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Why Fishing Is Relaxing and Good for You and Your Health

John has been interested in health as a way to ameliorate his medical issues. A U.S. Navy corpsman, he also treated geriatic patients.


An Unexaggerated Fishing Tale

I wouldn't call myself an avid fisherman. While I love to fish, and go often, it has not become an obsession. My one pole, one net, and one tackle box are plenty for me to be very happy. I don't own a boat (can't afford to buy one, and couldn't afford the registration even if I picked one up) or a trailer to haul it. I thought about getting a small bass boat or canoe once, but then again, couldn't justify it because I am perfectly content fishing from shore. In other words, I am completely satisfied heading to a lake with simple tools and a rock to sit on! For me, fishing is relaxing and pure pleasure.

But one day while at the lake I started to think about why it was so great to be there. If you enjoy fishing, you know how good it feels to be outside - how relaxed your body can be without medication! It was at this point that I realized that fishing is good for your health.

When you sit next to the lake and there is any breeze at all, you are breathing humidified air that is clean (usually) and you are enjoying the evaporative cooling effect. Heat from warm air penetrates the moisture in the air and it dissipates - then the temperature drops. I don't know about you, but I find myself wanting to breathe in deeply from time to time (not because of difficulty breathing!) and I think it's my body asking for more of a good thing.

As I fished in the White Mountains of Arizona, I watched the white clouds float by. The white puffs slowly morph as they pass across the blue sky. I find myself staring at them and enjoying the shapes they take up as they meander along. This particular day, there was a lot of activity up there, and it was amusing to watch a dog take shape and then a cloud looking like a bag. It was as if someone was trying to scoop up that dog.

And then there is the wind. Who hasn't experienced the relaxation while the wind passes by your ears or whistles through the trees. I don't have to tell you that people have made quite a bit of money recording such sounds to enhance a person's state of relaxation. Just google "sound of wind". You'll find that the sound of wind is associated with meditation. Of course, I am holding on to my rod the whole time, anticipating a bit of a tug from a nibble or a pull from a strike, yet it isn't like I am on the edge of my seat. You know how pleasant it is if you fish. If you don't, for a small investment you can take part in the pastime and learn about it. Your body will thank you.

I find it interesting that the sound of water is also recorded and used to promote release from anxiety. I have noticed that sitting in a busy mall one can enjoy the sound of a fountain and escape the sounds and sights of foot traffic. It's much the same at the lake. The sound of the water lapping at the shore or a fish jumping is really quite wonderful. It all contributes to muscles relaxing that have been so tight for so long you forgot what it was like to have them loose.

Then there is an aspect that is a bit harder to explain. I am not even certain if other people smell it. But when you are at the lake (surrounded by forest in this case) there is a "fresh smell" to the air. Maybe it's chlorophyll, perhaps it is moist pine needles composting. I really don't know, but I always smell it at the lake. I know that deodorizers often have a pine scent, so there is something special about it. Homeopathic types claim that these pleasantries contribute to a sense of well-being and relaxation.

With all the information available that shows that stress tears apart the body in many ways, from cancer to cardiac disease to depression, I don't think that anyone can argue that some of the best medicine you can take is at the LAKE! Packing your gear and heading out fishing is a simple technique for promoting good health.

Oh, and then I felt a tug at my pole and then some real struggling action. I came around to my focused self and started to reel in a trout. I could tell by the way it flipped and flopped as I brought it to shore. Closer yet, I could see it show off a glint of golden belly and a yellow-gold coloring on its sides. I had caught my first Apache trout!

Fishermen enjoy an evening's fishing at South Gare breakwater, Redcar, England.

Fishermen enjoy an evening's fishing at South Gare breakwater, Redcar, England.

Fishing Partners

And finally, do not minimize the effect of fishing with a partner. I for one enjoy a quiet conversation with another person while I sit on the bank (or the concrete dam at the end of the manmade lake!).

For some, simply sitting by oneself communing with nature and waiting for the bite is the ultimate in relaxation. On the other hand, folks like me may like to fish with their wives. Of course, you have to have a wife who likes to fish, I suppose. It wouldn't be very pleasant listening to carping (pun not intended) from the significant other throughout the angling day.

But many of us are fortunate enough to have a wife who has grown up with it or learned from us (she may have even taught you!). If your wife loves fishing, then you have another check on the list of relaxation factors. My wife chats occasionally as she sits and waits for a little tug on her pole - she doesn't talk a lot, but just enough to break up any monotony that might set in, especially if you haven't had a bite in awhile. We talk about everything and anything. We make suggestions as to how to bait the hook, where to cast, etc. We talk about our children, our next home project, or the next lake we want to go to. For me, my wife contributes to my degree of relaxation as much as anything. And, I can't imagine fishing without her. In all honesty, she is a better fisher person than me. She has caught far more fish in the last 13 years than I have. I am embarrassed to reveal all the things she has taught me about the sport. Your spouse could well be the ultimate source of relaxation on your next fishing trip!

Think about it.

A Perfect Ending

There aren't many times when you can truly say you had a perfect day, but go fishing and you'll probably have one. Your body will love you for it.

