30 of the All-Time Best Fishing Quotes

No matter what drives a person to fish, it gives him a ton of time to think. And from all that time standing and sitting on the shores and boats some true gems of wisdom got hooked on the minds of fishermen. Fortunately, anglers love to share their philosophies and viewpoints, some with more honesty than others. Here are the 30 best fishing quotes we could find.

But before we start, a little prayer:

Dear Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the size of the fish I catch, the courage not to lie about it and the wisdom to know that none of my fishing buddies would believe me anyway… Amen.

Why we fish quotes

The allure of fishing often eludes those who had never spent a small fortune on fishing gear. So waking up before the break of dawn, dealing with worms, flies, and slimy fish, waiting hours for some action seems completely irrational to them. When they start bugging you on why you do it just show them these pearls of wisdom.

“An angler is a man who spends rainy days sitting around on the muddy banks of rivers doing nothing because his wife won’t let him do it at home.” – Author Unknown.

“Fishing provides that connection with the whole living world. It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way. A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self” – Ted Hughes.

“A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work.” – Author Unknown.

“Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.” – Herbert Hoover.

“I thoroughly enjoy getting away from the game and going out fishing because it’s so relaxing, so quiet, and peaceful. I mean, there’s no noise other than nature… and it’s so different from what I do in a tournament situation that it just eases my mind.” – Tiger Woods.

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after” – Henry David Thoreau.

“I love fishing. You put that line in the water and you don’t know what’s on the other end. Your imagination is under there.” – Robert Altman.

“I go fishing not to find myself but to lose myself.” – Joseph Monninger.

“I got 99 problems and fishin’ solves all of em” – Earl Dibbles Jr.

“Fishing is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it.”  – Harry Middleton.

“Three-fourths of the Earth’s surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn.” – Chuck Clark.

Fishing etiquette quotes

If you can catch a fish, that doesn’t mean you can fish, as there are unwritten rules for all human behaviors, there are some that apply when there’s water, worms, rods and bear near.

“Somebody behind you while you are fishing, is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl.” – Ernest Hemingway.

“There are only two occasions when American respect privacy. Those are prayer and fishing.” – Herbert Hoover.

“The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you caught isn’t someone else’s gift to you?” – Lee Wulff.

“Calling fishing a hobby is like calling brain surgery a job.” – Paul Schullery.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Maimonides.

Lying and fishing quotes

“You should have been here yesterday”, we’ve all heard this one, even from life-long friends, and probably quite a few of us are guilty of saying these untrustworthy words ourselves, so it’s not unusual that fishermen have a reputation of bending the truth more than their fishing rods get bent.

“We ask a simple question and that is all we wish… Are all fishermen liars or do only liars fish?” – William Sherwood Fox.

“Do not tell fish stories where the people know you… but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.” – Mark Twain

“Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught.” – Author Unknown

“My biggest worry is that my wife (when I’m dead) will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it.” – Koos Brandt

“Of all the liars among mankind, the fisherman is the most trustworthy.” – William Sherwood Fox.

General fishing quotes

“I think there is a connection between thinking and fishing mostly because you spend a lot of time up to your waist in water without a whole lot to keep your mind busy.” – Anthony Doerr.

“As no man is born an artist, so no man is born an angler.” – Izaak Walton.

“There is a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” – Steven Wright.

“If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.” – Doug Larson.

“Most of the world is covered by water. A fisherman’s job is simple: Pick out the best parts.” – Charles Waterman.

“The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions of hope.” – John Buchan.

Did we fail to catch some classic fishing quotes? If so, leave them in the comments below.