Is fishing popular in your country? Do you like eating fish? Have you ever been to a place where there are lots of fish around you? Have you seen any movies with lots of fish? Why do people go fishing?
  • Salmon (noun) - a medium-sized silver-coloured fish that lives in the sea or rivers and swims up rivers to produce its eggs. Its pink flesh is eaten as a food.
  • Shore (noun) - the land along the edge of a sea, lake, or wide river.
  • Fishing rod (noun) - a long pole made of wood, plastic, etc. with a line attached to it and a hook at the end of the line, used for catching fish.
  • Keepnet (noun) - a cone-shaped net that is put in a river and used for keeping fish alive after they have been caught.
  • Immaterial (adj.) - not important, or not relating to the subject you are thinking about.
  • Scuba diving (noun) - the sport of swimming underwater with special breathing equipment.
  • To dart (verb) - to move quickly or suddenly.
  • Coral reef (noun) - an area of coral, the top of which can sometimes be seen just above the sea.
  • Clime (noun) - a place where the weather is different in a particular way.
  • School (noun) - a large number of fish or other sea creatures swimming in a group.
  • Shoal (noun) - a large number of fish swimming as a group.
  • Angling (noun) - the sport of trying to catch fish with a rod, line (= plastic thread), and hook (= curved piece of wire).
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Questions and Answers
M: Is fishing popular in your country?

R: Apparently. I've discovered recently that it's quite common for people to go up north and go salmon fishing there. And then just on the other side of the water on the farther shore, you see lots of guys going there with their fishing rods and keepnets. So it seems like it's quite a common thing.

M: Do you like eating fish?

R: Oh, yeah. I've always loved seafood. My favourite is salmon. Whether it's a steak or if it's smoked salmon, it's immaterial. I think I'd probably eat it for lunch and dinner, well, every lunch and dinner if I could.

M: Have you ever been to a place where there are lots of fish around you?

R: Yeah, I went scuba diving in Fiji and I was surrounded by all sorts of sea life there. There were sharks and rays and all sorts of fish darting in and out from the different coral reefs as well. And, well, closer to home there's also a sea life centre, and that showcases the fish from cooler climes in much clearer water. So if you're interested in that kind of thing, then you can head there.

M: Have you seen any movies with lots of fish?

R: I used to watch and rewatch this National Geographic documentary on, well, it's just life in the Caribbean Sea in general. But it also focused on the fish there. And growing up I loved the Jaws movies. I think more recently, oh, yeah, one of the last ones I saw were the Piranha movies. It's like a horror movie that shows different schools and shoals of these killer fish.

M: Why do people go fishing?

R: Well, I mean, the most obvious answer would be to catch fish. But that's not exactly very complex, is it? So, in more depth, angling is quite a popular sport where I live. And... So it could just be for sport. Or in some places, it's like a way of life. There's a... I think there's a tribe in Madagascar that I was reading about recently that, that they've specialized everything about life in their village to be focused on harvesting things from the sea. So like I say, for them, it's a way of life.
M: Hey! Thank you for your answers! Dear listener, you don't need to fish for vocabulary or for ideas about fishing because we've just given you all these fish for ages. In 2020 we had an episode about fish and fishing, so it's a comeback. Okay? So make sure you listen to our episodes in September 2020.

R: Oh my god, did we talk about this before?

M: Yes.

R: Wow. I do not remember that. So maybe it's time for me to take a trip down memory lane.

M: A lot of people go salmon fishing. Salmon is a type of fish. We usually eat it in our sushi, salmon, yum, yum, yum, this nice fish. And if you go fishing to catch salmon, so you go salmon fishing. Okay? Dear listener, even if you don't go fishing, you can imagine that, oh, yeah. Okay, I'm into fishing. So why not? Because it's easier to talk about fishing as if you enjoyed it. Okay? There are some good spots. Spots? Like fishing spots, like places to catch fish, right?

