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31 Songs About Fishing

FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Celebrate the fun of baiting a hook and hitting the water for a day of fishing with a playlist of country songs about fishing.

Celebrate the fun of baiting a hook and hitting the water for a day of fishing with a playlist of country songs about fishing.

Fishing as Therapy

With a jingle-jangle of keys and change in his pockets, my grandfather always had news of a fishing trip planned. He relished both saltwater and freshwater fishing and would stand on the riverbank or ocean docks in solitude for hours as he endeavored to catch the big fish.

Fishing is its own kind of therapy, as it allows one to be alone at length in nature. My grandfather was a Vietnam veteran, a recovering alcoholic, and married to a relentlessly difficult woman (my grandmother). I thus suspect that fishing was his respite, his meditation. I'd like to think that somewhere in the great thereafter he's jingling his pockets now in between reeling in the big fish.

If you enjoy fishing or know someone who does, make a fishing playlist of country songs about the sport. From fun songs to serious ones, we have a long list to start you off.

Reader Poll

1. "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishin' Song)" by Brad Paisley

In this humorous 2002 country song, a wife has grown weary of her husband's obsession with fishing. Tired of her honey spending all day on the lake, the missus meets him at the door to issue an ultimatum: it's either fishin' or her. For this dedicated angler, the forced decision is a no-brainer. The water's just right, the weather's perfect, and the fish are biting, so he'll be out in his boat casting his reel.

2. "Bait a Hook" by Justin Moore

Everyone loves to throw a little mud at their ex and their new partner, and the country boy in this 2011 ditty is certainly no different. His replacement is his complete opposite, a debonair city slicker who eats sushi and tofu and drives a hybrid vehicle instead of a pickup truck.

The narrator wonders whether his ex has lost her mind by choosing a pretty boy like that. No worries. He's dang sure she'll tire of the new boyfriend's helplessness and come running back to him. The biggest insult? That pathetic new boy toy can't even bait a hook. Utterly useless.

3. "Just Fishin'" by Trace Adkins

In this tender country song from 2011, a father sits on the banks of the river with his young daughter. He takes the time to connect with the school-aged child. As she holds her pink rod and reel and chatters on about her life, they make memories that will last a lifetime:

And she thinks we're just fishin' on the riverside
Throwin' back what we could fry
Drownin' worms and killin' time
Nothin' too ambitious
She ain't even thinkin' 'bout
What's really goin' on right now
But I guarantee this memory's a bigun
And she thinks we're just fishin'.

4. "More Time Fishin’" by Thomas Rhett

Do you work to rest or rest to work? It's important to assess your life priorities so you can balance work and the rest of your life accordingly. The guy in this 2021 country ditty seems to have mastered work-life balance. He's playing hooky from his job to go fishing because there's way more to living than making a dollar. Save some time for the activities in life that you enjoy!

5. "Up Down" by Morgan Wallen (featuring Florida Georgia Line)

This bro-country 2017 party anthem is set in a small hometown and features a variety of objects that go up and down:

  • fishing bobbers in the pond
  • a bank account balance
  • tipping back a bottle of Jack Daniels and
  • head-bopping to the music.

6. "Fish" by Craig Campbell

The couple in this humorous 2011 country tune has been sneaking out at night. They park the guy's pickup truck down near the lake where they fish all night, if that's what you want to call it.

Using some clever wording, the fella in the song describes his amorously adventurous girlfriend without getting too crass. He takes it up right up to the line of what is appropriate, referring to the first time they "did it" and how "now she can't get enough." The song employs a suggestive rhyming scheme, too, so there's no mistaking what he means:

I had everything we needed in the bed of my truck
Turns out my baby loves to... fish.

7. "Cletus Take the Reel" by Tim Hawkins

It's a good thing that Carrie Underwood doesn't take herself too seriously. Her Grammy Award-winning hit, "Jesus, Take the Wheel" (2005) is a sentimental Christian country song about a woman who survives a Christmas Eve car crash with her infant in tow thanks to miraculous intervention from Jesus. Underwood's song is sappy, and that makes it a prime target for parody. "Cletus Take the Reel" (2008) answers that need.

The narrator in this parody is on a fishing trip in a Mississippi lake with his best friend, Cletus, when suddenly there is a tug on the line. He's hooked a ginormous 10-pound bass and begs his friend to help reel the big one in so it doesn't get away. Cletus, take the reel! He can't do this on his own!

8. "Shut Up and Fish" by Maddie & Tae

Don't mess with the gal in this 2015 country ditty, especially when she's trying to cast her reel. The narrator and her city slicker sweetheart load up some fishing gear and head out to the lake for some fishing. Unfortunately, he has more than angling on his mind.

