The Physics of Fishing

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The Physics of Fishing

The use of a boat while fishing and some of the physics applicable to boating will be included in exploring the various ways physics applies to the sport of fishing. Other topics will include the fishing rod, fishing lure, casting, and the fish itself.

The boat floats on the water according to Archimedes Principle which states an immersed object is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid it displaces. The force applied downwards by earth’s gravity coupled with the upward force of buoyancy allows the boat to float. The boat consists of separate components each having their own center of mass, or center of gravity. The boat, the occupant(s), the engine or oars, and the fishing gear all combine to create a whole unit. The center of mass for the whole system is the average of the center of mass of each component. These components may move relative to each other but as a whole cannot change its velocity or momentum without the application of an external force. Newton’s first law of motion states that an object at rest stays at rest unless a force is exerted upon it. For the boat to move through the water a force must be exerted upon it. The forces that move the boat can be the current of the water, the rowing of the oars, the engines propeller, and wind. As the boat moves through the water a Doppler Effect is created. The Doppler Effect applies to all

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waves. The waves at the front of the boat are compressed and are shorter than the longer, spread out waves at the back of the boat.

The distance that a fishing lure or bait can be cast is directly related to the length of the fishing rod and the weight of the lure, bait and any additional weights. Casting is necess...

... middle of paper ... gives the fish the ability to stay laterally stable.

Physics can be found in all aspects of our lives and the world around us including the activities in which we find the most enjoyment. They may not be noticeable to the naked eye or even to our senses but they are there and when we become familiar with the concepts of physics then we began to ‘see’ physics everywhere.


Hewitt, Paul G. Conceptual Physics Eleventh Edition. St. Petersburg, FL: Pearson, 2010.

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Dudhia, Anu. "Physics of Rowing." Web. 19 March 2011.


Teune, Joel. “The Physics of Fishing”. Web. 19 March 2011.

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