After hundreds and hundreds of fishing trips, I can safely say that fishing is a hobby that you can benefit from in more than one way! It is really so much more than simply catching a fish. So, I wanted to share my 10 best reasons why fishing is good for you and your health.
1. Fishing Is a Fun and Meaningful Hobby
Fishing is great fun, even on those days when you do not manage to catch a fish. It just always makes you happy to go fishing. To be honest, even just thinking about it makes me happy! I do not remember a time in my life when fishing, or the thought of it, did not make me feel good.
It also adds a lot of value and meaning to your life. Many other hobbies do as well, of course, but fishing is so multifaceted that it becomes a totally different type of hobby, and experience.
By that, I mean that there is just so much about fishing that can enrich your life and make it more meaningful. Here are a few examples:
- you learn about many different fishing techniques and methods
- you carefully prepare each and every trip in advance
- you spend time outdoors and really get in touch with nature
- you learn about fish species, water features, weather conditions, fish behavior, and how all these factors interact with each other
All those facts, and many more, make fishing a wonderfully meaningful, versatile and extremely exciting hobby.
2. Fishing Is a Great Stress Reliever
“It is more important to enjoy fishing than to catch a fish.”Chris Yates
Life is full of routines; work, chores, the kids, finances, you name it. All that is part of life and often fun, but it can also be extremely overwhelming at time.
The absolutely best thing about fishing is its ability to relieve stress. Sure, you could just go to the gym and have a great workout. That certainly clears your mind and benefits your physical health. But even going to the gym can be very stressful. A training session is often very short and intense, there are many people around, loud music, etc. All in all, it might cause you even more stress.
Fishing is totally different; you are often completely alone and it is absolutely silent all around you. This allows you to focus on the moment, on the exact here and now.
Everything else simply fades away and there is only you and nature. In other words, fishing can easily disconnect you from society in a way few other activities or hobbies can.
In fact, it is a form of meditation. And so, even if you catch absolutely nothing at all, you will often leave the water a much calmer and happier person! A research study on neurobiology has actually linked fishing to the relaxation response in our brains, which can for example lead to lower levels of stress and blood pressure.
3. Fishing Teaches You Valuable Outdoor Skills
If you really get into fishing, you will start to take longer trips and possibly even get into night fishing and camping.
Quite naturally then, you will develop valuable outdoor skills that will make your trip easier, safer and more fun.
Here are a few examples of outdoor skills that I have acquired over the years while fishing:
- collecting fire wood and build a campfire (even without a lighter)
- setting up a tent
- matching clothing with weather conditions and temperature
- identifying (and avoiding) poisonous snakes
- collecting edible berries, mushrooms and herbs
- cooking delicious meals on a gas stove
- collecting water
When you are a die-hard fisherman, you really turn into a survivalist. But the occasional pizza on your way home sure doesn’t hurt!
4. Catching Fish Releases Dopamine
You know the feeling you get when you score a goal, had the perfect meal, or very good sex? That feeling of happiness is the result of our bodies releasing the chemical dopamine, which is also called the “reward molecule”.
Dopamine is also being released every time you get a bite or catch a fish! Imagine how happy you can get if you’re really good at fishing and catch a lot of fish!
Of course, this is also the reason why it is so difficult to stop fishing and go home. Like with everything else in life, a healthy balance must be established. But whenever you get the chance to go fishing, the trip will quite literally make you happier and experience pleasure.
5. Fishing Makes You Think and Reflect
As fishing is somewhat of a meditative activity, it allows you to deeply think and reflect on virtually any aspect of your life and/or existence. It has the power to bring out the philosopher in you, really!
Hence, fishing can make you more of a thinker, which is an attribute that can be linked to a more balanced life in general.
Once again, it is the calm and natural environment you find yourself in while fishing, which can open the door to the philosophical realms of reality. The silence and piece that surrounds you can foster new thoughts and ideas.
That is why fishing can also be a rich source of inspiration. Many people have stated that they came up with an idea for their own business, a book or an invention while they were fishing.
Also, as there is an absence of stress, it becomes much easier to funnel your thoughts and to actually focus on them. Studies have shown that stress can seriously disrupt our thinking. So, by all means, go fishing! Not only will it help you to cleanse your mind and focus on your thoughts, it might also make you smarter.
6. Fishing Is a Great Family Activity
This is something I personally enjoy a lot; fishing with my two little girls! In fact, the first time I brought my oldest daughter fishing, she was only 4 months old! And you know what? It was one of the most amazing fishing trips I have ever had!
It was early fall and we were just gone for a couple of hours. I brought the tent with me, for shelter, as well as various outdoor baby equipment. I was very skeptical at first, would fishing with a baby be possible at all? But I am super glad I did decide to take her, because it worked out just fine and we had a great time together. I actually ended up catching a personal best that day.
