25 Of The Best Songs About Fishing

Written by Dan Farrant

Fishing has long been a staple in many genres of music, particularly country and folk. It serves as a metaphor for deeper human emotions and experiences, exploring themes of love, loss, and the passage of life.

These songs are more than just melodies. They are storytelling devices that paint pictures of rural landscapes and quiet moments by the water.

We have come up with 25 of the best songs about fishing, where the activity is seen as a cherished pastime, a form of meditation, or even a way of life. Whether you’re an avid angler or just enjoy music, we guarantee you’ll have fun listening to songs about this beloved outdoor activity. Read on!

1. “Just Fishin'” By Trace Adkins

Up first, we have Trace Adkins’ 2011 single “Just Fishin’.” This touching song mentions fishing as a metaphor for the bond between a father and his daughter.

In the song, father and daughter go fishing together. But for him, it’s about more than just catching fish. He has arranged these fishing trips to create precious and lasting memories with his daughter. He recognizes that time flies by and wants to take advantage of these moments that he can spend with her.

The lyrics convey that the little girl believes they are simply fishing. Little does she know that her dad cherishes these fishing trips as opportunities to bond with her.

2. “Shut Up And Fish” By Maddie & Tae

The light-hearted country song “Shut Up and Fish” by Maddie & Tae uses fishing as a setting for misplaced romantic advances. The narrator goes on a fishing trip with a city guy who is more interested in flirting than in fishing.

The song humorously portrays her annoyance as she just wants to enjoy their fishing trip without interruptions. But the guy has “more than just bass on his mind” and is persistent in pushing his luck with her.

In essence, “Shut Up and Fish” uses this activity as a backdrop to focus on the amusing contrast between her desire for a peaceful fishing trip and his misguided romantic intentions.

3. “The Five Pound Bass” By Robert Earl Keen

The early bird catches the early worm, but in Robert Earl Keen‘s 1989 single, it’s a fish that catches the early worm. Specifically, “The Five Pound Bass.”

At its core, this track is as straightforward as any fishing song could be. It narrates the experiences of a man who’s out early to catch that legendary five-pound bass. And while some people are still asleep in their tents dreaming of catching a big fish, he’s already out on the water.

And yes, he catches that big fish. The song perfectly captures his excitement and anticipation of this little adventure.

4. “Fish And Whistle” By John Prine

In John Prine‘s “Fish and Whistle,” the narrator is thinking about life and if he’s “gonna see tomorrow.” The song uses fishing as a symbol of simplicity, peace, and hope for redemption.

Despite the struggles he’s going through, he expresses a desire to “go fishing in heaven.” This can be interpreted as a longing for simplicity and a life devoid of hardships.

The act of fishing here represents the narrator’s yearning to go back to a time of innocence and tranquility. He longs for a place (heaven in the case of the song) where he can just whistle and fish, away from worries and strife.

5. “Bad Day Of Fishin'” By Billy Currington

For our next song, we have “Bad Day of Fishin'” by Billy Currington. The track was released in 2010 from his album Enjoy Yourself.

“Bad Day of Fishin'” is all about the relaxing and therapeutic nature of this activity. In fact, even when the narrator fails to catch any fish, which counts as a bad day of fishing for him, he thinks it’s much better than a good day of anything else.

The lyrics portray fishing as an enjoyable activity, providing an escape from the stress of daily life. The peace and tranquility it offers outweighs any minor mishaps.

6. “Fishin’ In The Dark” By Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

The chart-topper “Fishin’ in the Dark” came out in 1987 from Nitty Gritty Dirt Band‘s Hold On album. This song with “fishing” in the lyrics uses this beloved activity as a metaphor for love and shared experiences.

The story revolves around a couple’s planned late-night fishing trip. They make their way to “a special place that nobody knows.” While waiting for the fish to bite, they star-gaze and enjoy a quiet night.

