Fish Quotes: Timeless Wisdom and Humor for Anglers and Non-Anglers Alike

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Fishing is a timeless activity loved by many people around the world. It not only brings us closer to nature but also teaches us important life lessons like patience, perseverance, and respect for our environment. 

The wisdom and humor associated with fishing have been captured in countless quotes, sayings, and proverbs throughout the ages. 

In this article, we have curated a delightful collection of fishing-related quotes that will resonate with both anglers and non-anglers alike. 

So sit back, relax, and enjoy these insightful and entertaining fish quotes that reveal the true essence of this beloved pastime.

fish quotes

Quotes About the Joy of Fishing

Fishing brings immense joy and satisfaction to those who partake in it. The following quotes from famous anglers, authors, and celebrities perfectly capture the happiness that comes from spending time by the water, casting a line, and connecting with nature.

  • “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “There is no greater fan of fly-fishing than the worm.” – Patrick F. McManus
  • “The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.” – John Buchan
fish quotes
  • “Fishing is not an escape from life, but often a deeper immersion into it.” – Harry Middleton
  • “I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful.” – Robert Traver
  • “The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t.” – Patrick F. McManus
  • “Fishing is a discipline in the equality of men – for all men are equal before fish.” – Herbert Hoover
  • “Some go to church and think about fishing, others go fishing and think about God.” – Tony Blake
  • “To go fishing is the chance to wash one’s soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of sun on blue water.” – Herbert Hoover

These quotes serve as a reminder of the simple joys and profound happiness that fishing brings to our lives. Whether you are an experienced angler or someone who has yet to cast a line, these words of wisdom will undoubtedly resonate with you.

Quotes on Fishing Philosophy and Life Lessons

Fishing is more than just a hobby or pastime; it’s a source of wisdom and life lessons. The following quotes from renowned authors, philosophers, and cultural proverbs beautifully illustrate the parallels between fishing and life, touching upon themes such as patience, perseverance, and the value of solitude.

  • “If you want to catch more fish, use more hooks.” – George Allen, Sr.
  • “There is certainly something in angling that tends to produce a serenity of the mind.” – Washington Irving
  • “The best time to go fishing is when you can get away.” – Robert Traver
  • “Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.” – Herbert Hoover
  • “A bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at the office.” – Unknown
  • “Rivers and the inhabitants of the watery elements are made for wise men to contemplate and for fools to pass by without consideration.” – Izaak Walton
  • “The act of fishing transports us to a special world and a state of mind where we are free.” – Fennel Hudson
  • “Patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” – Joyce Meyer
  • “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Chinese Proverb
  • “In every species of fish I’ve angled for, it is the ones that have got away that thrill me the most, the ones that keep fresh in my memory.” – Ray Bergman
fish quotes
  • “Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.” – Harold F. Blaisdell
  • “Angling is an art – and an art worth your learning. The question is rather, whether you be capable of learning it?” – Izaak Walton
  • “If fishing is a religion, fly fishing is high church.” – Tom Brokaw
  • “Good things come to those who bait.” – Unknown
  • “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.” – John Barrymore
  • “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.” – Ted Hughes
  • “In fishing, as in life, you don’t always have to have a plan. Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts and let the day unfold.” – Unknown

These quotes highlight the wisdom gained from fishing and how it can help us navigate the complexities of life with patience, perseverance, and a deep appreciation for the natural world.

Humorous Fish Quotes and Sayings

Fishing, like life, can have its funny moments too. The following compilation of funny quotes, sayings, and anecdotes captures the lighter side of fishing. These humorous quotes come from celebrities, authors, and anglers who have shared amusing insights about their fishing experiences.

  • “Fishing is a delusion entirely surrounded by liars in old clothes.” – Don Marquis
  • “Fishing is like dating; it’s all catch and release until you find a keeper.” – Unknown
  • “There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” – Steven Wright
  • “Carrying a fishing rod is like carrying a magic wand.” – John Gierach
  • “Fishing is the sport of drowning worms.” – Unknown
  • “I’ve gone fishing thousands of times in my life, and I have never once felt unlucky or poorly paid for those hours on the water.” – William Tapply
  • “If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there’d be a shortage of fishing poles.” – Doug Larson
  • “The fishing was good; it was the catching that was bad.” – A.K. Best
  • “Fishing is like waiting for something that does not happen very often.” – Unknown
fish quotes
  • “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
  • “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Give a fish a man, and he’ll eat for weeks!” – Takayuki Ikkaku
  • “If fishing is interfering with your business, give up your business.” – Sparse Grey Hackle
  • “Even if you’ve been fishing for three hours and haven’t gotten anything except poison ivy and sunburn, you’re still better off than the worm.” – Unknown
  • “A fisherman is a jerk on one end of the line waiting for a jerk on the other.” – Robert Hughes
  • “The only thing worse than a bad day of fishing is a great day at work.” – Unknown
  • “Calling fishing a hobby is like calling brain surgery a job.” – Paul Schullery
  • “I don’t go fishing to escape my life; I go fishing to live my life.” – Unknown
  • “There is no such thing as too much equipment when it comes to fishing.” – Unknown
  • “Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.” – Unknown
  • “Fishing is not a matter of life and death. It’s much more important than that.” – Unknown

These funny fish quotes and sayings remind us to embrace the lighter side of fishing and enjoy the humor that can be found in this timeless activity. So the next time you’re out on the water, remember to smile, laugh, and make the most of your fishing adventures.

