Why Are Fishermen Called Anglers? – Eplained

Thomas Krik

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Thomas Krik

Marc Lowe


Marc Lowe

why are fishermen called anglers

Are you also curious about this question, “Why are fishermen called anglers?” Well, you’re in the right place!

Anglers exist as a word to describe fishermen who use the fishing method “angling” when catching fish. As such, not every fisherman can be referred to as an angler; you can differentiate one from the others based on their technique.

If you want to get to know more about angler’s meaning and what makes a fisherman an angler, keep reading this article!

The Birth of the Term “Angler”


Are fishermen and anglers the same? Don’t get confused, as “angler” is not a slang term for a fisherman. Fisherman refers to a broad category of people who catch fish; they use various methods when fishing, such as using nets, traps, etc.

On the other hand, an “angler” is a specific type of fisherman. The word angler in fishing comes from the use of an angle or a fishing hook (found at the end of a fishing line which is then attached to a rod) to lure or catch sea animals.

In etymology, the term “angler” came from the Old English word “angel.” Back in the 1400s, hooks (yes, the ones used in fishing) were called angles, which had the same meaning as the Old English “angel.”

What Makes An Angler


So what makes an angler? Aside from using the “angling” technique when catching fish, anglers are usually involved in sport fishing.

This is very different from fishermen who are into commercial fishing. As such, you can usually find anglers at the end of docks or in a small boat in the middle of a lake catching fish for sport or to have fun.

As they do this activity for recreational purposes, an angler usually releases the fish back into the water once they’ve achieved their goal. They also use artificial lures more than live bait, which helps attract specific species rather than as many fish as possible.

But is it easy to become an angler? Well, although you’re not fishing for a living, being an angler still requires effort.

First, you need to have the necessary fishing gear to become one, especially a fishing hook, a line, a rod and reel, to name a few. Then you need to take time to learn about species of fish and how they behave in the water.

Most importantly, you have to master the angling method, such as how to bait properly, to be an angler.

Socially, angling has a pretty wholesome image, but it’s important to be mindful of the environment and fish habitats, such as by not throwing trash overboard and using wet towels to handle fish while releasing them.

Lastly, learn to be patient and just enjoy the process. After all, angling is mainly for recreation.


So why are fishermen called anglers? In summary, the word angler came from the word “angel,” which also meant fishing hook. Based on its etymology, not all fishermen are anglers. Only those who use the angling method (which is using a fishing hook when fishing) are called this way.

These types of fishers are into the thrill and fun of baiting and catching fish. Once done, anglers almost always release the fish back into water instead of consuming them. If you’re interested in this kind of fishing, you’re in for a fun adventure!

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