How Did People Catch Fish in Ancient Times?

Fishing is one of the oldest and most important human activities. People have been catching fish for food and commerce for thousands of years. But, how did people catch fish in ancient times?

Hand Fishing

One of the earliest methods of fishing was hand fishing. This method involves catching fish with bare hands by grabbing them from the water. This technique was used by early humans who lived near rivers or lakes.


Spearing involves using a long sharpened stick, commonly referred to as a spear, to catch fish. This method is believed to have been used by early humans when they were still hunter-gatherers.


Nets are another ancient fishing tool that was used to catch fish. Early fishing nets were made from woven plant fibers or animal hair. They were commonly used in rivers and shallow waters.

Gill Nets

Gill nets were also used in ancient times. These nets are designed to trap fish by their gills as they swim through the netting.

Trap Nets

Trap nets are another type of ancient fishing net. These nets are designed to trap fish inside a basket-like structure made out of woven plant fibers or animal hair.

Hook and Line Fishing

Hook and line fishing is another ancient method of fishing that is still widely used today. Early fishermen would have fashioned hooks out of bone, shell, or wood, and used natural bait such as insects or small pieces of meat.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is a type of hook and line fishing that has been around since ancient times. In this method, an artificial fly is cast onto the water’s surface to attract fish.


In conclusion, people caught fish in various ways in ancient times such as hand fishing, spearing, nets, and hook and line fishing. These methods have evolved over time, and today’s fishing techniques are much more advanced and efficient. However, it is important to remember the ingenuity of our ancestors who used simple tools to catch fish that were essential for their survival.