Inspirational Fishing Quotes

Fishing can inspire and motivate us to not only pursue our passion but also appreciate the beauty of nature. The following selection of quotes from influential figures highlights the transformative power of fishing and the importance of protecting our natural resources.

  • “The solution to any problem – work, love, money, whatever – is to go fishing, and the worse the problem, the longer the trip should be.” – John Gierach
  • “Fishing provides time to think, and reason not to. If you have the virtue of patience, an hour or two of casting alone is plenty of time to review all you’ve learned about the grand themes of life.” – Carl Safina
  • “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
  • “The best fisherman is the one who fishes for the love of it, not just for the fish.” – Zane Grey
  • “The art of fishing is about as perfect as the human mind can make it, and it is one of the few things in life that gets better, not worse, the more you do it.” – John Gierach
  • “If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.” – Zane Grey
  • “The water you touch in a river is the last of that which has passed, and the first of that which is coming; thus it is with time.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  • “The world is a great book, of which they who never stir from home read only a page.” – St. Augustine
  • “The only reason I ever played golf in the first place was so I could afford to hunt and fish.” – Sam Snead
fish quotes
  • “The great charm of fly-fishing is that we are always learning.” – Theodore Gordon
  • “You cannot catch trout with dry breeches.” – Spanish Proverb
  • “Do not tell fish stories where the people know you. Particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.” – Mark Twain
  • “I go fishing not to find myself but to lose myself.” – Joseph Monniger

These inspirational fishing quotes serve as a reminder to appreciate the beauty of nature, pursue our passions, and protect the natural resources that make fishing such a cherished activity for many.

Quotes About the Art and Skill of Fishing

Fishing is an art that requires skill, patience, and a constant pursuit of knowledge. The following collection of quotes delves into the intricacies of fishing techniques, the development of expertise, and the passion for learning. These quotes come from master anglers, fishing guides, and authors who have shared their thoughts on the art of fishing.

  • “In fishing, as in life, there is always room for improvement.” – Ernest Hemingway
  • “I have fished through fishless days that I remember happily without regret.” – Roderick Haig-Brown
  • “To him, all good things—trout as well as eternal salvation—come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.” – Norman Maclean
  • “A trout is a moment of beauty known only to those who seek it.” – Arnold Gingrich
  • “Good fishing comes not to those who think about it, but to those who do it.” – Art Scheck
  • “The angling fever is a very real disease and can only be cured by the application of cold water and fresh, untainted air.” – Theodore Gordon
  • “The fisherman who knows the most fishes the most.” – Unknown
  • “The man who coined the phrase ‘Money can’t buy happiness,’ never bought himself a good fly rod!” – Reg Baird
fish quotes
  • “You can learn more from your failures than your successes when it comes to fishing.” – Gary Borger
  • “Fly-fishing is the most fun you can have standing up.” – Arnold Gingrich
  • “In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing.” – Norman Maclean
  • “Fly-fishing is solitary, contemplative, misanthropic, scientific in some hands, poetic in others, and laced with conflicting aesthetic considerations.” – John Gierach
  • “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
  • “Fishing, with me, has always been an excuse to drink in the daytime.” – Jimmy Cannon
  • “Give a man a fish and he has food for a day; teach him how to fish and you can get rid of him for the entire weekend.” – Zenna Schaffer
  • “The mark of a successful angler is not what he catches, but how he fishes.” – Charles Waterman


Throughout this article, we’ve explored various themes in the world of fishing through a collection of thought-provoking quotes. 

From the joy and satisfaction derived from fishing to the philosophical life lessons it teaches, these quotes provide a glimpse into the depths of this timeless pursuit. 

We’ve also shared some humorous anecdotes and sayings, as well as inspirational quotes that remind us of the beauty of nature and our passion for the sport.

As you reflect on the wisdom, humor, and insights shared in these fishing quotes, we hope they resonate with you and perhaps inspire you to see fishing in a new light. We invite you to share your favorite fish quotes or personal fishing experiences in the comments section below. Let’s continue celebrating the art of fishing and the camaraderie it fosters among anglers from all walks of life.

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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