Angling is a method of fishing by means of a fish hook or "angle". The hook is attached to a fishing line, which is usually manipulated via a fishing rod, although rodless techniques such as handlining also exist. Modern fishing rods are usually fitted with a fishing reel that functions as a cranking device for storing, retrieving and releasing out the line, although Tenkara fishing and cane pole fishing are two rod-angling methods that do not use a reel. The hook itself is typically dressed with bait, but sometimes a lure with multiple attached hooks is used in place of a single hook and bait. A bite indicator, such as a float and a weighted sinker, are sometimes used to signal that the fish has swallowed the hook, which anchors firmly in the fish mouth to stop it escaping.
Angling is the principal method of sport fishing, but commercial fisheries also use angling methods such as longlining or trolling. Catch and release fishing is increasingly practiced by recreational fishermen. In many parts of the world, size limits apply to certain species, meaning fish below and/or above a certain size must, by law, be released.
The species of fish pursued by anglers vary with geography. Among the many species of saltwater fish that are caught for sport globally are billfish (swordfish, sailfish and marlin), tuna and grouper, while cod and bass are popular targets in Europe. In North America the most popular sporting freshwater fish species include bass, pike/muskellunge, walleye, yellow perch, trout, salmon, tilapia, and panfishes such as crappie, bluegill and sunfish. In Europe, many anglers fish for species such as carp, pike, bream, tench, rudd, roach, European perch, catfish and barbel.