R: Yeah. And I think the full collocation is actually fishing spots.

M: So guys, people with their rods or men with their rods because usually men go fishing. Have you ever seen girls? Like a group of girls. Like, hey, let's go fishing, girls.

R: I have heard a theory about this. And the reason why it's usually men that go fishing is because apparently it's an excuse to escape their house and go and drink a lot while they're fishing. Apparently.

M: Yeah.

R: But that's just a rumour. I don't know if that's true, because I haven't been fishing in years.

M: What are keepnets?

R: Oh, keepnets are amazing. So, some people when they catch a fish, they throw it back in the water. But the risk of that is you catch the same fish twice. And that can be quite damaging to the fish, in addition to being a massive waste of time. So, instead, what you do is you have a net next to you but it's not a shallow net. It's a very deep net, it goes straight down. And when you... When you catch your fish, you put it in this net, and it can swim around in the free space, but it doesn't escape to the wider water. And that way, you can show people how many fish you can catch. And you also avoid damaging the fish, especially if you don't want to kill them. Maybe you're just angling for sport.

M: Angling. So the word angling is a very nice word, which is a synonym. Kind of a synonym for fishing. Angling is the sport of catching fish. You see, so it's kind of a sport. And a person who does it is an angler.

R: Yes.

M: So like a person whose hobby is to catch fish. So it's kind of like professional. Angling. I'm an angler, you can say, oh, I used to be an amateur angler. Or yeah, there are many anglers there. So people who enjoy catching fish.
R: Why is it called angling? I have no idea.

M: Don't bother.

R: Don't. Don't bother. Like...

M: Eating fish. I enjoy eating fish. I love seafood. And here, dear listener, this is your show time. You need some specific words about the kinds of fish. Rory just said salmon. But come on, it's boring. Salmon. Like you need some kind of like plaice.

R: No one likes eating plaice.

M: No, plaice is quite cool. It's really delicious. Yum, yum, yum. Plaice is a kind of flat fish. So it's kind of like... Like this. You know, like a pancake.

R: They're flat and bony, I think. I don't think anybody would enjoy eating them. Really?

M: I did. Yes, I caught it myself. So if you go to our Instagram, I posted some stories. It's about a huge one. A plaice.

R: You must have been out at sea. Because they're quite... I don't think they live close to the shore. Were you on a boat?

M: Yeah, of course, I was on a boat.

R: Well, no, sorry. Do you know what I mean? A large boat in the ocean.

M: Yes. This is what we do in Kamchatka.

R: That is cool.

M: Not some small rivers in Scotland, Rory. Some proper boats and proper fishing.

R: All right, all right, whatever.

M: The point is that you can use some nice words. For example, my favourite fish is trout or cod, or sturgeon. You see? Google it. Look at the pictures, choose two words to impress the examiner. Oh yeah, my favourite is trout. I enjoy grilled sturgeon. Band nine. Okay? Promise? Two words. You don't need all of them. Don't just go with tuna, or salmon. It's boring. Give some, you know, proper fish names.

R: I have a challenge for you, actually. If you can find two weird fish and post their names in the chat. I'll see if I know what they are. I promise I won't look. There we go. Because my fish knowledge is pretty good.

M: Challenge Rory. Find a crazy fish name and ask Rory, Rory, do we know what rule means?

R: Or where can you find this kind of fish? I like a challenge.
M: Yes. Don't be a clownfish. Okay, dear listener? Just write some crazy fish names. Clownfish, it was a joke. But after my dad joke at the end of the episode, we will be clownfish, everybody.

R: Or dead from the cringe.

M: You can use the second conditional. I'd have seafood for lunch and dinner if I could. So I would have it if I could. If I had the money I'd have fish every day, for example. A place where there are lots of fish around you. Rory, tell us. Fish. Is it fish is, there are lots of fish, there is lots of fish? Because it's just really "fisheconfusing".