This weekend, that little baby is turning 8 years old, unbelievable! And that’s exactly my point here; time goes so incredibly and relentlessly fast! You will want to make sure that you spend as much quality time as possible with your little ones, at home, and on the bank! The amount of bonding and fun you’ll have with them while fishing is immeasurable.
I have brought my oldest with me dozens of times, and we started camping and night fishing when she was 3 years old. Not once did we have a serious issue or a moment when she wanted to go home, I can honestly tell you that for a fact!
Insider tip: Your wife can also enjoy some alone time if you bring the kids fishing!
Yeah, I admit it, my wife does not share my passion for angling, at all! Actually, she thinks it’s one of the most boring hobbies ever! And that’s totally fine, we all have different interests. She does agree to one afternoon trip a year though, if we bring the grill and some good food (I think she enjoys those more that she admits too).
But my wife benefits from my fishing trips in a completely different way; she gets to have some quality alone time. Don’t be that fisherman that always just leaves on his own and lets his wife take care of the home and the kids! Give her a break too, she definitely needs and deserves it!
7. Fishing Is a Natural Social Media Detox
Don’t get me wrong, the internet and social media are great tools to connect with people and grow your knowledge. But, if we are completely honest, they are more often than not great thieves of our time and attention.
Fishing can actually make you realize that and shows you how much time you may actually be spending online each and every day.
In order for that to happen, you will however have to do the following thing: Turn off the internet on your cell phone when you go fishing!
I know, it’s somewhat scary and intimidating! But this is absolutely essential if you want to truly enjoy your fishing trip. So, I dare you to do it! Just try and see how you’ll react. I can promise you, if you do turn off your mobile data, you will feel like a totally new person!
Maybe not at first, as we are all so used to social media and to, somewhat absentmindedly, scroll down various feeds. I know it’s difficult, I have been there myself! But after a while, it will start to leave your mind alone, leave your attention and focus and start to crawl into the background of your awareness.
And once you reach that state, fishing will become an absolute and uninterrupted pleasure. And it doesn’t have to stop there; why not even turn off your cell phone’s internet at home though and then as well!? Trust me, you will feel so much better!
8. It Brings Out the Hunter in You
This section is for those of you who enjoy competitive sports, against yourself or others! Fishing can be highly competitive, especially if you are a specimen fisherman.
Specimen fishing is a special type of fishing that focuses on targeting large specimen of many different species. It is extremely faceted and a rather time intensive way of fishing. If you can invest some extra time, specimen fishing is very fun getting into.
It has however a serious side effect; it brings out the competitor and hunter in you. There are many specimen fishing tournaments all over the world and people really get serious about those. Some of those tournaments, or cups, stretch over the entire year, and competitors spend many hours and days on the bank trying to catch as many different species as possible, in order to collect points and trophies.
But even if you are only competing against yourself, fishing can turn you into a real specimen hunter! If your goal is to constantly catch bigger fish and heavier weights, then the hunt never ends. Remember: there is always a bigger fish somewhere out there, always!
9. Fishing Can Make You Socialize More
Earlier, I mentioned that fishing often is a quite activity you do on your own. But fishing together with other people can be highly rewarding and fun as well.
Fishing trips together with your friends allow you to really bond with them. Many people don’t really have the time to meet their friends very often and when they do, it’s perhaps over a quick coffee or lunch. It’s not a great opportunity to really talk, discuss and enjoy each others company. Rather, it’s more of a quick hello and good bye, or a portioned meet up with your friends.
On a fishing trip, you can solely focus on your friend or friends and really talk to them. Maybe you get to know them much better, hear about their problems and difficulties in life, or their joyous moments, their thoughts, dreams, fears, etc. I think, fishing really emphasizes on the word “friends”!
But even if you’re not fishing with your buddies, you always get the chance to meet like-minded people on the bank. Fishermen are very friendly and social people, if they are talking to other fishermen, that is!
10. You Get Plenty of Oxygen
Quite naturally, fishing equals being exposed to lots of fresh, clean air. Especially if you are living in a bigger city, you will know that air pollution is a serious problem in many of them. Your lungs and health can get affected by polluted air quite badly and it is actually quite difficult getting away from large urban areas.
Well, not difficult per se, people simply do not do it often enough. But once you take that conscious decision to leave the city and go fishing, you will do your health a huge favor! This is extra recommended for people who work in offices all day long and almost never even take a walk during their breaks. Go fishing!
Fresh air and its high levels of oxygen is absolutely essential to our health; oxygen makes the body heal faster, it enriches our blood, it increases brain activity (once again, fishing will make you smarter), as well as muscle growth and function.
Just try to breathe in deeply when you’re fishing, as often as you can. See every fishing trip as a replenishing possibility, as you can load up on fresh oxygen. Your lungs and overall health will definitely thank you.