Found this on the World Wide Web, thought it was interesting so I'm passing it on . . .
What Is Angling, And Why Do We Call It That?
Excellent Question! I'm so glad you asked. Just bear with me for a minute, as this is likely to be the most long winded and boring answer.
In modern usage, to angle for something generally refers to a subtle or devious means to an end. For example, one might say: "Rob is angling to make some money from his shiny new fishing hub." Another example might be: "Jane was angling for compliments on her new dress." In the second example, you might even say that Jane was fishing for compliments. Coincidence? Hmm, let's dig a little deeper.
Since around the middle of the sixteenth century, the word "angler" has been used as a noun, in referring to anyone who uses a hook and line to catch fish. In verb form, angle/angling was derived from the noun, "angle", which had been used since the fifteenth century to describe a fish hook. This latter has long since fallen from common usage, but we still use angling/angler to describe fishing, and those who love to fish.