While the song does not focus on fishing, it captures the tranquility of a peaceful night under the stars. It highlights the laid-back, relaxed nature of the fishing experience while at the same time showing how simple shared moments can foster deep connections between people.

7. “Fish” By Craig Campbell

American country music singer Craig Campbell co-wrote “Fish” for his self-titled debut album. Although some critics believe that it’s not one of those songs with deep meaning, it’s still perfect for a summer playlist.

This playful country song follows a man who wants to impress a girl. What is the best way to do it? Take her fishing. And while the lyrics talk about their shared love for fishing, the song uses fishing-related terms to allude to their intimate experiences.

In relation to fishing, the song includes elements of a typical fishing trip. We’re talking about sneaking out, going to the lake, and casting the line. These real-life fishing scenarios mix with romantic undertones to create a fun song.

8. “More Time Fishin'” By Thomas Rhett

If you do not spend time on activities you enjoy, you’ll end up burned out. But the narrator in Thomas Rhett‘s “More Time Fishing” isn’t going to wait for that to happen.

The song uses fishing as a symbol of the need to slow down and take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The narrator argues that we can spend our whole lives working and working. But it’s not living if we don’t do something we enjoy for a change.

This is the realization that the song wants to tell listeners. Whether it’s fishing or other activities, the song reminds us to find an escape from the demands and pressures of everyday life.

9. “I’m Gonna Miss Her” By Brad Paisley

A man finds himself faced with a choice between his love for fishing and his woman. That’s the narrative you’ll find in the humorous country song “I’m Gonna Miss Her” by Brad Paisley.

The lyrics find the man confronted by his girlfriend about his frequent fishing trips. She gives him an ultimate by demanding that he choose between her and his beloved pastime. The title reveals his decision, suggesting that he will miss her, but he won’t give up his passion for fishing.

The song not only describes the act of fishing; it also uses fishing as a symbol of the narrator’s freedom and joy. It tells us that for some people, their hobby is so important that they can risk personal relationships for it.

10. “Huntin’, Fishin’ And Lovin’ Every Day” By Luke Bryan

A man is living the dream in Luke Bryan‘s “Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day.” This song is the fourth single on his album, Kill the Lights.

Released in 2016, this country song uses fishing to express the joy and satisfaction that one can get from a simple country lifestyle. The narrator expresses how immersing himself in nature and doing things he loves gives him comfort and pleasure.

In the song, fishing is not just about catching fish. It’s a symbol of a laid-back, stress-free lifestyle connected with nature. Fishing, hunting, and loving every day give him a sense of freedom and happiness that can’t be found anywhere.

11. “Bait A Hook” By Justin Moore

Another country song about fishing is Justin Moore‘s “Bait a Hook.” Here, fishing is used as a metaphor within a breakup narrative.

The lyrics follow a man who has been left by his girlfriend for another. He isn’t even worried after finding out that her new man doesn’t even know how to bait a hook. This suggests that the guy lacks the skills or characteristics that one needs for a traditional country living.

The act of baiting a hook is used as a tool to question the new boyfriend’s manliness and country credentials. The guy fails, and the narrator believes that sooner or later, the girl will come running back to him.

12. “Buy Me A Boat” By Chris Janson

In “Buy Me a Boat,” Chris Janson sings about a desired lifestyle that can be achieved with more money. He yearns for a rich lifestyle so that he can buy the things that bring him happiness.

In relation to fishing, the song does not directly talk about it. Instead, it uses the boat as a symbol, which is often associated with leisure activities such as fishing. The narrator desires to himself a boat, indicating his wish to enjoy life.

In essence, the boat and the implied fishing trips represent the simple pleasures and freedom that money can buy. It’s about the longing for a laid-back and enjoyable lifestyle that includes fishing.

13. “Fishin’ Blues” By Taj Mahal

Up next is a blues song that uses fishing as a literal and metaphorical theme. Taj Mahal‘s “Fishin’ Blues” describes the pleasure of catching, cooking, and eating one’s own fish.