An angler displays his catch on a wide part of the Kennet and Avon Canal at the top of the Caen Hill Locks, in Devizes, Wiltshire, England.

An angler displays his catch on a wide part of the Kennet and Avon Canal at the top of the Caen Hill Locks, in Devizes, Wiltshire, England.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 John R Wilsdon


John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on March 05, 2019:


Fishing is such a wholesome activity that I hope you can find transportation soon and use that great gear. Thanks for the comment.

caden on March 05, 2019:

I would fish every day because I have tons of fishing gear but i don't have a way get to the water.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on July 04, 2014:

One of my granddaughers just turned 4 years old. We're going fishing next week. It is the stuff of memories. Can't wait for some photos.

Johan Smulders from East London, South Africa on July 04, 2014:

Took our Grand kids fishing yesterday and we all really enjoyed it. Caught and released a lot of small fish in the Nahoon River in East London. One of my memories as a little boy was my Dad taking me fishing. Maybe we created some memories.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on July 03, 2014:

I feel the very same way. Thanks for commenting.

Johan Smulders from East London, South Africa on July 02, 2014:

Amen! Its being out in nature, the anticipation, the peace of mind, the challenge and the satisfaction that is good for the soul. If I catch it's a bonus.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on July 02, 2014:

Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on July 02, 2014:

Fishing really does provide so many positive effects whether you catch a fish or not. You've clearly described the advantages of fresh air, a cool breeze, sunshine and time to relax that makes fishing more of an outing than a sport.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on June 05, 2013:

Thanks for the response. I wish you a wonderful journey at the lake or sea.

Ancillotti from Brasil, Vitoria - ES on June 05, 2013:

You said many truths in your text my friend. Thank you so much for clarifying things today with life as race must always find ways to relax. A big hug and thank you!

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on April 12, 2013:

You have described one of the effects well. It CLEARS MY HEAD, too. When your head is clear, it's easier to relax.

I'll be at my regional lake this weekend. Looks like we will have plenty of good weather going forward. Thanks for the comment.

Rick Grimes on April 10, 2013:

I've been fishing almost everyday since the weather got nicer!

I absolutely adore it and it helps me clear my head.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on April 03, 2013:

I'm heading out too. Enjoy!

Joshua Rueff from Kansas City on April 03, 2013:

Love it - going fishing tonight, and now I'm looking forward to it even more.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on December 12, 2012:

Thanks Johan Smulders. I think it could be a life-saving activity for many people. We all need to find an activity where we can really relax.

Johan Smulders from East London, South Africa on December 11, 2012:

Amen and fish on. They have said that an hour fishing adds time to your life.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on November 24, 2012:

At a local park where there is a lake the Arizona Game and Fish stock crappie. I enjoy catching them. I agree with what you say about forgetting "bills". If I get down and feel like I am in a pressure cooker, I head for the lake, and lo and behold, I can escape it in the fresh air and the sound of the water. What a wonderful way to get balance back into your life. Thanks for commenting. I am happy you have found the fish and the water.

BODYLEVIVE from Alabama, USA on November 24, 2012:

I love fishing and don't to much care whether I catch anything. It's a feeling of freedom and relaxation when I on the water. I don't know if that has anything to do with with astrological or not. Most times I go to a lake and the brims are a sure catch. Most call them crappie but they look alike and taste alike so who care what the proper name is? I just love the water. When I'm out there, I don't think of anything that has to do with house, bills or any of that stuff. It's just Here Fishy, Fishy!

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on February 08, 2012:

You're right about the activity being sometimes rigorous. I am one of those guys who just likes to sit out in the fresh air with a pole. Bringing in an acrobatic trout gets the blood pumping, but then I am back on the rock.

Enjoy that boat, and thanks for the comment.

CZCZCZ from Oregon on February 07, 2012:

I agree that fishing is good for you it is an activity that depending on the type of fishing you are doing can be quite rigorous. Standing on the front of a boat in rough water fishing all day can be a serious work out. I also am a big believer in the calming factor of being out on the water and a big reason I enjoy to spend time out on the boat fishing.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on January 02, 2012:

Hi Rain Defence,

Glad the hub could get you a bit inspired. I really believe fishing can do you well. Thanks for the comment.

Rain Defence from UK on January 01, 2012:

This has made me want to fish again for the first time in years. Your description of watching the clouds drift by almost sounds dreamlike.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on November 27, 2011:


Good point!

sportgames from Ashter Street 14, New Yok on November 27, 2011:

Fishing can make you forget about every day problems.

Fishing is just the best.

Lesley @ 52 days to explore on November 15, 2011:

This is a great article and just what i needed for my post on getting kids outdoors and fishing so I have linked to you

loveonline on October 01, 2011:

Fishing on a lake may be relaxing agreed - deep sea fishing, what I like to do, is nothing of the sort, usually involves a bunch of yelling and drinking lol.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on August 08, 2011:

True Cures:


True Cures from Payette Idaho on August 07, 2011:

Peace of mind does more for the immune system than anything purchased in a bottle. Fishing should be labeled Immune Support.

A bad day fishing is always better than a good day working.