R: Well, if we're talking about many, then it should be there are lots of fish, surely.

M: Do we say there are lots of fishes?

R: You can, but it's not what I would say. I think the word fishes is not in common use.

M: Usually we say there are lots of fish. There are lots of fish. Fish is delicious. Okay? But if you see many kinds of fish, we can say fishes. But again, usually, we say fish.

R: Or if it's a biblical reference.

M: Fish or sea life. I went scuba diving in Fiji and I was surrounded by all kinds of fish. All kinds of species, species. Kinds of fish, like rays. There we go, these flat thingies. Rays. Sharks, coral reefs.

R: I think rays and sharks are actually related to each other. They have a common ancestor. And you can see this, with sharks that live at the bottom of the ocean, they tend to be quite flat. And so you can see this shared body shape with the rays.

M: You can also lie, dear listener. There are some very good spots to go fishing. For example, the Bahamas. I've Googled it. Or Costa Rica. Okay? Sicily. In Italy. Right? So good Mediterranean fishing or Scotland.

R: Hooray!

M: There are some flying fish there.

R: In Scotland? Oh my god. Yes, actually. This is true. I was... I was standing watching the sea with a friend the other day. And this fish just leapt out of the water. So we do have flying fish.

M: A super strange question. Movies with lots of fish. Well, Jaws, obviously. But then you can go nerdy and say about the National Geographic documentaries I watch. Why did you say schools of fish? Schools of killer fish.

R: I did this on purpose because you see these two words for groups of fish. You have a school of fish and a shoal of fish. And if I'm right, it's a school of fish when they are moving, but when they stop to feed it's a shoal of fish.
M: Wow. It's just bad 15, dear listener, seriously. People go fishing to catch fish. Not only that, okay? Fishing, you can say, I Googled it. Fishing is a unique way to get exercise. So you kind of work out, fishing relieves stress. Okay? And fishing improves your concentration because you have to stare at the floating thing. Fishing float.

R: The mini boy.

M: Yeah, the Internet calls it fishing float.

R: Well, I'm calling it a mini boy.

M: And then you can use this word angling. Remember, angling? Like a sport to catch fish. Angling is a popular sport in some communities. There are many anglers in my region, and there is a fishing community in Scotland. Rory talked about Madagascar for some reason. But well, Scotland is.

R: Oh, no, Madagascar is like way far away from Scotland. I don't know, it just triggered a memory in me. I remember watching these fishermen and they can swim underwater for like two minutes without coming up for air which is amazing. I can barely manage 30 seconds. So it's like their... Their bodies have adapted to the water. That's so cool.

M: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but they do this not to go fishing.

R: No, no, they freedive and they catch fish. This helps them with harpoons I think or with spears.

M: Oh, I see, okay.

R: It's very impressive.

M: So, dear listener, are you ready for the joke?

R: I am not ready for the joke.

M: And dear listener, if you listened to this episode super attentively and you understood some of the vocabulary, you will get the joke and you will laugh. Okay? Why are fish so smart?

R: Why?

M: Because they swim in schools. They swim in schools, dear listener. Did you get that? Why are fish so smart, and clever? Because they swim in schools. A school of fish. Right... Thank you so much for listening...

R: Oh, no, no, no, no, no, we're not done yet. And in the event that Maria's joke didn't promote your learning, I have something that might, I'd like you to pick three of the words or phrases from this episode that were easy for you to say or remember and write them in the chat. And I'd like you to pick one word that was difficult to say and add that too. So the idea is that focusing on these things, it will help you remember things more easily. And then you'll be much more able to say them or much readier to say them in your exam.

M: Barracuda, dear listener. Thank you very much for watching, for listening, for buying our premium episodes! Yes, we do have speaking parts two and three. The link is in the description. Do check our premium episodes. Thank you! Be with us. Write in the comments. Okay? Bye!

R: Bye!
Access our exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 2 and 3!
Access our exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 2 and 3!
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