In their boat, he slides over and crowds her casting shoulder, tries to hold her reeling hand, and even professes love. When the guy's unwelcome advances become too distracting, the country girl cools him off with a dunk in the lake. Maybe now he'll just shut up and fish.

9. "Dirt Road" by Kip Moore

When the narrator in this 2016 country track visualizes heaven, he sees a dirt road leading to a fishing hole. It's backlit by moonlight and he can hold his sweetheart there and drink a few cans of beer. Rather than being a specific place, the setting he imagines is more of a blissful state of mind where all is right with the world.

10. "Buy Me a Boat" by Chris Janson

If you won the Lotto, how would you spend your winnings? The redneck guy in this 2015 country song dreams of holding the winning ticket so he could buy a boat, a truck to haul it, and a chest full of beer. Sounds like the recipe for a perfect fishing trip. Just add a couple of friends.

11. "Catch a Fish" by Outlaw

I like this 2017 parody of Chris Janson's 2017 "Fix a Drink" as much as the catchy song it imitates. The original track is about a bartender who can mix any drink you want, from fruity to strong, thereby making you forget all of your troubles. The parody is about a guy who can reel in fish after fish at the lake and take a selfie of his catch for his friends (because seeing is believing). Go wet a line!

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." - Henry David Thoreau, American author

"Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." - Henry David Thoreau, American author

12. "Gone Fishing" by Chris Rea

The narrator in this unusually contemplative 1991 song is taking time for himself by going fishing, although he acknowledges that he knows nothing about the sport. Tired of living up to other people's expectations, the man concedes that nothing he does will make a difference in the grand scheme thus he might as well be happy.

13. "Bad Day of Fishin'" by Billy Currington

Rather than report to work, the man in this 2010 country tune opts for pure escapism. His mental health day out on the lake, however, doesn't go quite as planned. The weather is scorching hot, there's a downpour, and then a huge fish makes off with his fishing pole. The poor fella will be eating chicken tonight talking about the one that got away. However, his fishing trip was a success because "a bad day of fishin' beats a good day of anything else."

20 Fish-Related Idioms

IdiomMeaningIdiomMeaning

Like a stunned mullet

Looking surprised, confused

Like shooting fish in a barrel

Very easy

A big fish in a small pond

Person who is important in their circle of social influence

Green around the gills

Looking nervous, sick, or afraid

To sleep with the fishes

To murder someone and dump their body in a body of water

To need (something) like a fish needs a bike

Something that is unnecessary

Teach a man to fish

Teach someone how to do something rather than do it for them

Have other fish to fry

Have other priorities

Drink like a fish

To drink a lot of alcohol

To fish for (something)

To try to get (something) out of another person conversationally (i.e., information, a compliment)

All is fish that come to the net

A person who uses everything available to him/her to finish a task

A fish out of water

Someone who doesn't fit in comfortably

A fine kettle of fish

A predicament

There are plenty of other fish in the sea

There are lots of other choices available

Cold fish

An emotionless, distant person

Fishing expedition

An aimless search for beneficial information

Fish story

Exaggerated account or tall tale

The cat would eat fish but would not wet her feet

In order to get what you want, you must endure risks and annoyances

Make fish of one and fowl of the other

To favor one person or thing over another in a discriminatory manner

Fish or cut bait

An admonition to either act or to stop being an obstacle

14. "Fishing Alone" by Erik Dylan

This coulda-woulda-shoulda country song from 2016 will leave a lump in your throat. The narrator casts a line alone as he remembers his deceased father whose life he took for granted. They used to fish together and made so many plans that never materialized. The narrator's regular Sunday morning calls turned into intermittent contact as he allowed life to get in the way of this important relationship. Then a sudden health crisis took his dad and the two ran out of time together. As the narrator fishes alone, he has plenty of time to ponder his regrets.

15. "Jon Boat" by Cody Webb

A jon boat is an inexpensive, lightweight aluminum boat with a flat bottom; it is used primarily for fishing, hunting, and related tasks. In this 2019 country song, the fish have nothing to fear because the narrator and his buddies co-opt the jon boat for partying. They've got Lynyrd Skynyrd cranked up loud while they cut loose with beer and bikini-clad girls lathered up in Coppertone. It may not be classy to swim where you fish, but it sure is fun.

