Between lakes and the coastal waters In the southeastern United States, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, commercial and recreational fishermen have ample opportunity to catch fresh and saltwater species. However, there is a distinct difference between a fisherman and an angler. What is the difference between the two?

Does Saltwater Or Freshwater Determine the Difference Between A Fisherman And Angler?

Whether you are engaging in gathering fish or shellfish and no matter the method, the water salinity has no impact on the difference between the two.

Saltwater and freshwater have fisherman and anglers who utilize the water recreationally or commercially to catch fish or shellfish. However, keep in mind that some do not harvest fish but instead practice catch and release. 

Do Anglers and Fisherman Require Fishing Licenses?

Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina require fishing licenses for teenagers 16 years old and up.

Keep in mind that one license does not blanket each state, nor does it cover saltwater and freshwater.

A fishing license must be purchased for freshwater and saltwater in each of the three states. If you fish in salt or fresh water expect to pay for a fishing license.

Lastly, commercial fishers are required to be licensed however they fall under a separate licensing category which is not standard for the public. Unless you plan on doing this for a living, don’t even concern yourself with these regulations.  

In What Methods Can Fisherman And Anglers Catch Fish And Shellfish

Fish and shellfish are caught in a variety of methods. Commercial and recreational outdoor lovers utilize the following approaches.

Rod And Reel

The most common form of catching fish is with a rod and reel. Rod and reel fishing includes both fly fishing and conventional fishing with a spinning rod, bait caster, or level wind reel. 


Commercial and recreational sportsmen utilize nets to catch both fish and shellfish. Recreationally the net is used to catch baitfish in addition to shrimp. 

Drag nets are put to use by commercial fisherman to catch a multitude of shrimp and fish varieties. The nets are utilized in both salt and fresh water. 


A rake is a tool to remove clams and oysters from below the water’s surface. Again, recreational and commercial clammers and oyster fishers utilize rakes to pull the clams and oysters into the boat. 

What Is The Definition Of An Angler

As part of the word angler, the name comes from angle as in the angle of a hook. Therefore, the word angler was derived as a name for fishing with a line and hook.

Across the southeast, there are novice, professional, and commercial anglers. However, the term is most widely known for the fishermen who are well-versed in fishing. When you turn on a sportfishing television show, the competitors are called anglers. 

What Is The Definition Of A Fisherman

A fisherman is best described as an individual who targets shellfish and curstaceans such as shrimp, crabs, oysters, clams, mussels, and more. The method to catching this type of sealife is by net or rake as opposed to an “angle” hook approach.

However, the term fisherman is widely used to describe someone fishing with a rod and reel by land, pier, or boat. The term is broad and therefore can be used in a wide variety of situations. 

Are You And Angler Or A Fisherman

Age and sex are no factor. Fishing, whether you’re an angler or a fisherman, is an opportunity to spend time on or near the water catching fish, crustaceans, and shellfish. Even better is the fact that the fresh catch can be harvested for dinner so long as the state allows. Now when you take a look at fellow fishers you can determine if they are an angler or fisherman.