49 of the Best Fishing Quotes of All Time

Wise and hilarious musings on one of our favorite past-times

For centuries people have tried to describe fishing with pen and paper. Here are some of the smartest, funniest and most creative attempts.

catch and release
Game fish are too valuable to be caught only once.
– Lee Wulff OL
"Carpe Diem" does not mean "fish of the day." -Author Unknown dezidor
surgeon handing scapel
Calling fishing a hobby is like calling brain surgery a job.
-Paul Schullery Free use
fishing bent rod
If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles. -Doug Larson lsuff
henry david thoreau
Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
-Henry David Thoreau Free Use
kid with cane pole
The fishing was good; it was the catching that was bad.
-A.K. Best Mats Hagwall
sunrise fishing
Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains. – Henry David Thoreau Adam Pieniazek
Most of the world is covered by water. A fisherman's job is simple: Pick out the best parts.
-Charles Waterman Christian Fischer
river wading
Creeps and idiots cannot conceal themselves for long on a fishing trip.
-John Gierach Trout Unlimited
fly reel
My Biggest worry is that when I'm dead and gone, my wife will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it.
– Koos Brandt Tony Warelius
fly cast
There's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot.
-Steven Wright rengber
grip and grin
"Fly fishermen are born honest, but they get over it."
– Ed Zern Bugeaters
fly casting
"Fly-fishing is the most fun you can have standing up."
– Arnold Gingrich rengber
john steinbeck portrait
"All Americans believe that they are born fishermen. For a man to admit a distaste for fishing would be like denouncing mother-love or hating moonlight."
-John Steinbeck Free Use
jimmy carter fishing
"Many of the most highly publicized events of my presidency are not nearly as memorable or significant in my life as fishing with my daddy."
– Jimmy Carter Free Use
fishing boat
"Some go to church and think about fishing, others go fishing and think about God."
– Tony Blake Free Use
"I am not against golf, since I cannot suspect it keeps armies of the unworthy from discovering trout."
– Paul O'Neil Sands Beach Lanzarote
fishing sign
If fishing is interfering with your business, give up your business.
– Sparse Grey Hackle (Alfred W. Miller) Free Use
mayfly hatch
"What a tourist terms a plague of insects, the fly fisher calls a great hatch."
-Patrick F. McManus Mark Robinson
three stooges
-"You know fish is great brain food." -"Well, you know, then you should fish for a whale!" Larry and Moe (of the Three Stooges)
Herbert Hoover portrait
"There are only two occasions when Americans respect privacy, especially in Presidents. Those are prayer and fishing."
Herbert Hoover
"I marvel how the fishes live in the sea. Why, as men do a-land; the great ones eat up the little ones."
William Shakespeare
"Somebody just back of you while you are fishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl."
Ernest Hemingway
Leonardo Da Vinci portrait
"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 DaVinci
Pat McManus
"Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary."
Patrick McManus
little mermaid
"We got no troubles…life is the bubbles, under the sea."
Sebastian from The Little Mermaid
Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
John 21:3 (Holy Bible)
Herbert Hoover
"Be patient and calm – for no one can catch fish in anger."
Herbert Hoover
"If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago." Zane Grey
fishing boat
"Govern a family as you would cook a small fish–very gently."
Chinese proverb
a river runs through it
"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 (author, A River Runs Through It)
Izaak walton
"Angling may be said to be so like the mathematics that it can never be fully learned."
Izaak Walton
Tom Brokaw
"If fishing is a religion, fly fishing is high church."
Tom Brokaw
Herbert Hoover
"Fishing is a discipline in the equality of men–for all men are equal before fish."
Herbert Hoover
three stooges
-"Hey, this fish looks like Moe."
-"It is Moe!"  
(Curly and Larry of The Three Stooges)
Mark Twain portrait
"Do not tell fish stories where the people know you. Particularly, don't tell them where they know the fish."
Mark Twain
"There's no taking trout with dry breeches."
Karl Marx
"Sell a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach a man how to fish, you ruin a wonderful business opportunity."
Karl Marx
Herbert Hoover
"Lots of people committed crimes during the year who would not have done so if they had been fishing. The increase of crime is among those deprived of the regenerations that impregnate the mind and character of the fisherman."
Herbert Hoover
John Steinbeck
"It has always been my private conviction that any man who pits his intelligence against a fish and loses has it coming."
John Steinbeck
fishing boat
"It is not a fish until it is on the bank."
Old British saying
"The best time to go fishing is when you can get away."
Robert Traver

For centuries people have tried to describe fishing with pen and paper. Here’s some of the smartest, funniest and most creative attempts.