16. "Fishin'" by Chris Lane

The slick guy in this 2018 country song plans on making the moves on his sweetheart by taking her out to a secret parking spot down near the river. He suggests a bit of drinking, guitar playing, and (of course) some kissing. If anyone asks where they've been, he suggests that they can just call it fishing. (I guess the guitar is for singing to the fish?)

17. "Livin' Part of Life" by Eric Church

The rat race is getting the best of the overworked guy in this 2006 country ditty. He's stressed out by his to do list and the high pressure so tomorrow he plans to leave all of the troubles of his life behind go fishing.

18. "Catch a Fish" by Logan Mize

Some families are no good at apologies, like the one in this 2018 country song. Rather than having an awkward discussion of who was right and wrong the narrator invites his father out fishing. The young man was angry and drunk last time they talked and he's hoping that out there on the lake they can find forgiveness somewhere between a can of worms, an outboard motor, and a couple of fish. Who wants to say "sorry" when you can just fish and pretend it never happened?

19. "Boondocks" by Little Big Town

The back yonder folks in this 2005 country ditty are proud of where they come from. No matter where they wander today in the wider world, their hearts are still stuck back in the boondocks, a simple place where life is good and so is the fishing:

You get a line, I'll get a pole
We'll go fishing in the craw fish hole
Down in the boondocks.

20. "Mind on Fishin'" by Trace Adkins

The angler in this 2020 country tune heads out to the lake early on Sunday morning for a few hours of fishing before church. At peace on the water in God's creation, the narrator decides to skip the 10 a.m. sermon and stay where he is instead to converse with the Lord. The fish are biting and he feels he can be closer to God in nature, God's church, than within four manmade walls.

"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot." - Steven Wright, American comedian

"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot." - Steven Wright, American comedian

Even More Songs About Fishing

Know a song that should be on this playlist? Make a suggestion in the Comments Section below.

SongArtist(s)Year Released

21. Huntin', Fishin' and Lovin' Every Day

Luke Bryan

2016

22. Catch All the Fish

Brad Paisley

2011

23. I'll Probably Be Out Fishin'

Toby Keith

2013

24. Gone Fishin'

Lynyrd Skynyrd

1999

25. The Five Pound Bass

Robert Earl Keen

1989

26. Tackle Box

Luke Bryan

2007

27. I Wanna Go Fishin'

Randy Joe Heavin

2010

28. Fishin' in the Dark

The Ditty Gritty Dirt Band

1987

29. If the Fish Don't Bite

Eric Paslay

2011

30. Fish and Whistle

John Prine

1978

31. Fish Weren’t Bitin

Craig Morgan

2012

© 2021 FlourishAnyway

Comments

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 04, 2021:

Chitrangada - Thank you for stopping by and for your kind comment. If you like fried fish there is special value in catching your dinner and fixing it yourself. My grandfather loved doing that.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 04, 2021:

Another interesting topic, for the list of songs, and as always a very fine and well compiled article.

You are right, when you say, that fishing is a therapeutic activity. Though, I haven’t had the opportunity to do this interesting activity myself, I have seen people doing so, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching them.

Thank you for sharing another wonderful article. Have a great weekend.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 03, 2021:

Devika - That is very kind of you. I'm glad you found songs that interested you. Have a wonderful weekend.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 03, 2021:

FlourishAnyway your talent shows me the best of music and what I have not noticed. About fishing is interesting and your curious mind informs us. I enjoyed reading another one of your hubs.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 02, 2021:

Peggy - That's what I've heard too about fly fishing. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a fantastic week.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 02, 2021:

Linda - Glad you recognized one. I've been fishing, but it was as a child. Not something I do now.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 02, 2021:

Dora - I think I agree with Steven Wright. Who wants to stand on the pier or riverbank in the sun and wait on a fish to bite?

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 02, 2021:

Bill - Glad you could think of a few. Thanks for stopping by.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 02, 2021:

I have never gone fishing but can understand the allure of being out in nature. Fly fishing is beautiful to watch. It appears to be an art form.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on June 02, 2021:

Boondocks. That's the only one I recognize. Clearly, I need to expand my play list.

We don't fish and my Dad didn't either. But I understand the allure of quiet time on the edge of a lake. Actually catching something isn't the goal (your Grandpa is a perfect example). Fun list.

Dora Weithers on June 02, 2021:

These are all fun stories. I especially like the first one, also the Steven Wright quote. Thanks for another great list.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2021:

I got #1 and #28, so I was all over the board, but I'll bask in that glory for the day. Now I want to go fishin'. Haven't gone in a long, long time. It is such a relaxing pastime for me; I don't know what happened to my fishing adventures, but I need to renew them.

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