In the lyrics, the narrator sings about going to his favorite fishing hole and catching a none-pound catfish. He brings it home, deriving satisfaction from the act of fishing. It paints a picture of a simple, laid-back lifestyle.

Beyond the literal meaning, the song can be considered a metaphor for finding peace and happiness in life. Fishing represents a yearning for a simpler life.

14. “Tackle Box” By Luke Bryan

For Luke Bryan, his 2007 single “Tackle Box” is more than just a sentimental song about fishing. It recounts the wonderful times he had with both his grandfathers.

This autobiographical song reveals the cherished memories and life lessons Bryan had from being out on the water with his grandpa. The tackle box contains not just lures, hooks, and extra lines. It also holds stories and experiences associated with the narrator’s past.

The line “For one more afternoon and one more fish” expresses his longing for more time with his grandfather, who shared wisdom during their fishing trips.

15. “Mind On Fishin'” By Trace Adkins

Let’s move on to a song with “fishing” in the title. Trace Adkins’ “Mind on Fishin'” was released in 2020 from his album Ain’t That Kind of Cowboy.

In the song, fishing is a metaphor for the struggle between duty and desire. The song follows a man who’s deciding between going to church or to the lake to fish. In the end, he decides not to waste such a beautiful day, particularly when the fish is biting.

The narrator argues that he’d rather be fishing with his mind on God than be at the church with his mind on fishing. And he doesn’t regret the choice he made in the end.

16. “Gone Fishin’” By Louis Armstrong And Bing Crosby

Like some of the songs on our list, “Gone Fishin'” by Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby is about longing for simpler times. Here, fishing is a metaphor for relaxation, leisure, and the joy of simple pleasures.

The lyrics follow a lazy man who loves to spend his day fishing, highlighting the allure of this pastime. The song paints this activity as a reprieve from worries and troubles. He even leaves his work, having no ambition other than to go fishing.

In this song, fishing is not just about the act itself; it’s also about the peaceful environment and solitude. For the man, it is a desirable escape from the hustle and bustle of his life.

17. “I’ll Probably Be Out Fishin'” By Toby Keith

A man is down on his luck in “I’ll Probably Be Out Fishin'” by Toby Keith. However, he still manages to smile despite the challenges life throws at him.

First, the narrator’s girlfriend, whom he plans on marrying, ends up marrying his best friend. Second, he loses his job to someone else after working at the sawmill for many years.

He figures he can go out and enjoy as much as he can, but he’d still wake up with the fact that he’s without a lover and a job. Nevertheless, he believes that “good luck is bound to find [him].” And if it finds him, he’ll be out fishing. This suggests that this activity is not just a hobby but a way of life that brings him contentment and peace.

18. “It’s My Lazy Day” By Merle Haggard And Willie Nelson

What to do on a lazy day? Fishing, as Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson consider in “It’s My Lazy Day.” Here, fishing is a symbol of leisure and relaxation.

The narrators think about going fishing on their lazy day. This pastime is associated with calm, peace, and taking a break from a busy life. However, they decide against it as “the road to the river is a mighty long way.”

This decision emphasizes their desire for a day with no obligations or activities, not even something as relaxing as fishing. While fishing is an appealing activity, it still requires effort — traveling to the river, setting up, and waiting for the fish to bite.

19. “The Fishin’ Hole” By Andy Griffith

Apparently, one of the best places “to pass the time of day” is a fishing hole. Andy Griffith pays homage to such a beautiful, relaxing place in “The Fishin’ Hole.”

The song invites listeners to take their fishing poles to meet the narrator at the fishing hole. It suggests that fishing is not just an activity but something that fosters camaraderie and shared experience. The fishing hole becomes a meeting point where people can connect and relax.

The lyrics imply that fishing isn’t just about catching fish. The narrator posits that even if they don’t catch fish, it’s okay. Some things are more important, such as conversation and enjoying nature.

