This iron fish hook and lead net weight were uncovered last summer by volunteers at Binchester, a Roman fort in County Durham. Because fishing lines and nets were made of highly perishable organic materials, these artefacts are the most common evidence we have for fishing practices, apart from the fish bones themselves.
The hook is just over 100mm long and made of iron and would have been used for sea fishing—though the North Sea is nearly 25 miles away from where it was found!
The weight is a strip of lead that would have been part of a set. These would have been bent or rolled sequentially around the outer edge of a throwing net to aid it in spreading completely as it was cast (chains are typically used for the same purpose in modern nets). This was more likely to have been used in the local river, the River Wear.