fish for dinner.

5 Interesting Facts About Fish

  1. There are thousands of fish species

    There are more than 25,000 fish species on the Earth.

  2. The bristlemouth is the most common fish

    The bristlemouth is about the size of a small minnow.

  3. Ancient fish-like animals didn’t have biting jaws

    The oldest fish-like animals had mouths, but their evolution stopped before the development of biting jaws.

  4. A fish survived for 40 years

    The Acadian redfish is known as the fish that lived longest.

  5. Fishes do sleep

    Fishes rest by floating in one place, wedging in mud or coral, and hiding in their nests.

Why We Love National Go Fishing Day

  1. It’s a bonding experience

    The same thing can happen with any other activity, but with fishing – once you’re in the motion of things, you start acting in the present and usually start to talk about the things that matter most with the people that matter the most.

  2. It’s a form of meditation

    Fishing gives you a chance to really disconnect from your work-life. By throwing a line in the lake, and waiting for a snag, one can get lost in the experience, and work feels a million miles away. If you need space to think, fishing is the key. It can be a powerful time for reflection to connect ideas, follow random trains of thought, and meditate.

  3. It’s a challenge

    We long to be challenged, but if we’re always challenged by the same thing – it can wear us down and burn us out. Fishing is great because it calls on a different set of skills and demands something entirely new from us. We get the satisfaction of rising to the occasion when our comfort zone is being pushed.

National Go Fishing Day dates

YearDateDay
2023June 18Sunday
2024June 18Tuesday
2025June 18Wednesday
2026June 18Thursday
2027June 18Friday

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