20. “A Song About Fishing” By Genesis Owusu

One of the songs that shouldn’t be taken literally is “A Song About Fishing” by Genesis Owusu. Here, the narrator uses fishing as an allegory for navigating personal struggles and feelings of despair.

Owusu uses fishing as a metaphor for his challenges and pursuit of goals. He talks about the ups and downs of his journey in the music industry, including how he overcame obstacles and finally found fulfillment.

In essence, “A Song About Fishing” reminds us of the importance of taking risks and being patient in attaining our goals. It tells us to be resilient even in the face of adversity.

21. “Fishin’ On A River” By Jake Owen

Don’t be fooled by the upbeat music of Jake Owen‘s “Fishin’ on a River” because it’s far from a song with a happy ending. Here, fishing serves as a metaphor for a relationship that has ended.

The narrative follows a man who has everything planned for a good day of fishing. He’s got everything ready, from his cooler to the tackle box. But when his girl walks out on him, he finds himself in a bar to nurse his heartbreak.

The line “let keeper get away” refers to losing someone important. This likens the person to a fish that’s big enough to keep according to fishing regulations. This analogy implies the man’s regret over the failed relationship.

22. “Catch All The Fish” By Brad Paisley

Up next is a song that describes how a fishing trip with your buddies should go. Brad Paisley’s “Catch All the Fish” is a story about embracing life’s simple pleasures and living in the moment.

The lyrics find the narrator preparing for a fishing trip as he fills up shopping carts with fishing gear and beer. As the song progresses, he talks about his plans to “catch all the fish” and “drink all the beer” with his friends.

In essence, the song reminds us to fully immerse ourselves in the present moment and enjoy it to the fullest. In the song, it’s not about how many fish are caught and how many beers are drunk. It’s about the quality of the experience.

23. “Fish Weren’t Bitin'” By Craig Morgan

Who would pass up a chance to spend a good day with their loved one? Certainly not the narrator in Craig Morgan‘s “Fish Weren’t Bitin’.”

Released in 2012, this song uses fishing as a setting for a romantic encounter. It tells the story of a couple who embark on a fishing trip together. However, the man’s attention is more focused on his girlfriend than on catching fish.

The song details the anticipation for the trip. However, it’s merely a pretext so that he can spend quality time with her. It’s clear by the end of the song that the actual fishing isn’t the main goal of their expedition.

24. “Fishing Alone” By Erik Dylan

The deeply emotional song “Fishing Alone” by Erik Dylan is up next. It’s about missed opportunities and regret.

The song follows the story of a man who realizes he didn’t spend enough time with his father while he was still alive. He regrets missing out on all the opportunities, such as going fishing or fixing an old car together.

In relation to fishing, the song uses this pastime to represent bonding and shared experiences. It reminds the narrator of his loneliness and regret for not having valued the time with his father.

25. “Gone Fishing” By Chris Rea

Last but not least is Chris Rea‘s “Gone Fishing.” Released in 1991 from his album Auberge, it talks about escaping the constraints of everyday life and finding comfort in nature.

In relation to fishing, the song captures the tranquility one can experience during quiet moments by the lake or river. The narrator claims he doesn’t know how to fish but it’s not going to stop him from doing it.

The lyrics also touch upon the fleeting nature of life. Thus, “Gone Fishing” reminds listeners to take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life and explore their passions. It doesn’t matter whether it’s fishing or other activities as long as you can find peace and contentment.

Summing Up Our List Of Fishing Songs

In wrapping up, these songs showed us how fishing can be a powerful metaphor to convey different narratives and evoke emotions. Whether it’s a romantic backdrop of a fishing trip or missed bonding moments, fishing becomes much more than an outdoor activity.

We hope you liked the songs we have included on the list. Turns out there are a lot of songs written about this cherished pastime. If you want more songs added to the list, let us know and we’ll add them here. Until next time!

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.