My definition of fishing is the act of hunting for fish and catching them by means of a line and hook with some sort of bait to entice the fish to put the hook in its mouth. Typically this involves a rod to cast said line and hook. My current preference is using fly fishing tackle. I've even run across specific definitions such as this mediocre one on wikipedia.org about kayak fishing.
I was busy most of last week getting ready for the Christmas weekend which we spent in Laredo with family. On our return, we brought back one of my nephews that is close to my son's age and one of his most beloved of cousins. My nephew will be staying with us for a short while during Christmas break and so this afternoon I took my son and nephew to a neighborhood park where I could show him how to catch a fish with a fly rod.
The temperature this afternoon was in the low 60s and the water in the ponds wasn't quite warmed up yet even with the clear and sunny skies but I did entice a few sunfish. I briefed my nephew on the differences between fly tackle and conventional spinning/casting tackle. I showed him the typical cast and he watched as I caught a small sunfish.
My son, on the other hand, has already had this lesson before and proceeded to run around the park like a chicken with his head cut off. After a while, I was unable to hold my nephew's interest and he too went off to play with my son and basically explore the park like young boys do, leaving me to fish on my own. That was fine with me and eventually even though I was done and needed to get home to prepare to cook dinner (mesquite grilled burgers), they insisted on more time in order to "save" a cat. Eventually, my son stepped into the water and soaked his shoes, socks and pants legs and that was the end of the adventures at the park.
Here is a photo I took of the two boys holding one of the sunfish. My son is the one on the left wearing the white t-shirt.
Getting back to what is fishing? Well, in my son's mind, it is more than my meager definition and only a subset actually involves fish and there seems to be more focus and importance on just running around without a care in the world and simply having fun. In some ways, I like his definition better.